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Entries in eat (104)


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.


uncle clay's house of pure aloha

hopa sunshine & coconut * strawberry & li hing

happy saturday! popping in this weekend to share the story of how uncle clay's house of pure aloha came to be which just might make your heart melt . . .

once upon a time a boy's childhood dream is to become the proprietor of his neighborhood sweet shop. fast forward four decades later when uncle clay finally acquires his coveted storefront then skip forward a few years more when, with the help of nephew bronson and crowdfunding from around the world, a makeover transforms the old timey space into the nicest shave ice shop in the islands.

the handcrafted syrups featuring locally sourced ingredients and the shop's modern decor are what tempted me and the mister to make a detour to 'aina haina after grazing our way through the kcc farmers market. and, oh my, our first hopa encounter was a very pleasant surprise. (in fact, we made two visits during our winter trip just so photos could be snapped for this post.)

the menu features all the tropical fruity favorites kama'aina love along with flavors for more adventurous palates (sweet potato or kalespin, a blend of earthy greens, anyone?). the li hing perfectly balances salty and sweet, the green tea delicate and nuanced, and the lightly sweetened coconut made a fan of your girl reporter who refuses most coconutty offerings.

extra fixings are also on the menu including tropical dreams ice cream (made in small batches on the big island & so 'ono!), homemade mochi, and ono pops li hing powder.

peek inside plus find out how you can help hopa's 1st anniversary pop-up project after the jump!

the hopa 'ohana welcomes every customer with a smile and uncle clay can best be described as an ambassador of aloha who took time to talk story and introduce us to fellow customers before eventually sending us on our way with a hug. it was truly one of the most delightful and inspiring moments during our trip home.

and, since my inner treehugger cringes every time a plastic monstrosity is whipped out upon ordering shave ice (oh for the days when a paper cone would do), hopa scores bonus points for presenting their frozen delights in biodegradable bowls accompanied by compostable spoons.

the next time you crave something sweet you simply must find your way to hopa for a cup of cheer:

treats from local producers, including madre chocolate bars, can also be scooped up in the shop.

p.s. share hopa forward celebrates the shop's 1st anniversary by inviting one and all to help fund a future pop-up which hopes to gift 2,012 cups of shave ice to the community with an extra serving of pure aloha.


morning crush: kam hwy love

loving the mix of cheery old timey island imagery and modern typefaces found in the highway-99 poster series by ewa beach's everything is jake!

stripes + shave ice + happy colors = smiles

$18 online.

p.s. score a one week only 20% off deal when you like EIJ! on facebook.


hey mama! 2011 gifting guide

popping in to share a few last minute possibilities . . .

1 - the just launched orchid collection from malie organics will delight moms who love tending to the elegant petals. {$25 and up}

2 - hardy succulents look quite refined when potted in porcelain by lanikai pot & plant. {$32.95 at owens & co.}

3 - the kala'e wallet is one of the anticipated new arrivals to sig zane's coveted line of leather goods featuring the hilo designer's signature prints. {$175}

4 - locavores will savor a fresh brewed cup of first flush green tea harvested from the slopes of the mauna kea tea farm. {$19}

5 - vintage rope salvaged from the falls of clyde keep mana pods' handblown recycled glass terrariums aloft so the petite plantings can capture some island sunshine. {$40; also stocked at super citizen in chinatown}

6 - waimea chocolate company produces artisanal chocolate macadamia nuts from ingredients grown in hawaii with varieties ranging from milk to dark and fixings like hawaiian chili pepper and black lava salt. {$8 to $21; find at sweet paradise chocolatier in wailea}


morning crush: pupu platter

look what i spied while browsing through re-nest's list o' etsy favorites this morning! how fun would these plyboo cutting boards of the hawaiian islands be at your next soirée? kaho'olawe appears to be missing, but still a darling pupu display for a luau, wedding, or weekend gathering.

made by brooklyn's aheirloom who is happy to customize the placement of a little heart to mark your hometown or favorite island spot.

$40 online.

p.s. mainland states also offered.