My husband likes to say that any meal goes better with bacon. I vehemently disagree, but that’s merely because I detest bacon. When it comes to matters of food, you may not consider me a reliable critic, because I also do not like the smell of fresh-ground coffee. You might say that I am un-American.
Today, I discovered my bacon. It’s crepes.
Fruit. Eggs. Spinach. Even tomatoes and basil. I have decided crepes make everything better.
The credit for my discovery goes to Rosario and Chris Tarvyd. Last December, the couple opened Crepes No Ka ‘Oi on Hekili Street in Kailua—on O’ahu’s windward coast. (I am here for a business dinner.) Crepes No Ka 'Oi is a modest, little restaurant tucked on a back street with a growing clientele built purely by word of mouth.
I recommend The Godfather as your entrée and Dickens’ Masterpiece for dessert.
You won’t find crepes on many menus in Hawai’i, although you will find crepes in Tahiti, where Chris spent a fair amount of time as a child. Chris and Rosario also frequented a crepe place in the Philippines, where they met. For the young couple (he’s 33; she’s 30), crepes hold a warm spot in their hearts.
They started making crepes in their home—the first time with a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case something went wrong. Their plan was to attend fairs and festivals. You know, the classic mom and pop business "on the side."
At their first festival, Chris and Rosario started serving crepes at 9:00 a.m. Immediately, a line 20 to 30 people deep formed at their station. Shortly after lunch, one customer asked, "How long have you been in business?" Chris turned to Rosario, glanced at his watch and, then, looked back at the customer. "Five hours," he said. The line never diminished, and they stopped serving crepes at 9:00 p.m. That was in 2007.
I watched as a cook whipped up the ingredients of my savory crepe—The Godfather—behind a glass partition. Chopped tomatoes, basil, mozzarella cheese and balsamic vinegar. Simple.
Cool blue walls give the restaurant a cozy feel. A local artist’s waterscapes adorn the walls. Jars of Nutella, a hazelnut/chocolate spread form a pyramid in the kitchen window. This isn’t a one of those fancy-smancy French restaurants; it’s a comfortable, friendly place.
When it came time for dessert, I debated between the Dickens Masterpiece and Temptation in Paradise (baked apples in brown sugar and cinnamon) until Rosario told me about a regular Sunday customer of hers. The woman orders the same dessert crepe every week—the Dickens Masterpiece. When Rosario serves it, the woman takes a bite, sits back—a big grin forming on her face—and dances in her chair. After she polishes off her masterpiece, she then orders her entrée. In that order. Now, that’s my kind of woman. Why didn’t I think of that? The next time I go back to Crepes No Ka ‘Oi, my plan is to eat dessert first.