Is there anything more delightfully kitschy than a pineapple upside-down cake? This fruity confection is pretty simple to make, requiring just a curved-bottom nonstick pan that’ll easily flip over for the piece de resistance. Pineapple upside-down cake is made, amusingly, right-side up in the pan: the bottom of the baking pan is lined with pineapples and other fruits, then filled in with cake batter. When it’s thoroughly cooked, it’s taken out of the pan upside-down, so the pineapples end up on top in a nice, decorative motif. Although the cake is easy to bake in theory, getting the cake to come out of the pan upside-down, and perfectly at that, can be a trial. I’ve never been a huge fan of pineapple upside-down cake mostly because I’m not big on pineapples 😛 The only ones I like are the ones you find in a shot glass, where you taste more of the vanilla vodka and maraschino cherry than the pineapple juice.

But, if someone took me to Lani Kai on Broome Street and ordered me a slice of pineapple upside-down cake…I may reconsider. Lani Kai is a Hawaiian themed restaurant and lounge in the South Village, given the full decorative atmosphere of a Hawaiian luau with some really amazing Pacific Island cuisine to go along with it. And what says Hawaiian Islands better than pineapple? It marks the perfect island end to a meal consisting of whole fried snappers and barbecue pork dumplings. Lani Kai’s cake is served with fresh whipped cream, which really complements the sweet cake and the slightly tart pineapples. Spend a whole evening “pigging” out at this restaurant, where their appetizers and entrees are hearty and their drinks list is deliciously long. I bet you can even get both kinds of pineapple upside-down cake here in one night 😉 Though if you’re set on the dessert, the drink might fall short of your expectations, so indulge in something more ambient-appropriate, like a Mai-Tai or the South Maui sangria.

Lani Kai
525 Broome St (between Thompson St & Sullivan St)

Some reviews from

“One of my pals was in from Boston last week so we met up at Lani Kai as I had bookmarked the place on my YELP page. It was a dreary Thursday night, but the staff, service eats and drinks were fab! I had pork over cheddar grits, pineapple upside down cake and two fruity ounches that I can’t recall the name of now!”–Lynda M.

“Dessert offered the choice of a Double Crust Haupia Tart or Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Both came with a sweet whipped cream. The pineapple upside down cake was my favorite. The combination of the warm cake, sweet pineapple, and cool cream … there was no better way to end that amazing meal.”–JoAnna D.


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