The pastries, which mostly come from Just Desserts, include a buttery coffee cake with a generous ribbon of sweet, moist blueberry; a fine apple pie that's crisp, not too sweet, and enclosed in an exemplary crust; and an apple caramel crunch cheesecake that's creamy, dreamy, and light-textured, like a baked apple with plenty of whipped cream. This being a coffeehouse -- and a whimsical Hawaiian coffeehouse at that -- the coffee-drink options are numerous and eclectic. The Hapa-Mocha comes with white chocolate foam, the Honolulu with hazelnuts and caramel foam, the Hawaiian Shamrock with Irish cream and mint, the Banana Mocha with French vanilla and banana chips, the Banana Split Mocha with whipped cream, sliced almonds, and a cookie, and last but far from least, the Pohaku with chocolate chips, nuts, whipped cream, and three marshmallows on top. We settled for the relatively staid Coco-Mac Mocha, a mixture of coconut, macadamia, and whipped cream that tasted not unlike a slice of coconut cream pie, and the "Kaleo"-mel Mocha, a sweet, buttery concoction of coffee, chocolate, and caramel. The house-made soda drinks aren't as successful; they're mostly sweet and watery with no more flavor than a cellophane-wrapped Starburst, although the Maui sunset, jazzed up as it is with passion fruit and kiwi, is undeniably refreshing.
In case you're busy Friday night, Kaleo also hosts Blitz Chess every Wednesday and an irregular schedule of live Hawaiian music to go with the waterfall and the nose flutes and the teriyaki bowls and the Pohakus. The vibe is thoroughly aloha pumehana -- warm and welcoming. What we have here, in other words, is not your typical scone-encrusted coffeehouse, not when karaoke is a weekly inevitability.
753-2460. Open Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. No reservations. Wheelchair accessible. Parking: possible. Muni: 71, N. Noise level: relaxed.