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Eat Cheesecake, and Swoon!

Columns Ono, You Know

March 29, 2015

Story By: Alana Folen |

Few things tempt me more than a luscious slice of heaven: cheese-cake. Hands down, this sinful dessert always sends surges of goodness to my palate. The crust must be of perfect consistency, texture and taste (crumbly, but still intact), and the interior should be dense and cool, boasting an assertive flavor. Although varieties of cheesecake almost seem limitless, you’ll know exactly what you’re in for as soon as the very first bite hits your tongue.

This week, I was at the mercy of divine cheesecake. I literally had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I winced in pain for a mere half second or so, which only could mean that this sweet fantasy-land was far too real. Before I knew it, I was dining in style at the following OYK establishments, relishing and swooning over morsels of fanciful cheesecake, wanting to live in these moments forever.

Beachhouse at the Moana

First thing on the agenda this particular morning, was to pay a visit to historic Waikiki landmark Moana Surfrider. Although I wish this was the beginning of a staycation, work duties called, and I was presented with an even better treat. Beachhouse at the Moana’s pastry chef Nanako Perez-Nava rejuvenated my spirit with something sweet.

Enter Kona Coffee Cheesecake. Priced at $10, this caffeinated delight oozes with decadence. The base is comprised of an Oreo cookie-crumble crust (Of course, what’s dessert without some sort of chocolate?), which supports the richly dense New York-style cheesecake infused with Kona coffee and espresso. A generous dollop of macadamia nut mascarpone cheese and a piece of caramel brittle adorns the cake, and morsels of coffee agar jelly and macadamia nut powder with tapioca flavoring add notes of pizzazz and aesthetic appeal.

Available during lunch and dinner, Kona Coffee Cheesecake is a superb pick-me-up after experiencing the best in prime steaks.

“The Kona coffee adds a local touch to the classic American-style cheesecake. Both the cake and Kona coffee flavors are strong on their own, but when combined, the taste also is really nice. It’s not too much,” says Perez-Nava, who’s been with Beachhouse for one-and-a-half years. And with Easter approaching, chef will offer Chocolate Pineapple Cheesecake as part of Moana Surfrider’s Easter Sunday Brunch, which begins at 9 a.m. April 5.

So, as sunshine poured through the windows, I sat down to enjoy this pristine oceanfront setting, made even more riveting with an exquisite slice of heaven.

Beachhouse at the Moana
Moana Surfrider
2365 Kalakaua Ave.
921-4600

Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar

My desire for velvety smooth cheesecake led me to Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar, which has sustained appetites since its opening in December 2010. Located in Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki, the restaurant evokes a contemporary, laid-back atmosphere, where a salumeria, full bar and wine cellar are the highlights — but only after the food, of course. On the menu, you’ll find both healthy and hearty breakfast options, as well as a montage of Italian favorites, including the best pizzas and pastas you ever could imagine.

The sweetest ending to any meal comes in the form of Torta di Ricotta ($11).

“Our freshly made cheesecake uses the highest-quality ricotta and a delicious graham cracker crust, served with berry compote in a balsamic reduction for the perfect flavor,” says restaurant manager Maria Prioletti of this calcium-rich dessert.

In contrast to the often heavy consistency of cheesecake, Il Lupino’s Torta di Ricotta is light and sweet, with a subtle tartness — an ideal palate cleanser after a fulfilling meal.

Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar
Royal Hawaiian Center
2233 Kalakaua Ave., Suite 110
922-3400