lets toast

Cheers to the new Let's Toast Cafe

Fancy toast spot opens in Kailua
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Fancy toast really is a trendy thing, isn't it? Last week I told you about the new Ha'awi Toast & Tea at the Kakaako Market; this week, I'm crunching on more instagrammable toast in Kailua.


Let's Toast Cafe is a new spot in the strip mall on Hoolai Street. At this writing, the signage is still being installed, so I don't have an attractive facade to post, but it's easy to find. It's run by the Hyunh family (you'll usually see Ann there), who owned Ngon Vietnamese Restaurant in Kakaako. After they closed, instead of opening another Vietnamese restaurant, they decided to create a cafe with a variety of fancy toast. Ann had always loved the trendy food, especially at (now closed) Arvo. Fortunately, you can still taste the Vietnamese flavors that Ngon was known for in this new restaurant.

Vietnamese coffee and lemonade
Vietnamese coffee, left, and Vietnamese lemonade ($4.50 each).

At the very least, start with their Vietnamese coffee or lemonade — theirs is very good. I am especially in love with the lemonade, which features shredded lemon peel and fresh mint for a little more intensity. It's not salty or sour, but it's not too sweet, either; it's just got a very concentrated lemon flavor.

banh mi and avocado toast
Banh mi toast, $9.50, and avocado toast, $9.

Two of the more popular toasts so far are — no surprise — their banh mi and avocado. Everyone loves avocado toast, of course, and this one is layered with homemade pesto, greens, bacon bits and a poached egg. This is what breakfast food is all about! It's rich, savory, crunchy and salty ... very craveable. But I honestly liked the banh mi even better, since it expressed Hyunh's expertise with Vietnamese food. It has all the elements of the familiar sandwich, but on toast. She said it's a favorite with the nail salon nearby.

smore toast
S'more toast, $8.

If you're more into sweets, Let's Toast has some dessert toasts, including a sampler plate. We were surprisingly too full to get much more than the s'more toast, which has all the elements of your favorite campfire treat: chocolate, marshmallows, graham crackers, and more chocolate. 

açaí bowl chia pudding
Acai bowl, $10, and chia seed pudding, $8.

If you're not into toast, they have a couple of other options. The acai bowl is loaded with fruits and granola, and the chia pudding also has a generous topping of fruits. These seemed even more filling than the toasts, so if you're hungry after a hike on the Windward side, these might be good post-workout choices.

bubble waffle
Bubble waffle, $4. We added on ice cream ($1), azuki (50 cents), and condensed milk (50 cents).

Dessert fiends will love the bubble waffle with a variety of toppings. Warning, this is a meal in itself, at least for us! If you've never had a bubble waffle before, these are lightly crispy on the outside, and moist on the inside. 

Let's Toast Cafe is a nice, contemporary addition to Kailua's list of food options, which has been growing in recent years. And it's going to be popular with people who are #EatingForTheInsta, that's for sure! I don't know if the Hyunh family has plans to expand the menu, but I hope they run some specials to remind us of their offerings at Ngon.

Let's Toast Cafe is currently open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, and starting April 1 will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Let's Toast Cafe
26 Hoolai St.