Panya, means "bread shop" in Japanese, and Panya is definitely the place I go for Japanese bread and pastries.
The Japanese may not have a reputation like that of the French for bread, but they're steadily climbing up there. There's something about Japanese bread that almost lighter than their western counterparts. But also, the combination of bread and savory meats and Asian-inspired flavorings in their pastries make Panya unique. I don't know of any other bakery or patisserie in Hawaii offering Japanese pastries. And when I mean Japanese pastries, I mean the kind that you find around Tokyo, especially those near the JR Stations (the salarymen know what's up).
My favorite, by far, has to be the Hokkaido bread and buns. They're really two sizes of the same bread. Sweet and somewhat sticky on the outside, baked to an almost hard glazey texture, and soft and sweet on the inside. I haven't been able to find Panya's signature bread anywhere else on the mainland or even Japan.
Panya's cakes are also great. Decorative and fancy, they're almost show pieces, and I love ordering these cakes (mango and sometimes coconut) for family birthdays. The good news? They taste good too.
I'd review Panya's bistro and bar, but that's another location (in Ala Moana Shopping Center) and another review. There used to be three Panya locations years ago, two smaller locations at Ward Warehouse and this one at Queen Street, and a larger one with dining near Ward Center. But the Ward Warehouse location seems to have closed up and the one with dining has since moved to the Ala Moana center. The Queen Street location is still handy if you're near downtown and want to make a quick run for lunch. But definitely also check out the Ala Moana location and dine off the menu (their house-special Laksa Noodles and Clam Chowder remain my favorites).