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  • Favorite Okazuya

    We've discussed Okazuya in bits and pieces here and there.

    Well, here's the thread to cover them all. If you don't know what an Okazuya is, see that link.

    Are you loyal to just one place? Mitsuken? Matsumoto's? Nuuanu Deli? St. Louis Deli? Gulick? Masa and Joyce? Just to name a few!

    Wouldn't it be great if you could have da' best Chow Fun, Nishime, Konbu Maki, Corned Beef Hash, Mochiko Chicken, Gobo Kimpira, etc. from each Okazuya that specializes in a particular item, all put on one plate? I'd love that!

    Okazuya is local style comfort food at its best. Love it!
    sigpic The Tasty Island

  • #2
    Re: Favorite Okazuya

    I love good okazuya food too! My favorites would include, Fukuya and George's Delicatessen on Beretania diagonally across from Times.

    St Louis is okay, but their reasonable prices are offset by how they scrimp on seasoning their maki and cone sushi. IMHO, it needs more flavoring...Their nishime also has a lot of daikon and other cheaper ingredients, instead of konnyaku, araimo, etc.

    Fukuya and George's food is consistent with quality and taste!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Favorite Okazuya

      I have been to them all, but in the entire State no one beats the selection and quality of Hilo Lunch Shop! It's located right across from the Stadium they hold the Merrie Monarch at.

      Their salad selection is out of this world! all kine variety of limu salads, warabi salads,lomi salmon, cold tofu salads, and potaoe salads.

      Their okazu section is outstanding with a variety of fish, chickens, and beef, Gobo, noodles, deep fried tempura, fish cakes, then even Hawaiian stuff like lau lau. their nori chicken is currently the best in Hilo.

      I had Hilo Lunch Shop cater my Yakudoshi last year for about 200 people and they seriously gave enough food for 300! So much extra we had another lunch party the next day at my house.

      Listen to this, their price for catering, only $8.00 a head! Included Grilled ono, Nori chicken, Nishime, Teri beef, Namasu, Kimpira gobo,Potato salad, Noodles, and Rice.

      So when your in Hilo a must stop !

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Favorite Okazuya

        About 6 years ago, I bought The Okazu Guide by Donovan Dela Cruz and Jodi Endo Chai and my then-BF and I actually went to all but 5 (I think) of the okazuyas featured in the book.

        It's interesting to note that okazuya (or okazu-ya, whichever you prefer) is a plantation word that's hardly, if ever, used in Japan today.

        From the book:

        What Hawaii residents call okazuya is a sozaiya - delicatessen - in Japan. Even okazuya owners who've lived in Japan say that okazuyas are unique to the Islands. Although some of the okazu items are similar to Japanese food, they point out, the taste can be different. Hawaii's okazu has a true "local" flavor influenced many local ethnic groups. What's more, okazuyas have created and developed their own recipes which have been in families for many generations.
        I can't remember which thread it was in, but a visitor to the Islands had some chow funn from an okazuya and was surprised that it didn't look nor taste like the usual chow funn one can get from a Chinese eatery.

        I've been faithful to St. Louis Delicatessen since my freshman year of HS and always get the same thing (chow fun, long rice, teri meat, and hot dog).

        And then there's Mitsu-Ken: breakfast special, garlic chicken, and chow fun. I remember when the breakfast special was less than two bucks.

        Sugoi in City Square was also in the book. Don't know if they should be classified as okazuya since they've ventured beyond the traditional bento, but I still love their Karai Spicy Garlic Chicken bento!

        Sato's in Waipahu. Mmmm. Fried Noodles.

        *sigh* I'm hungry now.
        Tessie, "Nuf Ced" McGreevey shouted
        We're not here to mess around
        Boston, you know we love you madly
        Hear the crowd roar to your sound
        Don't blame us if we ever doubt you
        You know we couldn't live without you
        Tessie, you are the only only only

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Favorite Okazuya

          Not a favorite (yet) because I haven't tried it, but Natsunoya Tea House in Alewa Heights began to sell okazu and bentos on weekday mornings from six to one. I live two blocks from there, so you can believe I'll be dropping in soon.
          But I'm disturbed! I'm depressed! I'm inadequate! I GOT IT ALL! (George Costanza)
          GrouchyTeacher.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Favorite Okazuya

            Originally posted by Beau View Post
            I love good okazuya food too! My favorites would include, Fukuya and George's Delicatessen on Beretania diagonally across from Times.

            Fukuya and George's food is consistent with quality and taste!
            George's Deli had Ron working up at front before. He would always be yelling back to the kitchen where his sister and mother are cooking. My co-worker would order a nori musubi and had none in the display counter so he would yell " TWO NORI MUSUBI, WAITING, WAITING" or one time had this customer waiting for his saimin so Ron yells 'WHERE DA SAIMIN? THEY WAITIING!".

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            • #7
              Re: Favorite Okazuya

              George's Deli had Ron working up at front before. He would always be yelling back to the kitchen where his sister and mother are cooking. My co-worker would order a nori musubi and had none in the display counter so he would yell " TWO NORI MUSUBI, WAITING, WAITING" or one time had this customer waiting for his saimin so Ron yells 'WHERE DA SAIMIN? THEY WAITIING!".
              Today 10:29 AM
              I know! Ron is really a nice person beneath that gruff exterior. And his sister Diane and I have had many pleasant conversations.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Favorite Okazuya

                whoops. just drove past natsunoya. tues-wed-thurs, six to one.
                But I'm disturbed! I'm depressed! I'm inadequate! I GOT IT ALL! (George Costanza)
                GrouchyTeacher.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Favorite Okazuya

                  Originally posted by scrivener View Post
                  whoops. just drove past natsunoya. tues-wed-thurs, six to one.
                  My Uchinanchu friend told me that most Okazuya shops owned by Okinawans are closed on Tuesdays by tradition. St. Louis is an exception. They're open that day. Masa and Joyce is closed on Tuesday.

