New brunch restaurant: Sweet E’s Cafe

Standard breakfast and lunch fare in a charming Kilohana Square spot.


The former New York Times dining critic, Sam Sifton, once responded to a New Yorker seeking “brunchy creativity,” tired of “the same five things in the same five ways” with this:


“For you was the restaurant Permanent Brunch founded. (People always say they want something different for brunch.) For lack of you was it closed soon after. (Really they only want the same five things in the same five ways.) Brunchy creativity is just a desperate lie, and bad business to boot.”


Bored! With brunch! In New York!


So then, I won’t fault Sweet E’s for its unadventurous menu: waffles, pancakes, french toast, omelettes, eggs benedict. It’s just good business. And it’s good food, if unexciting. The spinach and feta omelette ($10.50) encases a generous amount of cheese and fresh veggies and is accompanied by an excellent crispy, thin hash brown (it was a friend’s praise of this hash brown that initially lured me to Sweet E’s). The cinnamon-flecked pancakes ($6.49) are tender, the edges crisped on the griddle. The stuffed french toast ($8.95) with blueberries and cream cheese arrives, three slices almost two inches thick. It crosses the line from breakfast to dessert, but then, if you're ordering this, you probably already knew that.


Breakfast is served all day; lunch begins at 11 a.m. From the lunch menu of flatbread, salads and sandwiches, we ordered a pesto club ($10.95): thick slices of deli turkey, bacon, avocado, greens, tomato and provolone, smeared with pesto aioli.


Sweet E’s airy, blue and white space charms with striped banquettes and family photos on the walls; it has successfully transformed India Cafe’s former dark digs into a pleasant brunch spot.


1016 Kapahulu Ave. #185, 737-7771.