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Inside Feature

Creative Cuisine Resides at Aloha Center Café

By Kyle Galdeira Photos By Nathalie Walker
October 13, 2013

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While many diners equate excellent dining and Pacific Beach Hotel with the landmark Oceanarium Restaurant and its stellar buffet flanked by an enthralling aquarium, the locale also offers a fresh dining experience via Aloha Center Café.

The restaurant welcomes diners as they make their way from Kalakaua Avenue, and resides prominently just prior to Pacific Beach’s convenient valet parking entrance.

Aloha Center Café recently introduced a “$5 Have It Your Way” breakfast option prepared fresh to order. Diners are treated to two eggs cooked sunny-side up, over easy or scrambled, two pieces of bacon, Portuguese sausage or chicken apple sausage and a choice of starch, including breakfast potatoes, fried rice or steamed white or brown rice. The breakfast menu also includes specialty omelets (ranging from $5 to $8.95), which also are accompanied by a choice of the aforementioned starches. Freshly brewed coffee, ice-cold blended beverages and a host of other drinks also are available.

“We offer a quick, awesome breakfast that a lot of local customers have taken advantage of because you can’t beat that price,” says Patrick Faas, director of food & beverage at Pacific Beach Hotel. “Our coffee is locally grown and comes straight from Waialua, and it’s roasted here on Oahu as well, making for excellent hand-crafted coffee options. Anything you can imagine coffee-wise is available.”

The experience extends to lunch, during which Aloha Center Café offers up organic Stir-Fry Plates for just $8 apiece. Choices include shrimp and scallop, chicken and beef. Lei Farms on the Big Island supplies the restaurant’s fresh produce, and the stir-fry choices are served atop a bed of steamed white or brown rice, or noodles. “Grab & Go” options also are available, including Ham & Cheese Sandwich ($7), Turkey Sandwich ($7) and Ham & Turkey Wrap ($8).

“These lunches are phenomenal, and once again, are prepared as you order them,” Faas says.

Aloha Center Café has quickly gained notoriety for offering a unique culinary creation dubbed the Croissada ($3.50) — a creation of executive pastry chef Fenton Lee. The tasty treat combines the classic flaky croissant roll with a malassada, and is then filled with a choice of Polynesian vanilla Bavarian cream, lilikoi coconut or chocolate to complete the sweet selection.

The Café and its friendly, skilled staff are planning an upcoming holiday dinner special that also will benefit local families. On Thanksgiving Day, which falls on Thursday, Nov. 28, Aloha Center Café will feature an aptly named “Turkey on the Run” promotion. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day, customers may simply drive by and pick up a full Thanksgiving dinner to go.

The turkey dinner with all the fixings plus dessert is $125 and includes a 12-to 14-pound bird. Customers also may opt for the 16-pound Bone-in Ham with all the fixings and dessert, homemade pumpkin pie, for $135.

Proceeds from the meal sales support families at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. Faas explains that the restaurant’s staff will serve meals to 50 families there — a welcomed Thanksgiving feast aimed at providing a bright moment during their stressful ordeals.

“It’s a fantastic option for those who don’t have time to cook, yet they’ll still have a great holiday,” Faas says. “In addition to enjoying a great meal, you’re also supporting families that are there by their loved ones’ bedside — now they can enjoy a nice family meal, too.”

Diners also are encouraged to head down to Aloha Center Café tonight as the eatery continues its Oktoberfest celebration. The seasonal event features six varieties of German beer coupled with culinary pairings including bratwurst, sauerkraut, pretzels and more, all prepared on an outdoor grill under a large tent. No cover fee is charged — patrons may simply order a la carte and enjoy the company of fellow revelers.

Aloha Center Café

Pacific Beach Hotel
2490 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu
921-6111
Open Daily, 6 A.M.-9 P.M.
Note: Live entertainment available nightly featuring genres ranging from contemporary Hawaiian to jazz.