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Coming Up

  • Next on 'Ono Kine Grindz:

    The Wedding Cafe, Manoa

    Recently Consumed:

    Zaney's, Downtown Honolulu
    Bob's Bar-B-Que, Kalihi
    Restaurant Yamagen, Moili'ili

    Below you will find a never ending list of restaurants that I want to visit or re-visit:

    Young's Fish Market
    Alan Wong's Pineapple Room
    Cafe Sistina
    Indigo Eurasian Cuisine
    Yakiniku Toraji
    Sushi Masa
    Ono Hawaiian Foods
    Tsukuneya Robata Grill

    If you would like to give me a tip on a new restaurant that is opening up, or give me a recommendation on some of your favorite restaurants, please send an e-mail to:

    onokinegrindz (at) yahoo (dot) com

    The following posts should be completed someday (!):

    New Diner's Drive In
    Border Grill
    Penang Malaysian
    Chez Panisse
    Zuni Cafe
    Indonesia Restaurant
    Boston's North End Pizza
    Happy Inn
    Kat's Sushi
    Fritz's European Bakery
    Makino Chaya
    Singapore/Bangkok Posts
    Chin's Kahala
    Hata Restaurant
    Ebisu Catering Service
    Bubba Burgers
    The Eggberts
    Blossoming Lotus
    Hamura Saimin Stand
    Bob's Big Boy

    WHEW! I hope to have them done by year's end!

    Upcoming adventures

    San Francisco, CA

    Sydney, NSW, Australia

    London, UK
    Paris, France
    Chicago, IL
    Seoul, South Korea
    I won't be able to visit Korea this year.
    San Francisco, CA
    New Orleans, LA
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Shanghai, China

    Hopefully, some of you can provide me with recommendations for some good eats!

Blogs I Read

'Onolicious Archives


« Ramen Nakamura | Main | Surprise! »

March 12, 2005



We are regulars there. Must try their fresh fruit tarts, the Best Coconut Cake, and their daily hot entrees are excellent.

We love it there..


Arrhhh..!! wat a disappointment...!! yes.. to think that it was so ex.. and not the best ingredients.. very disappointing..!


How depressing. There's nothing worse than a dessert letdown. I always feel so deserted. ;-P

The cream looks rather scarey too...

Allen Wong

Hey Reid,

Sorry that the Cafe was a let-down. I do tend to shy away from anything covered with copious amounts cream on top. I find that it's usually there to compensate for lack of something. How was the coffee though? A .50 coffee from my local Chinese bakery kicks the stuffing out of a lot of places.



Next time in Kaimuki, check out JJ French Pastry for some nice desert. It's across the street from Cafe Mouttarde


What a bummer....canned fruit and whipped cream...why would that stuff be expensive? Bleech.


Hmmm... the cheesecake looks a bit dry.


Hiya Reid
I hate it when I get desserts that is much worse than I can produced at home! And so much cream on your cherry tart...I imagine the tart is quite sweet with the canned cherry?


Wow Reid...did you do something to the blog's global font size? I think even Stevie Wonder can read the text now! I like it...



Wow!!!! $4.25 for a "piece" of cheesecake with tops from a can. Thanks for letting us know. Now, I know where not to go.

restaurant rhapsody

Oh, I'm so glad to see people out there agree with me about Laufer. Personally I think it's very overrated. I've been there 3 times and ordered a salad each time. All three times at least a portion of the greens were wilted and kinda slimy (yuck)! Found the dessert dissappointing as well. One of my biggest pet peeves is the way they display their cakes. I always want to see what I'm getting and it's frustrating not being able to see the layers! Sorry to be so negative. They have the right idea, they just need to beef up the quality for the price. On a positive note, they do make a decent scone.


Actually, the coffee is pretty cheap (US$1.95, including free refill). It's a shame that the desserts were so disappointing.


Hi Bev,

Welcome! I've actually been to Café Laufer many times in the past. I don't know why, but I think the quality has slipped over the years. I'll definitely go back, but I'll be more selective in the desserts that I order.

