A Hidden Gem On The North Shore

Over the years Haleiwa has gone from something oriented towards locals to a fully blown tourist destination. Acai bowls, shrimp trucks, and shave ice on every corner is slowly turning it into a predictable place that lacks new and exciting things. But if you drive a few minutes down the road and find yourself in the same parking lot as Paala Kai Bakery, you just might stumble across something truly unique.

Up Country Creations and Mimosa Bakeshoppe, the brainchildren of Elise MacLean, call this little space home. Up Country Creations serves as Elise's wedding cake and dessert catering venture while Mimosa Bakeshoppe is the fun and creative outlet that lets her experiment and make things she's been dying to try. While her wedding cake creations are truly elegant and beautiful, I need a fiancée, or at least a girlfriend before I'll tell Elise let's taste some cakes. So Elise brought out the day's creations for Mimosa and I got to try them all.

Today I was treated to a Tomato Asparagus Crostada, Bacon White Chocolate Macadamia Cookie, Campfire Brownie, Chocolate Mousse, Lemon Meringue Pie, Chocolate Eclair Lemon and Olive Oil Trifle, and Hummingbird cupcake. While I think I need a few units of insulin to offset the sugary goodness, it was all worth it.

The chocolate eclair was to die for, but the biggest surprise for me was the Tomato Asparagus Crostada. Anyone who know me knows that I absolutely hate asparagus. Sautée it, wrap it in bacon, doesn't matter. I just cant take it. But this Crostada was something else. It's the first aspagus dish I've had in my entire 27 years on this planet and didn't spit out. If you've ever been to a Japanese style bakery like Brugg or Panya, this Crostada reminded me of that. But the French influence was evident in the buttery flakiness of the pastry itself.

Aside from the life changing asparagus, the desserts are creative and a refreshing change from the norm. The campfire brownie was like a S'more brownie with it's toasted marshmallow on top, while the Lemon and Olive Oil Trifle was something completely new to me. Lemon curd, olive oil cake, and marscapone frosting made for a elegant twist on the layered dessert.

While I enjoyed all of these and recommend all of them, I can't guarantee you'll see any of these treats that I'm sharing right now, and that's why this shop reminds me a lot of Aloha Mondays in Hilo on the Big Island. The menu changes almost daily and it's a place that no matter how many times you go, there will always be new something to try. I hope Elise is reading this and one up's Starbucks and makes a Leprechaun cupcake because that totally trumps a Unicorn Frappe. So if you want consistent and predictable, Paala Kai Bakery is right next door. But if you're up for something new and exciting, somewhere that tries new things on a daily basis and will open your taste buds to something you've never had before time and time again, walk across that parking lot from normalcy and head on upstairs to Mimosa Bakeshoppe.

While you're there, take notice of the sign that serves as a constant reminder to her that in just a few months she'll be getting married to Jay and tell her congratulations. But according to the sign, Jay doesn't love her. Jay pineapples her. That type of affection runs deep and wide.