Kissaten Coffee Bar: Revisited

Kissaten Coffee Bar, is quickly becoming one of my favorite late night hang outs in downtown Honolulu. Besides being open 24hours a day (A dream for a coffee addict like myself), they have a pretty extensive menu, and excellent coffee. Tonight brought us a last minute trip to town, and a subsequent visit to Kissaten. Though i was still pretty full from our lunch trip to Ayame’s, i couldn’t pass up this opportunity to order a few things off the menu, and snap some photos.

Naturally, the night started with my usual. A quad Thai latte. A friend also ordered his usual. A Quad caramella.

(click images for full screen versions)

I have yet to get a bad cup of coffee from this place. Right down to straight shots of espresso, they are always clean. A perfectly pulled shot is the key to a properly executed drink, and they seem to have it locked down. (see what i did there?)

Coffee in hand, it was time to move on to the food portion of the evening.

We decided to get a couple of the favorites. The Pho (a Vietnamese noodle soup), The Kissaten Melt (essentially a house version of a reuben), and the Grilled Cheese with Tomato Bisque.

The Phở was much better this time around than my previous experiences. Luckily, I’ve always been a “I’ll try anything twice” sort of guy, or i would have passed this up all together.

It comes with all the classic Phở accoutrements. Bean sprouts, onion, Thai basil, cilantro, and hot peppers. As well as the sauces. Two hot pepper sauces, and what i believe was a Hoisin or Fish sauce. The soup was hot, and the beef served rare, though it does finish cooking in the hot broth.

While i was disappointed the last time i tried the Phở here, i was surprised this time around. Guess i may have to go for a third opinion.

One of their most popular dishes is the Grilled Cheese, served with their Tomato Bisque.

Sounds pretty basic, right? A grilled cheese sandwich and some tomato soup. But at Kissaten, they take it a step further. Rather than a boring canned tomato soup, they whip up a delicious in house bisque. A creamy soup made with tomato, garlic and onion. then they garnish it with the Kissaten logo. The presentation alone is worth ordering a bowl of soup. And when you get it in your mouth, you wont be disappointed.

The grilled cheese is kicked up a notch with the addition of bacon and apples.


Yes. you heard right. Apples.

Now, this addition may not be for everyone. But if you’re into trying something a bit different, its definitely worth a try. The apple adds a slight sweetness to the sandwich, along with a nice crunchy texture that you generally don’t get from a grilled cheese sandwich. And when paired with the creamy soup, its a very well rounded dish.

Another house special on the late night menu, is the Kissaten Melt. I usually describe it to people as a variation of a Reuben. Though, it is a little different.

Its a Pastrami sandwich on an olive loaf, with a mustard aioli, and caramelized onions. Smothered in melted mozzarella cheese. A warm, melty pastrami sandwich is always a winner in my eyes (or mouth rather), and this variation is exceptionally good.

Another wonderful night at this great late night coffee bar and cafe.

…until we meat again.

(see what i did there?)


© Chuco Townsend. Darq Labs Photography 2011

Wedding, Event, Food Photography. Honolulu, Hawaii.


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