Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Fave Bites: Peace Cafe in Honolulu, HI

Peace Cafe's Heart & Seoul
I'm back on the mainland and excited to share my Fave Bites from Honolulu. First up, is Peace Cafe, a restaurant specializing in vegan home cooking.

Vegan food is made without the use of any animal products (this includes eggs and dairy). Because I cook without dairy, a lot of my own recipes are actually vegan. It's an exceptionally clean and healthy way to eat, provided you ensure that you're getting enough protein (whole grains, tofu, nuts, beans), calcium, and B vitamins in your diet. And contrary to popular belief, animal-less food can taste great.

How I ended up at Peace Cafe is a simple story -- it's my former college roommate's favorite restaurant. Yes, she is vegan (her day job is vegan baking). No, her taste buds aren't dead (vegan food can be delicious!). And yes, she took me to Peace Cafe no less than three times (at my request, of course).

On our first trip, our very special dining companion was Charlyne Yi, a vegetarian and performer at Girl Fest (we'd been tasked with entertaining her during the festival, which turned out to be a joyous undertaking). When we walked in, I was instantly charmed by the cozy restaurant. The menu was handwritten on a large chalkboard, and the seating consisted of one large, rustic communal table, the kind that you'd fantasize about having in your dining room one day, and window counter seating. The compact menu consisted of sandwiches and "Lunchboxes," a slew of vegan latte concoctions, and desserts.

Peace Cafe's Menu
I quickly settled on what to order -- the "Heart & Seoul," a vegan take on Korean bi bim bap (one of my favorite dishes of all time). I opted for tofu with the dish. I also ordered an iced Kinako Latte, a caffeine-free beverage made with toasted soy powder, soy milk, and brown rice syrup. We ordered at the counter and took seats at the window, enjoying the natural light filtering through it.

Jenn & Charlyne enjoying Kinako Lattes
First came my latte, a rich and creamy beverage with a slightly toasty flavor. It was delicious! Then, the Heart & Seoul emerged from the kitchen, a brown paper plate that was laden with dark rice, kale, bean sprouts, pickled carrots, silky tofu, a generous scoop of chili paste, and mixed greens. It was a veritable platter of health. I dug in with chopsticks, loving every component, especially the silky, custard-like tofu and the tender kale, both eaten with chili paste.

Peace Cafe's Popeye Sandwich
I also sampled the Popeye, a miso-tahini spinach and tofu sandwich, and the Humpty-Dumpty, a curry egg-less salad sandwich. Both came on doughy, whole wheat ciabatta bread with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, sprouts, and homemade vegan aoili. Both sandwiches were filling and delicious, packed with flavor. The Miso Soup, a special daily mix of vegetables in a light broth, was also lovely.

And for dessert, I'd have to recommend the fresh Mochi Cakes, which come in different flavors. My favorite had to be the berry ones I had on my last day. On my way to the airport, I stopped by Peace Cafe one last time for a Popeye sandwich and mochi to carry onto the plane. It was my very last taste of Hawaii, and it was truly memorable. Until my next trip to the island....

Peace Cafe
2239 King St.
Honolulu, HI 96826
(808) 951-7555

Photo Gallery:

Peace Cafe's Heart & Seoul
Peace Cafe's Iced Kinako Latte
Peace Cafe's Miso Soup
Peace Cafe's Humpty-Dumpty Sandwich

1 comment:

  1. My spouse and I stumbled over here coming from a different website and thought I should check
    things out. I like what I see so i am just following you.
    Look forward to looking over your web page for a
    second time.
    Here is my webpage - Honolulu Airport