Izakaya Nonbei

Overall Review: CorkCork

Service: Izakaya Nonbei used to be one of our all time favorite Japanese restaurants in Hawaii, however, last year it was sold and has changed substantially. One of the past owners is still working for the restaurant and she assured me that the cook was the same (although the main chef was her father so we are not sure how they could be if they moved?). When the food arrived about 30% of the dishes where as good as we remembered but the rest of the food was disappointing. When we asked to return a horribly overcooked fish she took it back to the kitchen and then returned it to us saying “the chef touched it and said its moist inside”…. first and foremost no one wants to hear that someone touched there food and then expect them to continue to eat it! secondly we know overcooked fish when we see and taste it. It was disappointing service for sure. Specially when the past owners where so nice and the food was impeccable.

Food: The food was so so. Someone who has never been to the Old Nonbei may think its great, but after years of patronage we feel the food has suffered in the transition. Some of the items are still good so if you are in the neighborhood and in the mood for sushi or Japanese by all means go….. but if you have been an old Nonbei fan say so long and just move onto another Japanese restaurant. Even the green tea was different – must be a cheaper brand.

Favorite Dishes: Karei Karaag (Cabbage & Small fish) Eggplant & Mushrooms, Miso Rice Cake, Small Fried Shrimp Appetizer and the ice Otokoyama sake of course!

Atmosphere: The new Nonbei ambiance is kind of modern inside. They have ground floor tables as well as regular tables and the inside is very small (about 5-6 tables total) plus the small sushi bar. The real killer is that they have a huge flat screen TV on the wall which really detracts for the restaurants classiness. Honestly who wants to go to a nice restaurant and have to watch TV? its distracting and doesn’t belong in this restaurant at all.

Consistency: Well the old Nonbei was incredible consistence for years, however, this new location isn’t going to get a second chance from us anytime soon. If we do for some reason feel generous we will go back and update this restaurant review!

Parking: Nonbei has a small parking lot out front with about 10 spots in total. When full it can be super hard to get in and out but at least they do have some parking. Otherwise you can always park across the street at Safeway and walk across the street.

Price Range: Low-Medium ($6-$25) per Entree
Corkage Fee $20 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted & Recommended
Take Out Available

Address:
3108 Olu St.
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808) 734-5573

Hours of Operation:
Dinner Mon, Wed-Sun 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Closed Tuesday

Izakaya Nonbei - fried flounder fish hawaii

Whole Fried Flounder

Izakaya Nonbei restaurant review fish

Fried Shrimp

Izakaya Nonbei cold tofu dish

Cold Tofu

Izakaya Nonbei Eggplant & Mushroom

Eggplant & Mushroom

Izakaya Nonbei Small Fish & Cabbage

Cabbage & Small Fish

Izakaya Nombie miso rice cake

Miso Rice Cake

 

Sushi Sasabune

Overall Review: CorkCorkCorkCorkCork

Service: The service is exceptional at Sushi Sasabune on King Street. The waiters are veterans and always remember the guests who keep on coming back. They are friendly, knowledgeable, polite and quick which is all you can ever ask of a good restaurant.

Food: The food is to die for! the key phrase is “Trust Me” at Sushi Sasabune because you don’t order par-say but rather the chef brings you select items which are the freshest and most delicious he has to offer, dish by dish until you are full. If you are a regular you can also request different dishes (on his tasting menu) but you have to eat a few times to get aquatinted with the food enough to do be able to ask for them by name. The sushi is so fresh it melts in your mouth and is presented on top of warm sushi rice giving it a unique and memorable taste. Each bite is a true celebration. Enjoy!! 

Favorite Dishes: Blue crab hand roll, the squid stuffed with blue crab, the scallop and salmon duo, everything!

Atmosphere: The ambiance is very nice at Sasabune. The restaurant is small and quaint with a sushi bar and about 5-8 tables. The decor is very clean yet trendy for a Japanese restaurant and showcases a few beautiful pieces of artwork and black, red and gold color scheme.

Consistency: Each time you go to Sasabune you can feel secure that it will fantastic. The consistency is top notch and we have never had a dish that wasn’t superb or fishy fish.

Parking: Sushi Sasabune has a small parking lot out back that may be shared with some other restaurants in the area but typically you can always find a spot. If not and its not during rush hour you can find parking on king street.

