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Kiem Hwa

Izakaya in Honolulu

12 posts in this topic

From the Japan eGullet thread:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=58500

居酒屋

izakaya

This is a Japanese style bar that serves various small dishes along with an equally extensive drink menu. Izakayas can be large chains (and there are a lot of these) or they can be tiny one person run shops with only 3or 4 seats.

To learn a bit more about izakaya and see a sample menu look here:

http://greggman.com/japan/izakaya.htm

What are your favorite Izakaya in Honolulu?

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I'll start with where I feasted last night: Izakaya Nonbei.

3108 Olu Street (off Kapahulu behind Genki Sushi)

808-734-5573

Some previous reviews of Izakaya Nonbei:

Nadine Kam's Honolulu Star Bulletin

Matthew Gray's Honolulu Advertiser

Cheap Eats on KHNL

My review: Two thumbs up!!!!

The chef of Izakaya Nobei, Teruaki Mori, grew up near Nagano, specializes in traditional country cooking, and the menu is mostly fish dishes. At this restaurant you are supposed to select from a variety of small dishes, to share over sake or beer.

All the dishes we ordered were very delicious and beautifully presented. We had Tori Karaage (fried chicken). Very moist and one of the best chicken karaages I've had. A nitsuke karei (flounder) with tofu: perhaps my favorite, except for the Hamachi sashimi. Nasu no kinoko itame, a dish of grilled eggplant (nasu) with kinoko mushrooms. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of these dishes. Also, i realize i am a bad blogger because I can't tell you the prices for any of these dishes. :raz:

Hamachi Sashimi: Yumm!!! Very good quality fat pieces of Hamachi. :wub:

HamachiSashimi.jpg

Kushikatsu: A skewer of pork (tonkatsu) pieces alternating with onion, all katsu-ed:

KushiKatsu.jpg

Aji Sashimi (it was called Aji-something :raz: ), but it is sashimi: yum!

AjiSashimi.jpg

We ordered this because the Japanese buisnessmen next to us had it and it was so beautiful!

Overall, with these 6 dishes plus 3 large Asahis ($6.95 each) the tab ended up being 70$ for 4 people. We were quite satisfied (not stuffed), though some people may want to order more then what we had (I was filled up with Asahi :biggrin: ) Every dish we had was delicious and I definately want to go back here again sometime. As for the menus, they are in Japanese, and translated to English (Romanji), but without explanations, and I only understood about half of it, but our waitress was very nice with helping us order and also listed many things that weren't on the menu.

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Aji Sashimi (it was called Aji-something :raz: ), but it is sashimi:  yum!

Aji no ikezukuri (or ikizukuri) or something?

Also, i realize i am a bad blogger because I can't tell you the prices for any of these dishes. 

Yeah, I really want to know how much east dish costs.

I almost forgot to say, "Thanks for all these great pictures!".

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Yes, thank you for sharing those pictures! The hamachi looks heavenly! Is there a parking lot at the Izakaya or is it street parking only?

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Aji Sashimi (it was called Aji-something :raz: ), but it is sashimi:  yum!

Aji no ikezukuri (or ikizukuri) or something?

Yes, I think that was it!

Is there a parking lot at the Izakaya or is it street parking only?

There is a good amount of parking there!

The prices of these 6 dishes ended up being about 45$: prices from the reviews I linked above, and some fuzzy guesses.

Tori karaage ($4.95)

Nasu no kinoko itame ($4.95)

Aji no ikezukuri (or ikizukuri)? (7-8$)

Hamachi Sashimi (11-12$)

nitsuke karei (flounder) with tofu (about 7-8$?...my most fuzzy memory)

Kushikatsu (about 5$)

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Nonbei is a terrific little izakaya. When we're in Hawaii, we usually stop for a little taste of home (the tarako chazuke is quite heavenly). I was a little worried that it would be overrun with tourists after it was featured in Gourmet a few years back, but from your review, it sounds like things remain largely the same.

Thanks for a great report.

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What are your favorite Izakaya in Honolulu? 

I also like Tokkuri-Tei at 611 Kapahulu Avenue. It makes me natsukashii (nostalgic, homesick) for the izakayas I frequented in Japan.


SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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I like Hanagasa Inn on River St. just below Vineyard Blvd. Orion beer, goya chanpuru, shoyu pork (rafute), nabera, tebichi...

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My long-time favorite has been Tokkuri Tei, however I recently visited Momomo. They have an interesting menu with great sashimi and some 'trendy' new rolls. Lots of new things to try -like the tofu they cook at your table.

They also have a good sake menu.

Nonbei is also good with a more subdued atmosphere than either Momomo or T.Tei.

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Nonbei is my favorite izakaya in hawaii. I have gone to Imanas, but I only ate at the sushi bar, I need to go and try their regular menu.

I have gone to Izakaya Nagisa-Tei a couple times (twice when the first opened and once more recently) and they aren't that good anymore. One the ambience isn't that great. Two while their service was not bad earlier on, when I went recently it wasn't so good.

I will have to try that Hanagasa Inn place. I love Orion beer and I love rafute.

I got a GC for Momomo for my bday so I will be visiting there soon also.

I did a blog post on Shokudo which is somewhat of a nouveau ameri-japan izakaya. You can check it out here.


user posted image

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nonbei is da bomb in honolulu.

nothing else comes close in my opinion in consistency, fairness of price, quality....

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