Hi MrsT,

It was definitely disappointing, especially at that price. I could have gone to a diner and had a slice of cherry pie for half the cost. Taste would have probably been similar. Shame indeed.

Hi AG,

It certainly was depressing, especially since I love desserts! *sigh*

Hi Jibberwashed,

Thanks for dropping by. You took the words right out of my mouth. Look for a posting on JJ's shortly.

Hi Moira,

Your guess is as good as mine. I'd make my own cherry tart, but for some reason, I can't find tart baking cherries here at all. Maybe that's why they resort to the canned stuff.

Hi Karen,

Thanks for visiting! I didn't have the cheesecake, so I don't know. I was told that it was about average. Didn't look so good if you ask me.

Hi pinkcocoa,

Yes, you're definitely right. I would definitely prefer a homemade tart. Maybe raspberry since they are easily found at the supermarkets. I agree with you on the cream, it did make this a bit too sweet.

Hi Clinton,

No, I didn't change anything. I was having problems with Typepad for the last couple of weeks, so anything is possible. Glad to know that it's easier to read. Perhaps I will take credit for it. =)

Hi lance,

It's been a while hasn't it? Hope you've been doing lots of cooking at home.

Yes, US$4.25 with topping from a can. *sigh* I think the cheesecake at Cheesecake Factory is more of a bargain at upwards of US$6.00 per slice.

Hi restaurant rhapsody,

Thank you for dropping by. I agree that Café Laufer may be a bit overrated, but I guess that's because there is a shortage of really good cafés that serve desserts and pastries here.

I've never eaten the food here, but the cakes and pastries that I have sampled in the past, have ranged from great to mediocre. What I think this place lacks is consistency. I agree, the scones are good. Too bad they didn't have any when I was there.

Hi Julia,

The coffee is actually quite expensive especially when you consider they only give one refill. When I have coffee at Wailana Coffee Shop, it's freeflow for maybe US$1.50 (sorry, I can't remember the exact price). In fact, most places here don't usually limit the number of refills they give to customers. An exception to this rule is Like Like Drive Inn. They don't give any free refills!

It is such a shame about the desserts...and you know I'm such a big fan of fruit tarts.

restaurant rhapsody

Thanks for your response Reid. And by the way...why is it that we are lacking cafes that serve good simple food and decadent desserts & pasteries? I know it's not because people in Hawaii don't like dessert. I guess the bargan grocery store doughnut/pastry just takes the cake!


Cafe Laufer used to be much better a long time ago--when it first opened actually. Does Chef Goo (think that's his name)still run the place or did it change hands?

Imo, cafes in Hawaii come and go, unfortunately. Privately owned, run on a shoestring, etc.

But honestly, I don't really know just how popular pastries are with Local folk. I eat much more pastries here in California, but rarely back home.



Yep, it's been awhile. Been here and followed your culinary adventure through Singapore but never wrote knowing that your "air" time was limited. What an experience, yeh.

Having been cooking much lately. Too tired after work. Well, more like too lazy after work. And on the weekends, too lazy after surfing all morning. There's so much recipes I want to try from the great food bloggers like Min's herbal soup to Santos' ensaymada. Hope to get to them. Keep on blogging and we're surely enjoying yours.


Hi restaurant rhapsody,

Well you know...that's a good question. I'm not so sure really, maybe we need to pose that question to the other readers. I agree with you about the grocery store pastries and donuts. Most of the folks in the office eat them all the time!


I'm not sure if Chef Goo is still there, but I do agree with you that Café Laufer was so much better years ago. As far as the café thing is concerned, I really can't say. I have heard that owning/operating any business in Hawaii is expensive though.

Hi lance,

I know what it's like to be too lazy. I get that way all the time...I think that's what inspired me to write about it. One year from now, I'll look back on this and say, "I didn't realize that I ate out that much!"


I don't have too much trouble finding pie cherries -- the sour kind, canned in water. Safeway Manoa has them, and I think Foodland Beretania does too.


Hi Jennifer,

Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving me a comment.

I'll definitely check out both Safeway and Foodland, although I prefer to use fresh sour cherries rather than canned. If these are water packed then they should be alright.

