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Entries in chinatown (36)


sweet peeks: let them eat cupcakes

even with a shiny new camera, capturing delicious dishes to share with you remains an ever elusive goal. shyness combined with forgetfulness means i tend to hesitate about disturbing other diners to document a meal or space out and dig in before realizing that a before picture would be much more photogenic than an untidy plate.

luckily, let them eat cupcakes still had just enough dobash and guava baked treats on display for a quick snapshot during my first visit earlier this year. whipping up cupcake editions of these bake shop classics have been on my "to do" list for far too long so when the chance popped up to wander about chinatown on a wednesday when LTEC offers two of my favorite desserts in petite portions, i coaxed my cupcake-resistant mister inside with promises of a sweet surprise.

with so many rave reviews since the cupcakerie's opening (plan b for the founders when the honolulu advertiser stopped the presses last year), i am happy to report that the dobash and guava cupcakes which beckoned me were definitely worth the wait. both flavors were nicely balanced combining a moist crumb, just enough sweetness, and a dollop of decadent dobash frosting and a filling of guava goodness which transported us back to small kid time. we somehow resisted placing a second order but let them eat cupcakes officially wins my vote for most 'ono cupcake on the island.

since the space is quite cozy, i asked permission to photograph the interior so you could spy the menu board (which has since been redesigned) and the complimentary sprinkles bar.

a handful of flavors are offered everyday with a rotation of LTEC favorites and one-of-a-kind creations sprinkled in throughout the week (other flavors which may tempt you include red velvet, maple bacon & li hing mango). and, if you have a moment, a few tables tucked inside the pleasant storefront invite you to savor your selections which are are cheerily served on pretty china.

since the cupcakes are baked in small batches, do pop in as early as possible to avoid the disappointment of finding a closed sign hanging on the door as the shop is known to close early once the last cupcake has sold. you are also welcome to ring ahead and place an order for pickup.

and a tip for parents: keiki cakes party packages can also be booked if you are on the lookout for a delightful hands-on diversion to entertain the little ones.

peek the daily menu before you make your way to chinatown:

  • where: 35 south beretania street, chinatown (just around the corner from j.j. dolan's)
  • shop hours: tue to fri, 8a to 4p & sat, 10a to 2p
  • fyi: custom & mini cupcakes are available by request

p.s. let them eat cupcakes bakes up first friday-only flavors when they keep the doors open 'til 9p. click over to the official facebook page for a sneak peek.


shop peek: owens & co.

one of my favorite boutiques to visit whenever i find myself back on the island is the always delightful owens & co., the sweet design shop located in the most gorgeous corner space in the chinatown arts district. the cheery chevron curtains framing the windows instantly brighten my day and the curated collection of local and faraway finds are a design geek's dream come true.

something fabulous is always waiting to woo me whenever i pop by to to say hello - stacks of decorating/gardening/cooking & craft books, handmade sparkle and carryalls, playful domestic wares, pretty paper goods, and a selection of buzzy indie goods being swooned over on pinterest (hello washi tape, anthology magazine, and leather baggu pouches!).

missy, the shop's lovely proprietor (who shares my house hunters internationale obsession), is constantly on the lookout for charming discoveries to indulge our latest design obsessions as well as little delights perfect for every gifting occasion.

enjoy a peek of new summer arrivals after the jump!

scents & stacks
a.wattz * fortune
summer arrivals

in addition to elusive merch you have been crushing on compliments of your favorite design blogs (and ever so difficult to find in hawaii), owens & co. happily stocks goods from local makers including jewelry by justine, meleana handbags, so'mace tableware, and saffron james (did you spy the just introduced monoi/tamanu/coconut body oils up above?).

even if the shop is closed it's always fun to peek through the window, but do plan to stop in and wander about when honolulu's delightful indie emporium is open for business (note: missy's hubby jeff steps behind the counter when errands call her away from the shop).

p.s. missy & jeff generously filled my shop tote with bars of nuuanu & pauahi soap (created in collaboration with the human imagination, a few doors down the block) on my last two visits, and i would love to share them with a few lucky readers. send me a note by the fourth of july and you might find a summer surprise in your mailbox!


