A Boozy Brunch Spot

Metro-090916-BarkeepThere’s something about a stiff drink in the morning that really sets a relaxing tone for the rest of the day, don’t you think?

After a seriously exhausting hike (Koko Head Crater Arch Trail and along the ridgeline), my husband and I ventured into town for some grub and refreshments. I had coffee on my mind, but as soon as I stepped into Lee Anne Wong’s Koko Head Cafe, my mind began wandering elsewhere. (It’s located off Waialae Avenue at 1145 12th Ave., and parking can be a little tricky if you’re coming at peak times, but trust me, it’s worth the effort!)

The first cocktail to catch my eye was the Queen’s Mimosa (pictured) — you just can’t beat a classic. The bubbly cava with a bit of guava juice — the cava-to-juice ratio tastes something like 3:1 — and elderflower make this a boozy refreshment with just the right amount of sweetness.

As with the food, the drinks at Koko Head Cafe incorporate local influences and ingredients. There’s the Top of Mauna Kea with Old Lahaina Rum, local honey vanilla and Hawaiian sea salt, as well as the Mary Mary, Koko Head Cafe’s take on a Bloody Mary, with wasabi yuzu and Ho Farms tomatoes.

But I still was craving a caffeine fix, so I went with Coffee Plus.

I wasn’t quite sure what the “Plus” part entailed, so I asked my server more about this mysterious menu item. I learned that Coffee Plus basically means coffee plus any type of alcohol of your choosing, but bourbon and Baileys both came highly recommended. I ended up going with Baileys, and its creamy taste infused into the warm coffee was a perfect kick. There’s a reason it’s recommended! Is it bad that this is now how I want to start every morning?

If you go, I advise getting there early, as every seat filled quickly and a line was forming by 9 a.m. And if you’re looking for more than a liquid breakfast, you can’t go wrong with the Volcano Eggs Skillet or the Frittata of the Day. Cheers!