The Free Range Gourmet Free range thoughts on the finest ingredients, cuisine, and fine dining in Hawaii.

Range Gourmet

  Local Hawaii ingredients used with an international flair

        ^BNanette^K^H (Gone but not forgotten) 1946-2020


Saturday, January 31, 2004


Preview: New dessert haven in Manoa / Drive-thru coffee

We've often felt that Manoa could use a first-rate dessert shop--a place to go after eating out at one of the many restaurants at or near the Manoa Marketplace. Why be forced to drive to Bubbies on University Avenue or Cafe Laufer or JJ French Pastry, both in Kaimuki? Why has Manoa been neglected in the dessert department?

Our obsessive quest for dessert perfection nearer to home may be satisfied at last. Opening Monday February 2 at 2740 E. Manoa Road, next to Boston's North End Pizza, will be It's a Beautiful Day Kafe, operated by Gordon Okamoto and Summer Batalona.

Desserts will include Sweet Street Desserts flown in from Reading, Pennsylvania, Tiffany's no-sugar-added pies, and Hawaii's own Starpoint old-fashioned desserts and pastries made with Hawaiian products. (We've been buying Kate Wagoner's Starpoint goodies regularly at the KCC Saturday  Farmer's Market.)

We sampled a Chocolate Chunk Brownie which was dense, rich, moist, intensly chocolaty and not too sweet -- just the way we like our brownies. 

The Kafe will also be the first in Hawaii to offer Tully's Coffee. Mr. Okamoto described the coffee as in the middle between the cinnamon roast of Seattle's Best and Starbuck's dark roast. He described it as a "full-bodied flavor without the burnt after-taste" of the very dark roasts.

There's ample parking. The location is where the old Shell station used to be. The Kafe will make good use of the location -- they'll be open from 6 a.m. daily, offering commuters drive-through coffee where the gas pumps used to be. So just pull off the road, grab a hot cup of coffee, and continue on your way to the daily grind.

It's a Beautiful Day Kafe plans a grand opening on Valentine's day, but why wait? We'll be there for the soft opening on Monday. Finally, great desserts in Manoa. I know I deserve a really great dessert, and so do you.


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