La Tour Cafe beckons diners with a menu of light cuisine, homemade soups, and freshly ground, locally roasted coffee. Turkey and sundried-tomato paninis come slathered with provolone or the baked-chicken pesto, spinach, and swiss cheese, and then leave the kitchen with a golden tan ($8.50). All sandwiches grace tables with their presence alongside a house salad, house-made pickles, and a variety of legal eating utensils. After 10:30 a.m., flatbreads such as the margherita strut down the dining-room runway flaunting the fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomato ($10), and the kalua pork seduces tongues with lomi tomatoes, taco sauce, and sour cream ($12).
Shigalicious serves up an eclectic menu of local snacks, from 20 flavors of finely shaved ice to musubi to Hawaiian–style hot dogs. Shigalicious boasts solidified water in apple, passion-fruit, root-beer, green-tea, and haupia flavors, steeping each half of every bowl in a different one ($2+). A toasted Hawaiian-bread bun embraces a polish hot dog in the Hole-E-Cow ($3), which customers can accompany with a side of dried mango or guava ($3 each), a sweet alternative to the intense sourness of french fries. Classic Spam musubi ($1.25 each), a meat-and-rice snack bound together by seaweed, shares the menu with teriyaki chicken and hot-dog musubi variations (both $1.50 each). Shigalicious’s menu constantly evolves as founder and consummate snack lover Kyle Shigano experiments with new shave-ice flavors and hot-dog condiments.
Chef JJ built himself an empire out of sugar, complete with chocolate pyramids covered in cocoa powder. He wanted to bring all things European to Hawaii, so he founded JJ Bistro & French Pastry, where he crafts delectable desserts and a menu of entrees fusing French influence with local ingredients. His baked lamb wellington features crisp bell pepper within a shelf of flaky pastry, and his seafood brioche combines the daily catch with shiitake mushrooms and black-pepper sauce. In addition to the aforementioned chocolate pyramids, he crafts key-lime tarts, chocolate-banana confit, and black-currant cassis in individual servings. He just uses bigger mixing bowls to create the same mouthwatering cakes for birthdays or weddings.
Despite the general European flair, the chef can't resist showing off local cuisine in all its glory with his daily specials of fresh-caught seafood. The mini seafood menu features shrimp, mussels, crab, and lobster, cooked to order and bedecked in one of four sauces, such as garlic butter or J'Jun sauce, Chef JJ's blend of Cajun spices with seldom-used contractions.
Aloha Crepes serves dessert all day. Of course, it's in the form of a crepe, so the light treat seems somehow appropriate for breakfast, even if you order the Aloha crepe—loaded with Nutella, a sauce of sour cream and brown sugar, strawberries, whipped cream, and powdered sugar. For something more savory, crepes can be stuffed with portobello mushrooms or grilled chicken or made into pizza-like envelopes that, with the correct postage, the US Postal Service will deliver. For a lighter dessert option, Aloha Snowflakes promise a treat that's part ice cream, part shaved ice with the consistency of frozen cotton candy. Snow ice comes in a variety of flavors made from fresh fruits, juices, and extracts with added milk.
Comparing their dessert creations to "frozen cotton candy," the servers at Snow Factory Kaneohe scoop icy cupfuls of their signature snow, available in more than 20 flavors crafted from icy fruit, juice, and milk. Clocking in at less than 150 calories per serving, plain snow ($3.25–$4.75) is as light as a set of helium-filled barbells and arrives in flavors such as blueberry, coffee, and lychee. Snow combos ($4.75–$6.65) don edible accessories, such as the strawberry-and-vanilla snow combo, which crowns itself with mochi, chocolate syrup, condensed milk, and adzuki beans.