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Thread: Best Japanese restaurant?

  1. #1
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    Default Best Japanese restaurant?

    i'm always looking for good japanese food. here are some of the restaurants that i love:

    1. kunio at waikele
    2. momomo in kaimuki
    3. shigezo in kapahulu
    "chaos reigns within.
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    order shall return."

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  2. #2

    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    There are a ton of great Japanese places, here a few I'd suggest depending on what kind of Japanese you are looking for (some of them I've reviewed on my blog if you wanna check it out):

    Nabe "Hot Pot" Style: Ichiriki Restaurant is the best, hands down! If you don't mind a little spice but want a wonderful broth, get the "Shio Pikari Nabe"
    http://www.locokinegrindz.com/wordpr...view-ichiriki/

    Yakiniku: Gyu-kaku -- Really popular in Japan and on the mainland. Lots of celebrities dine at the California locations.

    Home style Japanese cooking: Hakkei, go to their website hakkei-honolulu.com and look at their daily special menu for lunch. The chef is from the Hakkei hot spring in Japan (I went there too) and makes very good country style Japanese.

    Pub-style: Either Shokudo or Gazen (review below for gazen)
    http://www.locokinegrindz.com/wordpress/review-gazen/

    Traditional Japanese: Akasaka, Yohei, Maguro-ya

    Sushi: Sushi Sasabune, Mitch's (beware these two are EXPENSIVE!)

    Japanese fusion: Nobu's -- Expensive but good. If you love raw seafood (sashimi, oysters, etc) get the "omakase" and let the chef prepare dishes for you with what he's got that night. It's expensive at $90 per person, but I thought it was worth it.

    I'm sure there are tons more but those are just a few. Hope that helps.
    Last edited by dyasu; March 14th, 2008 at 02:49 PM.
    Eating my way through restaurants at http://www.nomnomfoodie.com

    Growing a local Hawaii food blogger community at http://www.hawaiifoodbloggers.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    *Yagura Restaurant. 1655 Liliha St, Honolulu, HI Tel: (808) 533-2160.

    The Beef Sukiyaki is onolicious. The sashimi top grade.

    *Hifumi Restaurant 100 N. Beretania St. (Parking inside Chinese Cultural Plaza). 536-3035.

    The Shrimp Tempura is the best at Hifumi. I also love their BBQ Chicken. The sauce is just right.

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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    Yanagi Sushi most authentic sushi bar

    For good Nisei plantation style Nori's in Hilo is as authentic as it gets.
    Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

  5. #5

    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
    Yanagi Sushi most authentic sushi bar
    Yanagi's quality has degraded over the years from what I've seen.

    And I actually boycott that restaurant now, because one of their employees damaged my grandfather's car and they refused to pay for the damages, so we had to actually threaten legal recourse. Pretty bad for a business that relies on public image.
    Eating my way through restaurants at http://www.nomnomfoodie.com

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    Quote Originally Posted by dyasu View Post
    Yanagi's quality has degraded over the years from what I've seen.

    And I actually boycott that restaurant now, because one of their employees damaged my grandfather's car and they refused to pay for the damages, so we had to actually threaten legal recourse. Pretty bad for a business that relies on public image.
    That's too bad. My experiences were from the 80's when it was a shining star.
    Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    sometimes you get what you pay for. i agree with dyasu, craig, about yanagi. imo, they used to be really good. i used to go there a lot but haven't in several years now. gyu-kaku to me is just okay. i'd rather go to kunio. haven't been to most of the places mentioned, but can't wait to try them out!

    off topic: whatever you do, i do NOT recommend the beachhouse restaurant at the moana. way over priced. one of my friends had to send her steak back (over done), the shellfish platter was way skimpy and my fish was overcooked. the waitress didn't know much about the wines. the best part of it all was the company and the music.
    Last edited by kani-lehua; March 14th, 2008 at 06:07 PM.
    "chaos reigns within.
    reflect, repent and reboot.
    order shall return."

