7 Kaimukī Sweet Spots to Satisfy Your Sweet Cravings

When it comes to desserts, Kaimukī is tops.


(page 5 of 5)

6. Sconees Bakery

Sconee’s lemon/liliko‘i bars and blueberry scones.


The name actually doesn’t say it all.


Sconees Bakery was founded 1999 by the former head baker at Liberty House’s popular Henry’s Market. He made killer scones.


But he left a couple of years later, selling his bakery and recipes to a few investors, who added such items as Spam rolls, manapua, coffee cake and banana bread to the menu.


Today, only one of those investors remains. Gary Chong, who still manages to keep his day job as a financial adviser, operates the 600-square-foot bakery on 12th Avenue, even baking his own recipe for lemon and liliko‘i bars.


While freshly baked scones, particularly blueberry, are still the bakery’s top seller—Chong sells between 500 and 700 of them a day, more on the weekends—they’re not the only items that do well. The pies, especially the custard pumpkin, are often sold out.


Sconees still feels like an old neighborhood bakery, where people pop in for a quick pastry and a cup of coffee on their way to work. Chong says he has regular customers who come in every morning for their scone and coffee.


“Restaurants have come and gone,” he says, “but we’re still here.”


1117 12th Ave., 734-4024


7. JJ Bistro & French Pastry

One of JJ Bistro’s chocolate pyramids is flanked by liliko‘i and guava liliko‘i mousses.
Photo: Steve Czerniak


When Praseuth “JJ” Luangkhot first started making pastries on O‘ahu 16 years ago, he was wholesaling them to restaurants from his small shop in ‘Aiea.


It was bad timing—the economic downturn after Sept. 11 hurt his business—and a bad retail location.


He soon moved to Kaimukī, adding sandwiches and pizzas to his menu of French pastries just to survive.


But his food—a fusion of French and Laotian flavors—caught on with customers and soon he was expanding into the adjacent space and doubling his seating area.


Still, the desserts are his mainstay, particular the signature chocolate pyramid, a sinfully decadent dark-chocolate mousse mixed with chocolate cake and shaped like a pyramid, then dusted with cocoa powder. He sells between 60 and 100 of them a day. On Valentine’s Day alone, Luangkhot sold more than 200 pyramids.


“It’s unbelievable,” he says, laughing.


The next top seller is also the most recent addition to his dessert lineup, which hovers around 45 items.


For years, Luangkhot has made a liliko‘i mousse that looked like a cheesecake.


“For 15 years, customers would ask every single day, ‘Is that cheesecake?’” he says. “I keep saying no.”


Then one day he decided to make a cheesecake with a housemade liliko‘i marmalade—and sold 40 on the first day.


“I couldn’t believe it,” he says, shaking his head.


His French-style, Hawai‘i-infused pastries are so popular, he’s opening three bakeries in Japan this year and a new restaurant concept near Ala Moana Center in May. Called Jean-Marc Honolulu—it’s named after the late Jean-Marc Burillier, the pastry chef at Maxim’s de Paris and his mentor—this 120-seat eatery will offer his signature pastries and gourmet coffee in a new building on the corner of Rycroft and Sheridan streets.


“Anybody can do a beautiful cake, but it’s hard to get a very good taste,” he says. “Our thing is the last bite. It has to be good.”


3447 Wai‘alae Ave., 739-0993, jjfrenchpastry.com


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