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tooearly

Oahu's Japanese Boom?

5 posts in this topic

The past year has seen a veritable boom of Japanese restaurants, from Oden to soba, to Yakiniku, to tofu, and lots of others in between....

Anyone care to share any favourites in this crowd of newcomers...

I have tried: tsukenya and ichiriki, both not bad at all but wont bring me back anytime soon...

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Hmmmmnnn.... In general, I rarely dine in Japanese restaurants here (except for sushi bars and an occasional venture to Gyotaku, which reminds me of "family style" restaurants in Japan) because I cook a lot of Japanese food at home. I'll be interested to see everyone else's responses.


SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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I like Tsukuneya pretty well. Their tofu is great, and the mini-rice pots with charcoal and mountain yam are very good. I think the tsukune can be hit-or-miss.

Another pretty recent addition that I like a bit more is Kai. The lotus root with grilled cheese is incredible.

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I've tried all the new Japanese places that have sprung up recently and have to agree with "too early" as to whether I will be a returning customer to many of them. I did return to Tsukuneya a few months after my initial visit and found the portions considerably smaller than during my first experience there.

The same formula seems to be applied to all new openings. Spend a nice bundle on the interior, over-staff and start off with decent prices. Diners here love to try out new places and so with so many options available at a given time, initial impact must be extraordinary to drum up repeat business.

But then reality hits as servers sniff out new opportunities and the owners are stuck worrying about lease payments, etc. Inevitably, either the dishes become smaller or the prices are discreetly upped to the dismay of the diner.

We can be thankful for good ol' standbys like Kai and Imanas-tei.

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I like Tokkuri Tei on Kapahulu (in the same strip mall as Dave's ice cream and Pappa John's pizza) and a new place on Ena Road in Waikiki, Chiba-Ken I think. As far as noodles, there's a pretty good place in the downstairs foodcourt near Kalakaua and Royal Hawaiian, but the name escapes me. The noodle place at the second floor of the Ewa end of the McCully Shopping center is really good too. Haven't been on the island long enough to be a truly familiar with other places, but I like the quality and the liberal pour with the Sake at Tokkuri Tei and Chiba-Ken.

My two Yen.

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