    microsoft error message with haiku poetry

  8. #8

    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    If you like Kunio (haven't been there myself in years) then you'll probably like Akasaka, Yohei and Maguro-ya. I'd go to Akasaka for the sushi or yosenabe, Yohei for sushi or their butterfish teishoku, and Maguro-ya has a teishoku called "Magurozukushi" that's a sampling of different preparations of maguro.
    Eating my way through restaurants at http://www.nomnomfoodie.com

    Growing a local Hawaii food blogger community at http://www.hawaiifoodbloggers.com

  9. #9

    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    Anyone like Futaba in Waipahu?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    Quote Originally Posted by jkpescador View Post
    Anyone like Futaba in Waipahu?
    Isn't that the company that makes radio controllers?
    Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

  11. #11
    sansei Guest

    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    hi this is sansei and i once liked Gyotaku and hifumi the one that closed a few year's ago where they now have a gas station in it's place and cant remember the name and they had the best tendon Tempura over rice and now Gyotaku has now the best tendon and i truly enjoyed it when we went there so i hope this may help?

    Well thank's for your time

  12. #12
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    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    As far as I know and remember, there's been only one Hifumi. The original was located by Diners in Kalihi. The original owners were a Japanese couple. The service was slow but they packed the crowd in. The same recipe for Tempura is still being used by the current Hifumi Restaurant today.

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

  13. #13

    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    Quote Originally Posted by jkpescador View Post
    Anyone like Futaba in Waipahu?
    I've eaten at Futaba a couple of times, although its been years since I've been there. The restaurant serves up some good simple Japanese dishes at a reasonable price. The taste is quite good. Not what you'd expect from how it looks on the outside (and its location!).

    An interesting little tidbit about that place is that the head chef was one of the Head Chef's for the Japanese emperor's wedding! Pretty high up if you ask me.
    Eating my way through restaurants at http://www.nomnomfoodie.com

    Growing a local Hawaii food blogger community at http://www.hawaiifoodbloggers.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    Any good suggestions for an Okazuya? I have fond memories of Kabuki Okazuya in Waimalu - getting a box lunch from there meant you were going on a field trip that day! Can you think of the best ones in Hawaii?
    So long...and thanks for all the fish!

  15. #15

    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    Review of Futaba from HA:
    http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/ar...802150304.html
    with pictures ....

  16. #16
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    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalei99 View Post
    Any good suggestions for an Okazuya? I have fond memories of Kabuki Okazuya in Waimalu - getting a box lunch from there meant you were going on a field trip that day! Can you think of the best ones in Hawaii?
    1. Mitsuba The Cone Sushi is da best. Chow fun too. Eh, all da food #1.
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/mitsuba-delicatessen-honolulu

    2. Nuuanu Okazuya The Seaweed thingy, kabocha (japanese pumpkin), hamburger patties, etc. They also serve made to order Pork Tofu, Chop Steak, Saimin, and other local delicacies.
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/nuuanu-okazu-ya-honolulu

    3. Gulick Delicatessen My favorite cause of the Fried Butterfish and mixed potato/mac salad.
    http://onokinegrindz.typepad.com/ono..._delicate.html

    * Don't go to Mitsu Ken.
    http://starbulletin.com/2007/11/04/news/story03.html

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

  17. #17

    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    I like Mr. Ojisan for well prepared Japanese standards that are like the ones I used to eat in Japan. Their flavor profile is more Japanese than local so your mileage may vary.

    Shokudo is a favorite to take friends and family. The portions are huge and perfect for sharing. Plus the housemade tofu is excellent.

    For sushi I only go to Mitch's. I would love to frequent Sasabune, but my wallet cannot afford it! My favorite time to visit Mitch's is in the mid-afternoon and I'll often just have one or two selections of whatever the chef recommends. Perfect afternoon snack and not too expensive.

