The Cream of the Crop
Sometimes the simplest things make the biggest difference. For example, a smile to brighten someone’s day or a “please” or “thank you” as a sign of respect can really make a world of difference. So can popcorn smothered in butter, a cherry placed atop an ice cream sundae, or a hefty spread of cream cheese on a freshly toasted bagel. Come to think of it, cream cheese has a way of making everything better. In fact, I recall starting each day as a middle and high-schooler with strawberry cream cheese — and a bit of bagel, of course. And I confess, it was definitely the best part of the day!
My cream cheese cravings have subsided a bit since my high school years, but this week, I was back at it — head over heels in love with this widely consumed cheese. Luckily for me, the following Ono, You Know establishments whipped up a few cream cheese masterpieces to indulge in.
So without further ado, read on and take part in my weeklong love-fest with cream cheese!
Oh, it’s always a sweet, sweet day when Larry’s Bakery is involved. I’m a die-hard sugar fanatic, so paying a visit to this top-of-the-line bakery on Lawehana Street is almost like taking a tour through Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory — only here, you get much more than just chocolate!
Cookies, cupcakes, pastries, decadent cakes and more fill the shelves as its alluring aroma roams through the kitchen. Of course, it doesn’t take long before your sweet tooth is hooked on Larry’s Bakery.
Now, when you think of cream cheese you usually think bagels. Well, this time this Salt Lake establishment is sprucing it up with a wonderland of cream cheese creations.
“Cream cheese is great to work with,” says Iris Yafuso, who along with her brother, Lance, is the mastermind behind Larry’s Bakery. “It can go with pretty much anything.”
When asked about the bakery’s cream cheese specialties, Iris couldn’t help but rave about Iris’ OMG. Priced at $2 each, this treat of treats most certainly will have you saying, “Oh … my … gosh!” after each bite. Yes, it’s that delicious! Made with a shortbread cookie crust as its foundation, Iris’ OMG features a luscious brownie filled with cream cheese and topped with sprinkles.
“We put together this recipe just for fun, and initially we only made one just to sample, but it was so good,” Iris exclaims.
Yet, that’s not to discredit Larry’s Bakery’s Cream Cheese Coffee Cake ($7.95) and Cream Cheese Ensaimada ($1.75 each). Both pastries are amazing in their own right. Seriously, what’s not to love about Cream Cheese Coffee Cake? A Larry’s Bakery original, this favorite of mine had been on hiatus from the menu, but has now returned better than ever, thanks to its fluffy Danish dough with cream cheese, drizzled with streusel and a sugar glaze, and sprinkled with almonds. As a devout lover of ensaimadas, I was more than eager to devour this sweet and savory offering, which was topped with buttercream frosting and dusted with powdered sugar. Yum!
All you need now is a freshly brewed cup of joe and you’re ready to take on the day!
4369 Lawehana St. #3
Ho Ho Chinese Cuisine
My cream cheese cravings then led me to Ho Ho Chinese Cuisine, located in the heart of Kapolei, where its allyou-can-eat buffet draws you right in. Sure, visions of chow mein, salt and pepper shrimp, snow crab and beef broccoli were dancing through my head, and orange chicken, egg rolls and fried rice are usually enough to make my mouth water. But this time, it was the restaurant’s Deep Fried Crab Meat Cream Cheese Won Ton that got my undivided attention. I know, I know. Deep Fried Crab Meat Cream Cheese Won Ton may not be your standard Chinese fare, but you know what? I’m all about going against the norm.
“This appetizer consists of a large deep-fried won ton pi filled with imitation crab meat, cream cheese, celery and onions,” explains director of sales Armando Bauzon, noting that these morsels of goodness are available as part of Ho Ho’s dinner buffet or served a la carte ($3.75 for four pieces, $6.95 for eight pieces). “These cream cheese won tons always go fast in our dinner buffet.”
So forget the calories and fulfill your cream cheese fantasies with these bad boys. The creamy filling and crisp, deep-fried won ton pi is a marriage of flavors that will last a lifetime.
Ho Ho Chinese Cuisine
590 Farrington Hwy.
I always feel at peace when I enter beautiful Manoa Valley. The cascading waterfalls and double rainbows are a sight to behold. And while there might not be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you may find something just as divine.
Enter Fendu Boulangerie. Located in Manoa Marketplace, Fendu boasts a plethora of baked goods, including breads, pizzas, pastries and more that are made fresh every day.
Owner and chef Niel Koep knew about my cream cheese frenzy and prepared a Lilikoi Cheesecake ($4.50 per piece) that is over-the-top onolicious.
“This one of our most popular desserts,” Koep says. “It’s the opposite of your typical New York Cheesecake. It’s very light.”
This work of art is delicately prepared and almost too exquisite to demolish in just a few bites, as it’s comprised of an almond cookie crust paired with a blend of cream cheese and marscapone cheese, passion fruit puree and a hint of vanilla. Lastly, it’s garnished with a passion fruit glaze and a medley of fresh fruits such as strawberries, kiwis and blueberries.
“Cream cheese bakes well and has a nice staple texture to it,” Koep adds. “Lilikoi Cheesecake has been on our menu for a long time, and it makes for the perfect after-lunch or dinner dessert.”
2752 Woodlawn Drive #5119