It’s always good to the last bite

Columns Who's Counting?

April 27, 2014

Story By: Jaimie Kim Farinas | Photos by: Anthony Consillio

If you are anything like me, fantasies about what to order for dessert begin circling your mind before an appetizer has even arrived at the table.

Don’t feel guilty. If a meal is like a sundae, then dessert is its proverbial cherry on top.

But take a moment to enjoy the flavors of every course at JJ Bistro & French Pastry, where each bite leading to the finale will prove to be memorable.

One of its most popular entrees, Lobster Pad Thai ($18.95), presents slightly sweet and tangy flavors. Topped with a Maine lobster tail, customers are more than welcome to adjust the level of spiciness as all dishes are made to order.

Of course, the first thing you’ll notice upon entering the restaurant is its full case of desserts. With more than 45 options to choose from, each pastry is handcrafted and showcases chef and owner JJ Luangkhot’s attention to detail and flavors.

“My style is classic and simple,” he says. “The main thing is the taste.”

Once you snap a photo and come to terms with digging into its perfect image, the flavors of each creation burst on your tongue with bright and subtle flavors.

Mango Peach ($4.95), for instance, presents hints of the fruits without being overbearingly sweet. Made with a Bavarian-like cream atop a light and fluffy cake, its status as one of the restaurant’s signature items was solidified when Luangkhot received an award for it a couple of years ago.

The desire to experiment with tropical flavors is one of the reasons he came to Hawaii after working for 12 years in New York.

The taste of fruits found on the Island, he says, is inspiring.

“With tropical fruit, the taste is already there,” he says. “We just need to bring it to the next level.”

His take on classic island desserts can be found in a variety of different pastries, such as the Banana Haupia ($4.95), Guava Bavarian — Lady In Red ($4.95) and others.

Or, try other creations such as the Chocolate Fruit Basket ($5.25) made with a handcrafted chocolate basket that surrounds white cake topped with pastry cream and fresh fruits.

And for something that strongly reflects Luangkhot’s French training and influence, sample the Black Currant Cassie ($4.95). Made with black currant, the dessert’s mousse offers a unique tart and tangy flavor.

For those looking for an affordable, fine-dining complete meal, the restaurant offers prix fixe meals that begin at $17.50 and four-course meals that start at $24.70. Those who indulge in the four-course menu also receive a complimentary mini creme brulee.

And with Mother’s Day quickly approaching, reservations are recommended.

JJ Bistro & French Pastry

3447 Waialae Ave., Honolulu
11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily

Honolulu, HI 96816

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best