Kissaten: Catering to Quality Cravings

Columns Order of the Day

June 23, 2012

Story By: Dining Out Team |

Filled with bright colors, paintings by local artists and located across the street from Ala Moana Center, Kissaten Coffee Bar provides the perfect solution for those seeking an eatery open at all hours with quality food. Kissaten — owned by cousins Jon Ishimi, Neysa Taba and Sean Ishizaki — opened in November 2010 and has catered to a variety of customers, thanks to its availability.

“We wanted a place to go to that’s 24 hours,” says Jon Ishimi, of the reason why the trio decided to open Kissaten. “We decided to open a coffee cafe that serves good, hot, quality meals 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Kissaten’s around-the-clock service has indeed made it a popular spot for customers of all ages. Although kissaten translates to an upscale “coffee shop” in Japanese, the eatery provides much more than just coffee for its clientele. Taba points out that Kissaten has different menus for breakfast (6-11 a.m.), lunch/dinner (11 a.m.-9 p.m.) and late-night specials (9 p.m.-6 a.m.).

Upon the eatery’s opening, Kissaten Melt ($9) — composed of shaved pastrami, mozzarella, caramelized onions and whole grain mustard aioli on sourdough bread — was its signature dish. However, Ishimi notes that Turkey Pesto Melt ($8) — a medley of sliced turkey breast, bacon, mozzarella and pesto aioli on foccacia bread — is now the most popular among customers. Other customer favorites include Smoked Salmon Salad ($8) — smoked salmon, baby spinach, citrus and tarragon vinaigrette — and Clam Chowder ($6; additional $2 for soup in a toasted bread bowl).

In addition to its regular menu items, Kissaten has a variety of specials that change daily. If the specials do well and are popular among customers, they eventually become items on the regular menu, according to Taba. Examples of specials include Roasted Beet and Chicken Salad ($9) — a mixture of beet chunks, baby spring greens, tomatoes, roasted chicken breast, toasted mac nuts and creamy bleu cheese dressing — Gnocchi ($9), with a combination of asparagus, mushrooms, bacon, browned butter, garlic and a poached egg, and Linguini Bolognese ($9).

“Now that we came up with so many specials, we don’t sell as many of the Kissaten Melt as we used to when we first opened,” Ishimi says. “We’re going to come up with breakfast specials, too.”

For the hot and humid summer months ahead, Taba emphasizes the eatery’s unique and fresh salads, as well as Kissaten’s variety of drinks. Especially popular drinks include Green Apple Creme Soda ($2.75 small, $3.50 medium, $4 large) and Dark Chocolate Strawberry Latte ($3.75 small, $4.25 medium, $4.75 large).

The items on Kissaten’s menu are available for dine-in or takeout. Catering services also are provided for customers.

“We can do catering for parties or special events,” Taba states. “We cater for any size party; our customers can choose items from the menu and customize their order. We can shut down for large special events as well.”

She emphasizes that Kissaten also takes reservations for larger parties on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“We’re really family-oriented,” Taba says. “We’re able to take reservations for parties and we can accommodate groups up to 15 people.”

Besides the ever-changing daily specials, other modifications are on the horizon for Kissaten.

“We’re looking to expand our menu options — giving more options, as far as the combos and soup additions go,” Taba says.

Kissaten Coffee Bar

  • Where
    • 88 Piikoi Street
    • Honolulu, HI 96814
  • Call
    • (808) 593-1200
  • Hours
    • Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week

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