Having owned several restaurants and nightclubs on the East Coast, owner Jeffrey Samuels wanted Salt & Pepper Cafe to be a comfortable spot serving good food to his customers. The cafe’s contemporary look and vibe is all Samuels.
“I designed the layout myself,” he says. “I was looking for a place where everyone could enjoy a good meal. Like the meaning of O‘ahu—‘The Gathering Place’—I have friends who are vegans, who feel uncomfortable going out for a meal because they can’t find anything on the menu to eat. I wanted the cafe to be more upscale to attract a business lunch group.”
Samuels shares a few of his favorite menu items. “I enjoy the Impossible Burger because of the full flavor it offers,” says Samuels. “I also like the BBQ Sandwich and Vegan Loco Moco for the same reasons. We are one of a few restaurants that offer blue soft shell crab. I used to enjoy them when I lived on the East Coast.”
For the perfect dining experience, Samuels suggests including the Ube Stuffed French Toast, Vegan Loco Moco, Brussel Sprouts, Mama’s Meatloaf and any of the omelet dishes.
“I want the food to have that ‘Instagrammable’ look,” says Samuels, “but I also want to make sure I’ve exceeded our customers’ expectations, and can’t wait (for them) to recommend, and come back for more, again and again.”
[A version of this article appears in print in the pages of This Week O‘ahu]