Price Range: High – Dinner about $125 per Person
Corkage Fee $15 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted & Recommended
Take Out Not Available

Address:
1417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814 ‎
Tel: (808) 947-3800

Hours of Operation:
Mon-Sat: 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Tue-Fri: 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Sushi Sasabune - squid stuffed crab

Squid Stuffed Blue Crab

sushi sasabune restaurant review hawaii

Scallop & Kelp Salmon

sasabune review

Unagi & Tamago

sushi sasabune restaurant review

Lobster

Sushi Sasabune hawaii

Tuna Duo

Trust Me Hawaii

Sushi Master

Yanagi Sushi

Overall Review: CorkCork

Service: The staff was nice but not exactly helpful or very fast. In fact, it took over 20 minutes to get our credit card back which felt really strange when we paid. They did fill our water glasses quickly and clear old dishes but it wasn’t like they interacted with us. Typically if you notice a guest didnt eat more than one bit of a dish you would ask if they wanted something else of if anything was wrong with it. They just took it away and brought the check!

Food: The food was very disappointing at Yanagi Sushi on Kapiolani blvd. This restaurant has been a stapil in Honolulu for years and has always had good Japanese food in the past. However, its been at least 5 years since we have been last and the food has really suffered during that time. Out of the 4 items we ordered only one was good or even eatable. The Pork Cutlet (Tonkatsu) was really chewy and cut into super large pieces making it very hard to eat. The shrimp tempura had a tiny thing little shrimp inside and so much batter on its all you could taste. Finally the chicken teriyaki was covered in fat and really grimly tasting. The only thing we even could eat was the butterfish (which was good) and the miso soup. Even the end of the experience was a bummer because the ice cream was very icy and overly sweet. 

Favorite Dishes: Butterfish Miso-yaki and Miso Soup

Atmosphere: The ambiance is nice inside Yanagi Sushi but it is in need of a facelift. The tables are super old and the floor has seen better days. With a little work this place to be polished again. One nice attribute is that the walls showcase famous visitors and friends of the owners and make the restaurant quaint and have a unique family feel.

Consistency: About 15 years ago this was a consistently good restaurant but after the experience we had today we wouldn’t go back for Japanese food ever. There are so many great restaurants like Imanas or Sushi ii you can go for the same price if not cheaper than Yanagi Sushi to have a delicious Japanese feast.

Parking: Yanagi Sushi has valet parking out front which is convenient. All you need to do is pull up, pass over your keys and tip the boys a few dollars when you leave and you are all set!

Price Range: Medium-High ($8.95-$37.50) per Entree or Combo
Corkage Fee $15 per Bottle of Wine or Sake
Reservations Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
762 Kapiolani Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96813
Tel: (808) 597-1525
Website: /
http://www.yanagisushi-hawaii.com

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: 11a.m. – 2p.m.
Dinner: Monday – Saturday: 5:30p.m. – 2p.m. Sunday: 5:30p.m. – 10p.m.

Yanagi Sushi restaurant review

Combo Plate

Yanagi Sushi Butterfish Review

Butterfish Miso-yaki

Yanagi Sushi pickles

Pickles

 

Sushi ii

Overall Review: CorkCorkCorkCorkCork

Service: The service was slow at Sushi ii but only because it was completely packed full of people. They only had one waitress but she was very nice and full of smiles. We also appreciated that as soon as we where seated she alerted us we wouldn’t receive any food for at least 35 minutes regardless if we ordered sushi or hot items which was just fine with us but nice to hear so you are prepared all the same!

Food: The food was very good at Sushi ii. They have a full sushi bar as well as very interesting hot entree dishes like whole fried fresh fish (flounder, Moi or whatever is freshest), lots of protein & seafood items including lamb, scallops, shrimp, oysters, sashimi carpaccio, and soft shell crab, as well as salads and unique desserts. You should have no problem finding something you will love at this restaurant and each dish has a unique twist making it memorable. Do keep in mind that most dishes are fried so its not a place to go while on a diet.

Favorite Dishes: Fried Whole Moi (we ate everything but the spine bone!), Nori popovers with Furikake Butter (best popovers in town even over BLT and Mariposa they are interesting and unique), Ehu Carpaccio, Beet Salad, Mom’s Minoage (Shrimp wrapped in shoe thin potatoes and fried), Scallops, Sushi was also delicious. Banana dream pie dessert (light and fluffy) the only thing we didn’t like was the Soft Shell Crab as it was extremely overcooked… but seems like you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu!

