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Review: Koko Head Cafe

Inside Koko Head Cafe.

Inside Koko Head Cafe.

I love brunch. It’s the best of both worlds because you can roll out of bed after a reasonable amount of sleeping in and still meet up with friends for your pick of either breakfast or lunch foods — because sometimes you just want both in a gooey breakfast egg sandwich mashup, am I right?

So my friends and I met up for brunch this past weekend at a little spot in Kaimuki that just opened up earlier this year: Koko Head Cafe. Luckily one of my friends showed up early to put our names down on the wait list — as it can get pretty busy! If you didn’t know this place existed before, you will when you see the crowd of people under its yellow awning.

The first time I went here, I didn’t even know Chef Lee Anne Wong was behind this charming cafe. But whether its her Food Network celebrity or the Yelp reviews that bring you here, the food will keep you coming back for more.

Cornflake French Toast

Cornflake French Toast

My suggestion is to come here in a group so that you can try as many of her unique dishes as possible. One of the most ordered items here and number one on my list is this beauty: The Cornflake French Toast ($14) — why? Because it’s basically dessert for breakfast, and I have an insatiable sweet tooth (but this just about got it after a few bites).

It’s french toast coated in a thick layer of crunchy cornflakes, topped with frosted flake gelato and “billionaire’s bacon,” served in creamy black pepper maple syrup. You’ll need a nap after this one — only after you crash from the sugar high.

Breakfast Bibimbap

Breakfast Bibimbap ($15)

Ever tried bibimbap? It’s a signature Korean dish that literally means “mixed rice.” Here Wong creates a breakfast version of the dish that includes bacon, Portuguese sausage, heritage ham, kimchi, soy-mirin shiitake mushrooms, ong choy, sesame carrots and bean sprouts over crispy garlic rice. Top that off with an egg sunny side up, and you’ve got Breakfast Bibimbap ($15).

Like I said, sometimes you need a good ol’ breakfast sandwich (see photo below) — and they’ve got you covered for that here too. The Egg Handwich ($9) comes with two scrambled eggs, New York sharp cheddar cheese, bacon, and local greens served on a sweet bun. Get this — that sauce you’re tasting? Well it’s maple tabasco.

I top off an order of Egg Handwich with a side of hash browns because this place has the best hash browns I’ve ever tasted. Do yourself a favor and get a side — no matter what you’ve ordered already.

Egg Handwich

Egg Handwich

Fritatatas served in skillets.

Fritatatas served in skillets.

Two of my friends went for a fritata — one ordered the Fritata of the Day, while another sampled the North Shore garden frittata ($13), which was made up of a bunch of different vegetables and goat cheese. Plus they’re all served in an adorable little skillet — how could you say no to that? Their produce is also all local in support of Hawaii’s farmers.

Besides fritata specials, Koko Head Cafe also has other daily specials that you can read up on their chalk board at the front, or your knowledgeable server will describe them for you once you sit down. You’ll be surprised at how hard it is to pick something from this menu, as there are so many interesting choices — even before you hear the specials!

If you plan on stopping by today, check out their Twitter feed here. Get a look at what’s cooking and maybe you’ll catch a daily special! They’ve even got brunch cocktails if you’re looking to start early… Maybe I’ll try some of those out next time!

Look out for more cool brunch spots in my upcoming series, and don’t forget to check out more Hawaii eats on my Pinterest board!

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