Thanks for the tip!


Been there, I like the pasta salad there, but agree with you on the desserts. They are just ok to me. I believe it is still owned by Mr. Goo.

As for the service, I think its terrible. Especially if you are not a regular. No one comes to offer any help, and when you ask, they look at you like you spoke another language. Their front management needs a LOT of help. If I ever go back, it would be for take out.


Hi Cathy,

I have to agree about the service. We initially sat on the table in between the two "trees", which has seating for six. A girl and her parents came and attempted to sit down next to my friend and I since the remaining 4 seats were open. Well, wouldn't you know that the woman from behind the counter rushed over to the table and told the girl to stand up and exclaimed loudly that she couldn't sit there. The girl asked where she could sit then because all the other tables were occupied. The woman turned to my friend to ask if it was OK for them to sit next to us, and we said it was OK.

After that display of courtesy, I don't think I'll be going again either.


I must agree with you that the price of cafe laufer is a bit high. The reason for the high price is for one the ingredients isn't as cheap as you think it is. In order to run a successful business especially a restaurant you need to be making profit. If the price of the ingredients raise don't you think that the price of the restaurant's food should go up as well? If not how will they manage to stay in business? And about the woman telling the other customer you cannot sit on the table of six is out of courtsey to the party that is already sitting there. The way that table for six works is for one if there are a party of 6. If there is a party of 8 then they would have whatever table closest table is available. Now if there are only two people on that table then they would sit on half of that table, leaving the other half for another couple open. The reason for that is if there is more than 2 people you might feel uncomfortable. Besides don't they have a sign that says "Please wait to be seated"? As for that customer to ask you if it was okay to sit down, I would think thats a bit rude. Sure it might seem okay because the other four seats are empty, but the restaurant has this seating system to make it more comfortable for the customers. The service may seem bad, but if you think about it there are only two waitress that run out the food, fill up the water, do refill of coffees, etc. Sometimes it's busy, which will enable the waitress to cater to you as you may please. I can understand this due to the fact that I do work at a restaurant. The reason for the high price of coffee is because its not just from a coffee pot but the coffee machine is from germany that cost $15,000 per machine. Then you have the coffee beans as well. I think everyone should be required to work in a restaurant! That way they will be able to understand everything you guys are complaining too.


Hi Unknown,

Welcome to my blog.

While I appreciate your comments, I don't know where you are getting some of your information from.

For example, I never said anything about the high price of the coffee. What I said was that the price of the coffee included a refill, one which I never got.

I also stated that Café Laufer charges premium prices for mediocre desserts. I never once said anything about the prices being too high. I would gladly pay, as I have done at JJ's, a premium for a wonderful dessert.

No, when I was there, I didn't not see a sign that said "Please Wait To Be Seated" as I entered the front of the shop. And there were actually 4 people waiting on patrons in the shop. 2 girls in their early 20s, a young man and an older woman who was probably in her 40s.

Thanks for your feedback.


Hi Reid,

I just had to laugh when I read that comment written by "unknown".

Let me just say that I have worked in the restaurant industry, so I know how people should be treated; and I have graduated FROM the restaurant industry, so I know how much ingredients cost, good and/or bad.

Any comments here are our own opinions. "Unknown" sounds like he/she is an employee of Cafe Laufer...if they are, then maybe these postings should be a wake-up call to what they call service.

I can't comment on their pricing, since I'm not sure of the quality of their ingredients, but I can comment on their staff. Graduating from the culinary industry, they require you to take a Servicing Course, and not once did they teach you to be rude and inconsiderate to you patrons. Sure there are time where people are unaccomodating, but if it gets to that point where you can no longer service them, you politely ask them to leave.

A person goes out to a restaurant to be serviced with a smile, not by people who are there just to be there and expect to be paid and expect a good tip. You EARN it!!!

Maybe the staff at Cafe Laufer need to be reminded of that.


Hi Cathy,

I couldn't agree with you more. Besides, whatever "Unknown" was referring to, was never said in my post. Sheesh.

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