florencia arias summer 2012

stella * lucille

the flourishing chinatown arts district has become the neighborhood that often woos me for an afternoon of indie shopping when i hop home for a visit. during my winter holiday, i popped into florencia arias's flagship boutique and was delighted to find the softspoken argentinean designer tending to shop tasks behind the counter.

florencia was happy to share more on the making of her shop, which opened its doors last fall (lots of tlc including the most gorgeous cursive sign handmade by her architect hubby), and her design process revealing that longer hemlines were on the way in response to repeated requests by island lovelies (who, quelle surprise!, are a bit more modest than their south american counterparts).

and so, while summer 2012 continues to mix solids and patterns in a flirty yet wearable way, you can expect to find a convertible maxi skirt featured among the color-blocked dresses, pleated pops of color, and fresh editions of last summer's crush.

more to adore after the jump (including tardy spring 2012 peeks)!

dahlia * tulip
a peek inside the shop . . .

florencia remains committed to producing her label in hawaii (hooray!) so please do pop by the shop and say hello. the sun-drenched space is also stocked with local & argentina pretties from handmade jewelry to posh pua bikinis.

summer 2012 looks will be arriving next week at the flagship boutique, your neighborhood stockist, and the online shop. spring 2012 offerings are beginning to dwindle so hele over now for a peek of remaining styles.

  • where: 1161 nu'uanu avenue, chinatown (just around the corner from marks garage)
  • shop hours: wed to sat, 11a to 5p (open til 6p on thu & fri)

p.s. tomorrow's first friday fun (5p to 10p) includes 10-to-50% off florencia arias designs, 20% off jewelry, and an additional discount for purchases tallying over $100.


new peeks: fighting eel spring 2012

bora bora * moorea * poipu

ahoy mateys! stripes continue to woo closets of all sizes and fighting eel's spring 2012 collection is filled with the prettiest nods to this delightful nautical trend. demure ruffles, girly racerbacks, and the oh-so-stylish cutaway hem (just a few of the variations on offer this season) combine with cheery colors to make a convincing argument that stripes are the new style staple.

if the mere thought of welcoming stripes aboard your look makes you shudder, do consider that modern day interpretations offer thoughtful placements designed to highlight your favorite features.

oh, and many of fe's gorgeous spring styles can also be yours in solids for those not quite ready to commit to stripes just yet.

shop spring 2012 online + in-store. (have a peek and share which spring look made your wishlist!)

p.s. windward lovelies no longer need to cross the pali and can now shop at fe's recently opened kailua outpost. the bright and airy space (just a few doors down from lily lotus and the soon-to-open whole foods) is filled with pretties from fe and a handful of local & faraway labels along with a tiny nook devoted to keiki cuteness.


fighting eel fall/resort 2011

parker * harper

i have been feeling a bit style deprived so let's spend the week admiring fall looks from a few of our favorite designers! last winter, fighting eel's fishie tote caught my eye so you can imagine my delight upon finding the whimsical pattern revived for lan & rona's resort 2011 collection. mixed in are vibrant tie-dyes issued in flowy tops and versatile tube dresses-slash-skirts along with gorgeous structured sheaths (dress camryn earns a special mention for its thoughtfully placed stripes) that promise to transition easily from 9-to-5 to date night.

since a fall 2011 peek is overdue, a few favorites have also been rounded up for your viewing pleasure. i can't quite decide between the bright pops of emerald or the elegant cream colored silhouettes . . . so sophisticated!

more to adore after the jump . . . plus details on this weekend's sample sale.

alexa * summer
camryn * tatum
moon x dara * irie x charlie * ti
moon x willow * anya * eryn

most fall & resort 2011 styles can be purchased in the online shop, at your neighborhood stockist, or hele down to fighting eel headquarters to shop the complete collection:

p.s. scoop up past season styles at this saturday's sample sale. there are two entry times with all ticket proceeds benefitting the hawaii food bank. only 50 earlybird tickets are being offered which grants you an extra hour and a half to shop before the rush.

  • when: sat, nov 12th - 9a & 10:30a
  • where: the manifest, 32 north hotel street, chinatown
  • tix: $20/early entry + $5/general admission (available at fe hq - see above for address)
  • fyi: cash only so hit the atm before the sale; all sales final