Kajiki BLT

Kajiki BLT

553 S. King St.
Honolulu, HI
Phone number (808) 447-3913

For a long time now, I’ve put off visiting MISSION Social Hall and Café.

Sad, I know, considering the restaurant has been open for more than a year, but I promise I have good reasons.

Like, it’s impossible to find parking at Hawaiian Mission Houses, where the café is located. Expect to find only a handful of metered street stalls. So, word to the wise, opt for walking. Why it took me so long to figure that one out I’ll never know, but finally last week I strolled over for lunch.

Let me tell you something: People who say that some things are worth the wait know nothing. In this case, all waiting got me was some deep regret at having not visited sooner.

Nioi Chicken Enchiladas

Nioi Chicken Enchiladas

But first, let’s start with ambiance. I’ve never visited Hawaiian Mission Houses, but if I had to take a guess, I’d say that the concept for MISSION fits well. There’s nothing fussy about MISSION. It was comfortable and casual, with generous amounts of seating for groups of any size.

I would caution that there is no AC. So if you do plan on walking over, indulge in some Mamaki Iced Tea — slightly sweet black tea — like I did, or grab a table outside where you might catch a bigger breeze. (Though if you can get past the heat or wait a few minutes to cool down, the dining room is a laidback, spacious room full of eye-catching local art.)

Then there’s the food. I found myself torn between all four sandwich options: Kajiki BLT, Turkey & Cranberry, Egg Salad and Chicken Curry. With some friendly help from the waiter behind the counter, I went with the Kajiki BLT.

My god. There are BLTs and then there is MISSION’s Kajiki BLT, served with a heaping pile of taro chips. Full of smoky undertones from the kajiki (smoked marlin), it goes well with lettuce and tomatoes — and, of course, there’s no ignoring what bacon does to elevate any dish. It was a rather large sandwich, but I came very close to finishing the entire meal in one sitting.

Accompanying me on this trip to MISSION was Metro staff writer Paige Takeya, who ordered the Nioi Chicken Enchiladas and thoroughly enjoyed it — especially guacamole that incorporated cherry tomatoes for some added texture and flavor. It happened to be one of two daily specials available, which MISSION posts on their Facebook and Instagram (@missionbypili).

I realize now that I only mentioned one reason I had waited patiently to stop in at MISSION. Here’s another: MISSION comes from chef Mark Noguchi, a name I’m sure rings at least some bells of familiarity. So MISSION also came with a lot of hype, and we all know how I feel about hype: I don’t trust it. In this case, though, it was completely warranted and deserved.


ART Everywhere, and available for purchase, too FLOWERS Anthuriums in bud vases decorated tables in the dining room PARKING Seriously, just walk WHAT I’LL BE RETURNING FOR Everything


My fiancé spends a lot of time watching TV shows I don’t care about. As a result, I spend a lot of time — too much time — perusing social media.

Shirley Wong aka Little Miss Bento makes a lot of pretty food, like this indulgent cat from Neko Atsume SHIRLEY WONG PHOTO

Shirley Wong aka Little Miss Bento makes a lot of pretty food, like this indulgent cat from Neko Atsume

It’s how I find really random accounts like @littlemissbento on Instagram. Though with roughly 197,000 followers, I guess it’s not that obscure. Trust me on this: Look it up now.

The account features lots of pretty photos of food that its owner has created. Not just any food either. Expect to see rice shaped like a character from game Neko Atsume, Pikachu bread, Zootopia-inspired food and so much more. Videos depict how some items are created, and there’s more at a link in the profile, too.

I can’t imagine biting into a smiling face of Pikachu bread, though. That somehow just seems cruel.