Dinner at Cafe Lani Hawaii

The other night my husband and I decided to try out the fairly new Cafe Lani at the Ala Moana shopping center. We've heard mixed reviews on it and it only received 3 stars on Yelp so we were a bit skeptical. To our surprise it was great and can't wait to go back again to try new dishes. For now, here's my thoughts on our experience:

Restaurant itself:
Came here on a Friday night around 7:00 and the wait was 30-40 min. Very limited seating in the waiting area hence that's why you see people standing outside the restaurant almost all the time. Inside the feel is very chic and a cute spot featuring patterned wallpaper and bright white leafless tree structures. Because the restaurant is also a bakery the smell is great! Super cute feel to it.

Our server was friendly and was very helpful with her suggestions. However, during the meal it was difficult to find her and when we did, she wasn't very available to us.

My husband got the Fedelini Porcini Cream Sauce set which included: Porcini cream pasta, green salad, clam chowder (or french onion soup), and a small Lani pizza. The porcini cream pasta was by far my most favorite dish. It wasn't too much cream for those who are lactose intollerant and the flavors blended together nicely. The green salad was your typical salad with an Asian style vinaigrette dressing. We opted for clam chowder which was just average and the pizza was nothing out of the ordinary. For $25.00 I feel the price was well worth it.

I opted for the Porcini Gratin with Italian sausage and roasted potato set which included: Porcini mushroom, potato, Italian sausage, roasted tomato, mini salad, mini strawberry parfait (chocolate is also an option), and all you can eat bread. This is featured in their Fall Seasonal menu. The main dish had penne pasta and was baked. The cream sauce was on the thicker side so if you're lactose intollerant you may want to approach this dish with caution. The salad was the same as my husband's, and the mini strawberry parfait was a nice topper. Now remember how my set came with all you can eat bread? Well, before we got our meal our server initially came out in the beginning with three different types of bread (see picture), but as the meal went on no one offered us any more bread. The table next to us kept getting asked if they wanted bread but for some reason everyone kept skipping over us. I had to flag down the bread servers a few times to try the different types they were offering. However, the bread was nice and warm and they were all very tasty. For $22.50 I feel my set was worth the price.

Mama Bear Input:
Bright lighting so it may be a little difficult for your little one to get some zzz's. It's a little noisey but what restaurant isn't. Stoller parking is up front next to the hostess stand. Kids menu available!

My overall impression of this place exceeded my expectation. Don't you just love when that happens? I would rate this place a 4 out of 5. The wait time wasn't too bad considering it was prime dinner time on a Friday night and the food was up to par. However, the service could have been a little better. For a complete list of their menu and oferrings, visit their website at http://www.cafelanihawaii.com/#

Cute wall decor

Fedelini Porcini Cream Set

Porcini Gratin main dish

First round of free bread with dipping sauces in the background

Mini strawberry parfait

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