Every time I go to Colleen’s I’m reminded of the intriguing eclecticism of Haiku and its inhabitants. No other place, dining-wise, really captures that uniquely eccentric, earthy, hip and youthful upcountry vibe like Colleen’s at the Cannery. Thankfully, that vibrancy translates very well to a creative menu of fresh, contemporary cuisine.
I sometimes find myself at Colleen’s when the restaurant is quiet and I can appreciate the stylish surroundings. The dining room appears expansive, an illusion enhanced by a very high ceiling, numerous windows, and plain white walls with beautiful art deco sconces and huge rectangular mirrors framed in wood and ornate metal trim.
Several ceiling fans and glass lamps hang low from beams that have been painted black, complementing the mahogany wood tables and chairs, black vinyl booths and leafy green plants throughout the room. The kitchen can be seen just beyond the counter.
But recently I went in for a late breakfast one morning, right before a rush of people filled the dining room. Half of them ordered without menus—clearly, they were regulars. And coincidentally, they were a rather good-looking bunch.
Two separate sets of very lovely girls with conscientiously disheveled hair grabbed booths as a young, urban professional couple perused a guidebook. A lean, muscular man with a Mohawk and very short shorts headed to the kitchen as a local surfer ordered at the counter, then high-fived a friend at a table with two hot blondes. A pretty soccer-mom looking woman turned to reveal a colorful full back tattoo, while an attractive group of high school kids approached the counter, discussing summer plans.
A fresh-faced, tattooed and tribal ear-plugged couple followed closely behind, along with a handsome 30-something man in jeans, a long-sleeve button-up shirt and a baseball cap, while two construction workers ordered beers and chatted casually across from a table of six rosy-cheeked and dreadlocked hipsters.
The servers, attentive, efficient and friendly, constantly glided through the bustling dining room. I ordered an omelet with portabella mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, carmelized onions and goat cheese. It came with larger than bite-sized dark golden wedges of roasted potato and slices of freshly baked whole wheat bread. Delectable!
There’s other stuff for breakfast, of course. Like the Mahi Mahi Benedict, smoked salmon omelet, breakfast burrito, French Toast, and an organic tofu vegetable wrap. There’s even something called a Hangover Cure, which is a skillet of sauteed black forest ham, eggs, onions, mild green chiles, jack and cheddar cheese and roasted potatoes with a side of salsa, sour cream and wheat toast.
They also have a full display case of pastries, like white chocolate raspberry scones and fluffy croissants.
The lunch options are equally tempting. There’s a tasty array of gourmet sandwiches like turkey pesto and the Reuben, with their own slow-cooked corned beef, melted Swiss, sauerkraut on toasted rye bread, as well as wraps, like the grilled ono and avocado with mango red chili dressing and the roasted veggie wrap with oven-roasted eggplant and feta.
There are also hearty salads—my favorite is the roasted beet with goat cheese, honey roasted walnuts and grape tomatoes. And burgers including bacon and blue cheese with Maui Cattle Co. hormone free beef with fries and a pint of beer for a mere $10.95. Or you can add bacon and blue cheese, sub beef for ahi, mahi mahi or ono.
Dinner features many of the same salads, pizza and burgers as lunch, but also include some pastas like vodka penne, shrimp linguini, or ravioli with sauteed portabella mushrooms, tomatoes and roasted red pepper coulis. And there are also prime steaks, fresh seafood like the pan-seared ahi with ginger scented rice and bok choy stirfry, and a Red Ale and mango glazed ribs with sour cream and herb mashed potatoes.
Prices are reasonable at any time of day, regardless of how attractive the clientele. MTW