Tiny Pyramid: “Where Desserts Come First” in Honolulu
So imagine you are in a place that serves up Southeast Asian cuisine, Laotian specifically, and combines that with a fancy french inspired bistro and pastry bar. There is quite a bit going on, but it works. To make it all better and cohesive, it’s in Hawaii. I’m talking about the Tiny Pyramid Bistro + Pastry Bar in Honolulu.
We went to check it out for my mother’s birthday dinner. Found in a strip mall, the former gentry pacific building on Nimitz highway. There is plenty of parking outside, so you needn’t worry.
Bring Wine and Dine in Style in Honolulu
Bring your own wine if you desire, as there is no alcohol on the menu. Instead, you can find coffees, teas, soft drinks, and juices. There is a grab-and-go section with easy takeaway treats (sweet and savory) for those that might be in a hurry. Don’t forget to take in the stunning 16-foot dessert display when inside. It is pretty impressive!
Service at the Tiny Pyramid was friendly, attentive, and genuine. This made the restaurant feel cozy and local, and it was easy to be comfortable and relaxed even though dining was outside in an atrium-like covered setting.
The Menu Layout
You can choose what you want to eat from the menu either a la carte or combine them for a fixed course (starter, appetizer, entree, dessert) meal. Four-course menu options include soup or salad, so choose accordingly since many appetizers come with a side salad. The soup is a cream of corn with or without blue crab meat.
There is a shared appetizer/tapa sort of menu. It includes items like baked lobster bread, a Lao roll, soft shell crab, duck pate, escargot, etc.
Pizzas have a small display area, and another section features different noodle/pasta preparations.
Main courses are split into two sections Main Chick Entrees and Feelin Extra Chef’s Special Entrees. Offerings include choices such as broiled lobster or lobster pad Thai, classic hen or braised duck, lamb Wellington, and other inviting dishes. In addition, check out the ‘Puff Daddy” section with varied and exciting pot pies that you’ll see mentioned in many reviews.
When going over the menu at home, I was game to try any appetizers except Salmon Rangoon. Sorry, salmon just doesn’t do it for me unless it’s Lomi Lomi Salmon. So I thought about only eating different appetizers for a minute or two. Then, going over the prices, I decided a fixed course meal would work best for me and an additional appetizer (manila clams) if still hungry.
Dining Experience at Tiny Pyramid
To start, I had corn soup with the added blue crab meat. I found it to be gentle and flavorful. The crab bits came into play as I dug further into the bowl and created an exciting blend. This soup wasn’t overwhelming or heavy and was a pleasant beginning to this meal.
Next, I went after the soft shell crab appetizer. Dusted lightly in panko and cooked to perfection, displayed like art on my plate next to a small side salad. It looked wonderful. Soft and delicate, it was very light and easy to eat. I was taken with this dish more than the last time I had tried one elsewhere. I could see myself ordering this soft-shelled crab again on future visits. The salad was composed of lovely mixed greens, cucumber, tomato, carrot, and a tasty ginger sesame dressing that played well together.
Main Course: Decisions Decisions
For my main course, I chose Lamb Wellington. It jumped out at me from the first viewing of the menu. Interesting concept that I couldn’t turn down. A lamb chop wrapped in puff pastry atop mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables. Stunning to look at, I was eagerly waiting to dig in.
The mashed potatoes were seasoned well, and we’re great. The vegetables were tender and fit in well. The puff pastry was flaky and paired with the other items on the plate. The lamb chops had a good flavor, and I ate all of them without hesitation. Some bites were slightly chewy as the lamb was cooked slightly over. If it were medium rare, it would have been stupendous. But, all in all, I was still happy with the Lamb Wellington and my meal so far.
I was not going to need the extra appetizer as I was well on my way to filling up with the four-course meal.
Tiny Pyramid: Where Desserts Come First
You can choose a dessert from the display case to complete the prix fixe offering. I took my time and several pictures as I was debating. Finally, I went with lychee and lime-flavored flourless cake. It was refreshing and easy on the palate; it was a nice compliment to finish my meal.
Their namesake and famous tiny pyramid chocolate mousse will be what I have next. I got to try a bite from my nephew’s plate, which was terrific.
Location and Area Information
Hidden in a nondescript building across from two famous powerhouses (Liliha Bakery and Zippy’s), Tiny Pyramid is well worth visiting to dine in or grab something to go. It is definitely off the main track and a place right up my alley. You’ll discover exciting fusion-filled meals and a French-inspired pastry bar with flair. This restaurant isn’t as well-known as others around town yet, but word will get around.
This hard-working family had a previous venture with a different name (JJ Bistro and French Pastry), and their following now knows where they can be found. Tiny Pyramid is led by the former owner, JJ’s daughter, with this reincarnation. Waialae’s loss after nearly 20 years is Kalihi’s gain.
You can find Tiny Pyramid at 560 N Nimitz Hwy inside the Na Lama Kukui Lifestyle and Design Center.
Their hours are 11- 9 pm except for Sundays when they close at 6. (The business is closed on Tuesdays)
For dining in, lunch or dinner reservations are recommended.
There are other great meals in this part of Oahu; some are better known than others. Look at Liliha Bakery, Alicia’s Market, Ethel’s Grill, Zippy’s, and Palace Saimin. Kalihi might seem rough around the edges, but you will find outstanding food once you settle in.
At Tiny Pyramid Bistro + Pastry Bar, you won’t feel like you are in a sweltering desert, but what you will find is an incredible oasis of flavors.
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