    Here in our neighborhood, you can't beat Tadashi for good well-priced Japanese food. My favorites there include maguro yamakane and tataki.

    There are lots and lots of great Japanese restaurants on Oahu, we are very lucky to have such a vast selection. The only thing I wish we had in the Japanese genre is a restaurant that serves nothing but tonkatsu - there are many such places in Japan and you haven't had tonkatsu at its finest until you've had it made with the thick cut Kurobuta (black pig) pork and a perfect housemade tonkatsu sauce. Now I'm seriously hungry!

  18. #18

    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    Quote Originally Posted by glossyp View Post
    The only thing I wish we had in the Japanese genre is a restaurant that serves nothing but tonkatsu - there are many such places in Japan and you haven't had tonkatsu at its finest until you've had it made with the thick cut Kurobuta (black pig) pork and a perfect housemade tonkatsu sauce. Now I'm seriously hungry!
    http://onokinegrindz.typepad.com/ono...su-ginza-.html

    Comes close to the type of Tonkatsu specialty places in Osaka.
    Eating my way through restaurants at http://www.nomnomfoodie.com

    Growing a local Hawaii food blogger community at http://www.hawaiifoodbloggers.com

  19. #19

    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    Quote Originally Posted by dyasu View Post
    http://onokinegrindz.typepad.com/ono...su-ginza-.html

    Comes close to the type of Tonkatsu specialty places in Osaka.
    I wish Reid had actually written what he thought about the food! I may have to trek to Waikiki to check it out.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    Quote Originally Posted by dyasu View Post
    If you like Kunio (haven't been there myself in years) then you'll probably like Akasaka, Yohei and Maguro-ya. I'd go to Akasaka for the sushi or yosenabe, Yohei for sushi or their butterfish teishoku, and Maguro-ya has a teishoku called "Magurozukushi" that's a sampling of different preparations of maguro.

    mmm. mmm. mmm! sounds onolicious! will have to try these places. at first when kunio opened, i didn't care for it. i think they must have changed chefs or something because it's so good. especially the veggie tempura and grilled salmon--to die for!
    "chaos reigns within.
    reflect, repent and reboot.
    order shall return."

    microsoft error message with haiku poetry

  21. #21

    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    Quote Originally Posted by glossyp View Post
    I wish Reid had actually written what he thought about the food! I may have to trek to Waikiki to check it out.
    Will definitely try to make this a stop for my food blog. I went to a location like this in Osaka (at the huge train station/shopping all) and it was very good. They had any kind of katsu you could imagine, even in nabe style!

    Needless to say it was delicious :P
    Eating my way through restaurants at http://www.nomnomfoodie.com

    Growing a local Hawaii food blogger community at http://www.hawaiifoodbloggers.com

  22. #22
    sansei Guest

    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    hi this is sansei and i now just remembered the restaurant that closed where now the gas station is at and it was wisteria,they had the best tendon tempura on rice and it was yum! i loved it and i do miss it.:O(

    Well thank's for your time

  23. #23

    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    Quote Originally Posted by sansei View Post
    hi this is sansei and i now just remembered the restaurant that closed where now the gas station is at and it was wisteria,they had the best tendon tempura on rice and it was yum! i loved it and i do miss it.:O(

    Well thank's for your time
    For a second I thought you were gonna recommend "Sansei" restaurant.

    Haha!
    Eating my way through restaurants at http://www.nomnomfoodie.com

    Growing a local Hawaii food blogger community at http://www.hawaiifoodbloggers.com

  24. #24
    sansei Guest

    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    hi this is sansei and in response to dyasu, lol!

  25. #25

    Default Re: best japanese restaurant?

    Sansei actually has pretty decent sushi. Plus, it used to be 50% off after 10pm on weekends. Is it still that way? You can't go wrong with half-off.

    I ate at Yama-chan on King Street next to Flyin' Hawaiian Balloons once. For some reason, I can't remember the food except that their rice is awesome! I didn't think that rice could be so good.

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