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Sunday, January 31, 2016

CAFE LANI

CAFE LANI
ALA MOANA SHOPPING CENTER
1450 ALA MOANA BLVD
MALL LEVEL 2, EWA WING
HONOLULU, HI  96814
808-955-5599
HOURS:  Daily 6:30 AM - 10:00 PM

Cafe Lani is new to the Ala Moana Shopping Center and the wait to get in can be up to two hours.  We arrived on a Sunday to find a two hour wait.  The hostess said that they would take our cell phone number and call us when our table was ready.  Two hours of hanging out at the mall is too much for me and my wallet so as we waited I looked through the large front windows and saw that the bar was empty.  We re-entered and asked if we could sit and eat at the bar.  In a matter of two minutes we were seated by a smiling hostess at the bar.  The bartender was very friendly and the service was great so this turned out to be a time saving and smart call.  The menu at Cafe Lani is all photographs and everything is presented so beautiful.  Really hard to chose something as I wanted it all.  The bartender recommended going with the Set Menus as this includes all you can eat bread, soup and three small appetizers.  I went with the Opah Vin Blanc ($28.00) Set Menu and was very very happy with my choice.  The meal started with another smiling employee coming by the bar with a large bread basket.  She filled our plates with fresh bread, croissants and pastries.  Served with a plate that includes Chocolate Sauce, Butter, Cream Cheese and Sweetened Fresh Berries.  Decadent and delicious with the fresh bread and pastries that are made fresh daily in the bakery on premises.  The bread here is available for diners only and is not sold at the bakery we were told.  There is only enough made each day for the restaurant.  Next up was the soup.  I went with the Clam Chowder and it was delicious.  Filled with large clams and a very "clammy" flavor.  I added some Tabasco Sauce and it turned the flavor up to a 10!.  The French Onion Soup was also delicious with a light base and nice onion flavor.  The Appetizer Sampler included with each Set Meal includes fresh Strawberries, Mozzarella and Basil topped with Aged Balsamic Vinegar.  Very refreshing, light and a bit sweet with the Strawberry.  Next was a Prosciutto, Pineapple and Honey dish that was also very fresh and light.  The Prosciutto was really good.  The Smoked Salmon over thinly sliced sweet onion was also good and this trio hit the mark on flavor but kind of filled me up after the soup and bread.  My entree - Grilled Opah with a White Wine Cream Sauce was FANTASTIC!!!  The fish was cooked perfectly and the sauce was perfect.  Loved this dish and would order it again tomorrow.  The Grilled Chicken Set ($25) was also very good with Grilled Vegetables and Roasted Potatoes really hitting the mark.  The Chicken is not really grilled rather seemed to be pan seared.  You cannot leave Cafe Lani without trying one of their signature desserts served in large fluted glasses.  The Chocolate Parfait ($9) was like going to Disneyland for a chocolate lover.  Pieces of Hershey Chocolate, Oreo Cookies and Vanilla and Chocolate Ice Cream along with some Coco Crispies, Corn Flakes, Whipped Cream and Chocolate Sauce.  YUMMY!!!! So frickin good.  Wish I had more room in my stomach to finish the dessert.  The bar staff was friendly and really made us feel comfortable.  There is a very unique coffee making system at Cafe Lani and the gal behind the bar took the time to show me the entire process.  Cool to watch the hot water heat, rise and then fall again into the glass.  I really liked my visit to Cafe Lani and already want to return. When you consider that $25-28 will get you a meal that includes breads, soup, appetizer and entree this is a pretty good deal for Honolulu dining.  And the food is good too!

CAFE LANI HAWAII AT ALA MOANA SHOPPING CENTER
HIGH CEILINGS, GREAT NATURAL LIGHT AND OPEN KITCHEN
KITCHEN OVERLOOKS DINING ROOM
GREAT TO SEE THE COOKING ACTION UP CLOSE
DINING ROOM AND BAR
CAFE LANI DINING ROOM IS KID FRIENDLY AND CASUAL
LOOKING AT KITCHEN FROM THE BAR SEATS
TIP - SIT AT THE BAR IF THE WAIT FOR A TABLE IS TOO LONG
FRIENDLY BAR STAFF AND PRETTY COOL ESPRESSO MACHINE
CAFE LANI MENU

















CREAM CHEESE, BERRIES, CHOCOLATE AND BUTTER
GREAT TASTING AND FRESH BREADS AND PASTRIES
FRENCH ONION SOUP
CLAM CHOWDER
SET MENU APPETIZER TRIO
PROSCUITTO, PINEAPPLE AND HONEY
SALMON WITH SWEET ONIONS
MOZZARELLA WITH STRAWBERRIES AND BALSAMIC
GRILLED CHICKEN
OPAH VIN BLANC WAS FANTASTIC!
THE COFFEE MAKING PROCESS TAKES ABOUT 10 MINUTES PER CUP











CHOCOLATE PARFAIT - I WAS SO ANXIOUS TO EAT THAT I DID NOT FOCUS