Food La La: Fresh Cafe opens in Chinatown

Mar. 22, 2014 | 0 Comments


BY LINDSEY MURAOKA / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Fresh Cafe opened its first location on Queen Street in 2009. It’s a cozy and eclectic place where I would regularly hang out, study, and meet with friends.

Fast forward five years later, and owner Tiffany Tanaka has officially expanded into Chinatown. Fresh Cafe Downtown is huge and takes the spot of Indigo at 1121 Nuuanu Ave. The space has been beautifully remodeled and decorated with artwork and stacks of books to promote a creative environment and, of course, to enjoy their freshly made food with locally sourced ingredients.


I attended a preview event on Wednesday to get a peek at some of their new pizzas and desserts. Since the space is so huge, Tanaka plans to open up the cafe in stages. Fresh Cafe Downtown’s pizzas will debut within the next few weeks for lunch as well as late night (until 3 a.m.). Coffee service and a dining room with breakfast, lunch, and dinner offerings will open shortly afterward.

Fresh Cafe also has a full bar with cocktails, such as an apple ginger peach white wine sangria and scrumptious Bloody Mary.


My favorite was the spinach artichoke pizza with marinated artichoke hearts, roasted bell peppers, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, and prosciutto. All the toppings go great together, making it a healthy yet very satisfying pizza.

spinach pizza

The arugula pizza is quite light and refreshing with an herb cheese spread, chia seeds, and coco nibs. This is the green smoothie version of a pizza!

chia pizza

If you’re looking for something heartier, the Hawaiian Pizza with kalua pork, Portuguese sausage, lup cheong, lomi tomato sauce and spinach will satisfy your craving.

hawaiian pizza

On to the desserts! The Chinese rice cake apple mousse is unique with a maple black sesame puree and bacon bits. The alternating textures and sweet and savory flavors are quite nice.

rice cake

This is the pannacotta with jasmine rice, dried orange peel, and a basil white chocolate crumble.


My favorite dessert was the lime jello with mango and haupia topped with an Earl Grey lychee syrup. It is refreshing and has the right amount of sweetness.


For more information on Fresh Café, check out their website or follow them on Twitter.
Lindsey Muraoka blogs about food and drink for the Pulse. Contact her on Twitter or via email at

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