In the past couple of weeks, I’ve already been to Bread + Butter on Kapi‘olani Boulevard three times.
And not because I suggest it.
The buzz is out there — and the name helps, too. (I mean, who can resist a place called “Bread + Butter”?)
The first time I went, I was invited by my blogging pal Melissa Chang (@melissa808) who 1) knows I love both bread and butter and 2) who knows I love anywhere that has air conditioning and free WiFi.
Bread + Butter opened a few months ago in the nearly 3,000-square-foot space vacated by Angelo Pietro in the Ala Moana Pacific Center, behind Ala Moana Center.
And it’s quite a transformation. I was just there with another girlfriend and she couldn’t believe it was the same space. I agree. The high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling glass windows create a beautiful and open dining area that’s so welcoming and modern. I don’t remember Angelo Pietro feeling that way.
This restaurant is owned by Diamond Dining, which also runs Shokudo Japanese Restaurant and Bar next door and Buho Cocina y Cantina in Waikīkī. And they’re all very different. This concept offers healthier options, grab-and-go items — and breakfast with some kick-ass 12-hour cold-pressed coffee. (The coffee program here was designed by Honolulu Coffee Co. founder Ray Suiter Jr.)
Here’s what I’ve been eating:
I did ask for bread and butter. Who wouldn’t? So this is what I got: a bowl of housemade oven-baked focaccia and soft butter. I would like to see this place serve a variety of breads with a butter bar. Doesn’t that sound awesome?
My pregnant girlfriend was craving pancakes, so we ordered the taro and banana pancakes ($10.95), which comes topped with fresh fruits and whipped cream. This is one of the restaurant’s most popular breakfasts.
There are four savory pizzas on the menu — minus the breakfast pizza, of course — cooked in the restaurant’s state-of-the-art pizza oven. My favorite is the four cheese and honey pizza ($14.95), with Gouda, Parmesan, Mozzarella and bleu cheeses — oh, and honey, which adds just the right amount of sweetness.
There’s a lot to choose from on the lunch menu, including pasta dishes, a beef short rib loco moco, a red bean and brie sandwich, and a smoked ‘ahi sandwich that Melissa called the best she’s ever had. But I went for the Italian sandwich with ham, salami and cheese. For some reason, I had envisioned the bread would be buttered and toasted with a pesto olive oil drizzled on it — but I don’t know why. It didn’t say that on the menu. I guess my imagination ran away from me. This was a basic sandwich on super-soft bread and, if this is any indication, I ate the whole thing.
VERDICT: It’s easily one of my favorite go-to spots right now. Breakfast isn’t too crowded, which is nice, and you can hang out here for awhile, talk, meet friends, no problem. I wish it served Diet Coke — oh, they’ve heard this complaint from me already! — but I will say, the iced mocha, made with dark chocolate, is an awesome substitute. The free WiFi doesn’t hurt, either.
Bread + Butter, 1585 Kapiolani Blvd. near Ala Moana. Hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Phone: (808) 949-3430