This is It Too (Downtown)
1001 Bishop St. #102 (Bishop St Plaza)
Owner Steve Gelson and his wife, Mona, have been making bagels in Hawai‘i for 25 years. My family used to go almost every week to Hawaiian Bagel Company in Kaka’ako every weekend when we were little and pick up a big brown bag (a baker’s dozen) of bagels. It was always a huge debate picking out which 13 to order, because they sold so many interesting flavors. I started out loving cinnamon raisin, graduated onto cranberry or blueberry bagels, and finally discovered their salt bagels. Heaven.
When they opened a store in Manoa Marketplace, I’d go there for blueberry scones and coffee. As the first scone I was introduced to, I still judge all other scones by their ultimate standard: not too sweet, lots off fruit, not too fluffy (a scone should not resemble a muffin), and firm enough that it begs to be sliced, not broken off in pieces, to avoid crumbling.
Both stores closed several years ago, and since I was not an obsessive foodie at the time, I never bothered to find out why (googling them today, I found out Steve & Mona’s fascinating battle with Zippy’s). Anyway, to cut to the chase, Hawaiian Bagel Factory has been reincarnated as This is It, and This is It Too downtown, just blocks from my office!! I walked in and was hit with the same fresh bagel smell as in the old days, just in slightly posher digs downtown.
I ordered a blueberry scone (I’d been waiting years to have one of these again). It was so good I almost went back that day for another one (they also have cinnamon raisin or cranberry scones).
Jennie had an everything bagel with lox cream cheese: also to die for. They also serve bagel sandwiches and salads.