                  Originally posted by Hilo Artist View Post
                  I had Hilo Lunch Shop cater my Yakudoshi last year for about 200 people and they seriously gave enough food for 300! So much extra we had another lunch party the next day at my house.
                  Sounds like a great place with a huge selection. Great tip for future Hilo visitors!

                  Originally posted by Lei Liko View Post
                  And then there's Mitsu-Ken: breakfast special, garlic chicken, and chow fun. I remember when the breakfast special was less than two bucks.
                  We passed there around noon yesterday, and as usual, there was quite a line out the door. Gulick (the Gulick location) was packed too.

                  With that, as I said in Caryn's thread, we paid a visit to Matsumoto's Okazuya and Restaurant on Gulick Ave. for lunch yesterday. This was my first time to order an entire plate for myself.


                  There's lots of glare, but in that front window are the classic open display of Okazuya items to choose. More selections are also located just as you walk in the door, where you're greeted by a very attractive local gal (bonus!). On the right of the front counter is an opening that leads to a rather small restaurant seating area. Here you can order from a menu that includes box lunches, teishoku and ramen. Worthy of another thread in itself.

                  We got there around noon, and most of the Okazuya take-out items were almost sold out. We obviously just missed the rush. Two fellaz in front of us had just placed an order for 50 bentos. Obviously Matsumoto's is a hit.

                  So we walked out with this...

                  "Bluesman's" plate: Fried Rice, BBQ Teriyaki Steak, Mixed Vegetable Tempura, Kimpira Gobo, Corned Beef Hash patty and Chow Funn (they spell it with two N's). $5.50


                  My plate: Corned Beef Hash Patty, Shoyu Hot Dog, Mochi? Spring Roll, BBQ Teriyaki Chicken, Ume Musubi and Chow Funn. $6.09

                  I'm willing to bet either of these plates would have costed at least $2 more at Nuuanu, Fukuya or Gulick. All great places, but can prices can really add up.

                  Matsumoto's value is hard to beat, but more importantly, the Okazuya items are all AWESOME. No complaints at all.

                  One noticeable quality they have is a grill that really sears and puts the BARBECUE in the BBQ meats. That Teriyaki Chicken with the sear marks and rich glaze was EXCEPTIONAL.

                  The most interesting item on my plate was that Spring Roll. The wrapper was made out of a sort of glutenous, stringy thing that had an interesting, chewy texture. It was filled with shrimp, and what looked like daikon and green onion. Sugoi oshii desu.

                  The corned beef hash was tasty. Not as good as Tanioka's, but still oishii. The shoyu hot dog was your typical basic Okazuya affair. Take a nibble and chase it with the musubi. Oh yeah.

                  Just like the last time I tried, it, the Chow Funn. Oh the Chow Funn. This is what Okazuya is all about. Winner all the way. I'm going back here many times again just for that. Hopefully that beautiful server will still be working too. lol

                  You gotta' check Matsumoto's out. Great food, great value. Highly recommended.

                  Matsumoto's Okazuya and Restaurant
                  1323 Gulick Ave. (Kalihi, a.k.a. "God's Country")
                  808-848-7464
                  (owner's name is Todd)
                  sigpic The Tasty Island

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                  • #10
                    Re: Favorite Okazuya

                    Ahhhh Pomai and your food porn! Everything looks ono.
                    I'm disgusted and repulsed, and I can't look away.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Favorite Okazuya

                      Originally posted by Beau View Post
                      I love good okazuya food too! My favorites would include, Fukuya and George's Delicatessen on Beretania diagonally across from Times.

                      Fukuya and George's food is consistent with quality and taste!
                      I'll second Beau's endorsement of Fukuya, on King Street just past Puck's Alley in Mōʻiliʻili. So ʻono!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Favorite Okazuya

                        Originally posted by LeiKaina View Post
                        Ahhhh Pomai and your food porn! Everything looks ono.
                        What she said!

                        Pomai, do you know what their hours of operation are?
                        Tessie, "Nuf Ced" McGreevey shouted
                        We're not here to mess around
                        Boston, you know we love you madly
                        Hear the crowd roar to your sound
                        Don't blame us if we ever doubt you
                        You know we couldn't live without you
                        Tessie, you are the only only only

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Favorite Okazuya

                          I would get dee following: Fried Butterfish from Gulick.
                          Chow Fun, Cone Sushi, Macaroni Salad from Mitsuba.
                          Thingy in seaweed , Fried Pumpkin, Hamburger Patty, and Corn Beef Hash from Nuuanu.
                          Garlic Chicken from Mitsuken.

                          Ice cold Passion Orange from Mitsuba!

                          Auntie Lynn
                          Be AKAMAI ~ KOKUA Hawai`i!
                          Philippians 4:13 --- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Favorite Okazuya

                            Originally posted by Lei Liko View Post
                            What she said!

                            Pomai, do you know what their hours of operation are?
                            A picture says a thousand words.

                            Matsumoto's hours of operation:
                            Monday-Saturday (Sunday closed)
                            Okazuya: 6am-10am (No wonder when we got there at noon everything was almost gone)
                            Lunch: 11am-2pm
                            Dinner: 5pm-9pm

                            Fukuya is great, but pricey.

                            LeiLiko, please change your Avatar. So naughty! lol
                            Last edited by Pomai; May 5, 2007, 03:26 PM.
                            sigpic The Tasty Island

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Favorite Okazuya

                              Auntie Lynn, the thingy in seaweed you're referring to is probably, "konbu maki." It's a kelp roll tied with a gourd strip (known as kanpyo) and has gobo and pork inside.

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