Cafe Kaila.

Cute, no? What can I say, I am a complete and total sucker for all places quaint and cozy. I mean, I’m infatuated with places that are chic and modern, but as I’ve once mentioned before – home is where the heart is. For me, anywhere that has a home-like feel to it seriously wins me over…especially when it includes home-cooked food.

This place is not what I expected whatsoever. I remember when it first opened, I took one glance at its overly floral and colorful sign and immediately wrote it off as some fruity cafe-wannabe with more than likely abysmal food. This unbelievably inaccurate judgment of mine delayed me from having my first wonderful experience there. Forgive me.

How do I begin to redeem myself of this sinful initial assumption?

Let me start by explaining the reasons for my conversion. First of all, I walked in and, just as the first picture portrays, was taken by the charm of the simplistic interior design. Egg-shell yellow paint, my favorite. It’s just so peaceful and soothing and best of all, it really gets me in the mood to enjoy my food without the interruptions of my typically preoccupied mind. Loud sign aside, this cafe is rather inconspicuous, squeezed between a perhaps more enticing pet store and other more recognizable restaurants. However, it’s the perfect temporary escape. I know you’re probably thinking I’m crazy, talking about escaping when I live in Hawaii, also more commonly known as “paradise.” But, I’m a city girl and while living on this laid-back island has been a nice change, I’m only enjoying it until my next big change. Anyway, as I was saying, this place is a refuge for my mind and my stomach.

Second of all, despite the busy mornings and early afternoons, the few servers working seem so friendly and approachable. It’s like the restaurant sign personified, but much less tacky. Again, no offense. They definitely have the aloha that is always appreciated by both those familiar and unfamiliar with the food and beverage industry.

Last, but never ever ever least, the food. The food was distinct and incorporated the perfect amount of attention to detail. I have an immense appreciation for aesthetics especially when it comes in the form of food and its presentation, but I’m a very simple kind of girl and when food is too pretty, I don’t want to eat it. That is why I say that Cafe Kaila pays the perfect amount of attention to detail. The combination of flavors within their dishes are combined perfectly and presented in a way that is very appropriate and coordinating with its atmosphere.

See what I mean? It’s gorgeous. It’s a symphony of colors and flavors all within a simple salad. Yet, it’s not so meticulously arranged so that  all I want to do is to stare blankly at it with eyes wide-open and mouth slightly salivating. Times like those, I find myself flustered and lost for words due to a conflict of substantial interests: the feminine desire to preserve all that is ‘pretty’ and ‘cute’ versus the inherent need to consume all that looks delicious and edible. Thank God that here, at Cafe Kaila, an unexpected oasis within an island, I don’t have to worry about feeling the pressures of such stressful and life-altering decisions. They even make eating healthy easy since they opt for organic whenever possible!

Only thing I ever have to worry about there is not making it in time after classes before they close. Although their hours are tentatively early, a server told me that the owner is in the process of increasing their hours and extending to dinner. Let’s all put our hands together and pray that happens as soon as possible!

Cafe Kaila

Market City Shopping Center
2919 Kapiolani Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96826
Tentative Hours:
7 am – 3 am daily.


  1. Cafe Kaila

    Thank you very much for writing such a nice review of our restaurant. We are glad that you not only enjoyed your food but the whole eating experience. Please come back any time (and bring your friends :-))

    I also just wanted you to know that our new store hours are 7am to 3pm everyday.

    Thanks again and we look forward to seeing you!


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