Atmosphere: We loved the ambiance at Sushi ii on Keeamoku street! The restaurant is very quaint and only has only about 6-7 tables inside in addition to the sushi bar. The walls are bright orange and it has good acoustics and although packed we where able to hear everyone at the table without yelling over loud music or neighbors conversations…..  it was very enjoyable!

Consistency: We have only been once so far but have many friends who swear by Sushi ii and just rave about its consistence. We promise to update this section next time we go which is sure to be soon!!

Parking: Sushi ii is located in the Samsung Plaza across the street from Walmart. They have free parking with validation. Otherwise you can usually find parking on the street or around the block next to Ross if they are completely full.

Price Range: ($8-$20) per Entree
Corkage Fee $5 per Glass (i.e. $5 for each person who is drinking)
Reservations Accepted & Recommended
Take Out Available

Address:
Samsung Plaza
655 Keeaumoku St, Ste 109
Honolulu, HI 96814
Tel: (808) 942-5350

Hours of Operation:
Wed-Sat 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Wed-Sun 5 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Fried Fish from Suhi ii restaurant

Fried Moi

sushi ii restaurant review

Banana Dream Pie

Sushi ii hawaii mom's minoage

Mom's Minoage

 

Genke Sushi

Overall Rating: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service is good at Genke Sushi restaurants in Hawaii. The staff is super friendly and very attentive. In fact, at the Kapahulu location in particular we have had the best service and before you even realize you need something your waiter is either bringing it or right by your side to fulfill your request which is always great when you go out.

Food: The food isn’t anything super fancy or even very creative but its good and cheap! Genke Sushi has a fun conveyor belt which rotates around the diners with various sushi rolls and food items like salads, edamame, etc. It is really a great way to enjoy a quick meal because while ordering off the menu you can grab an appetizer roll to hold you over. Basic items you can expect on the menu include Miso soup, Sashimi, Teriyaki Bowls, Salads, Udon Noodles, etc.
Genki Sushi Menu For Download

Favorite Dishes: Spicy Tuna Hand Roll, California Hand Roll, Salmon Cream Cheese Roll, Softshell Crab Roll, Tempura Roll, Edamame, and Miso Soup

Atmosphere: The ambiance at Genke Sushi is very open and clean. The conveyor belt is the focus on each location (as it should be!) but Genke Sushi does a good job of building restaurants which are warm and inviting. The logo guy is unforgettable and is featured throughout art in each location making Genke Sushi a unique place to take out-of-town guests.

Consistency: Genke Sushi is very consistent. Each time we go we always eat the Ahi Tuna hand roll and it tastes exactly the same each time.

Parking: Each Genke Sushi location has free parking! the location in Honolulu which is hardest to park is the location on Kapahulu which only has about 10 parking spots, however, you can generally find a spot on the street or in Safeway’s lot across the street.

Price Range: Low ($1.50-$4.80) per Dish
No BYOB!
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
Kapahulu
885 Kapahulu Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816
(808) 735-7700
Website: /http://www.genkisushiusa.com/

Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.#2096
Mall Level
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 942-9102

Ward Center
1200 Ala Moana Blvd.
Building 3, Bay 3
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 591-5600

Many more Genke Sushi locations! check website for full list
Hours of Operation:
Sun-Thurs: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri-Sat: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Takeout Available Daily: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Genke Sushi Resturant Review in Honolulu Hawaii

Nobu

Overall: CorkCorkCorkCorkCork

Service: The service at Nobu is exceptional. Each waiter is very professional and you know you are sure to get stellar service when you go for dinner or drinks. The sushi bar in particular has excellent service and it is fun to watch the sushi masters create each roll.

Food: Wow the food is above and beyond delicious at Nobu! each bite is packed with unique clean flavors that dance on your tongue. Nobu has a wide variety of dishes from sushi to salads with exotic global flavors. Each dish created by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is well balanced and the sashimi is so fresh it melts in your mouth. No matter what you order its  sure to be memorable and super yummy. They also have a fantastic happy hour Monday-Friday 5-7pm in the lounge area with special dishes, $4 beers and $8 martinis.

Favorite Dishes: Spider Rolls, Nobu Tacos (Lobster and Crab), Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno, Eggplant with Misa, Miso Black Cod, Salmon New Style Sashimi, Shitake Salad, Sakitini (Sake Martini – cold and fresh), EVERYTHING

Atmosphere: We just love the atmosphere at Nobu. The restaurant is very grand with high ceilings and red/ gold color scheme. The lamps are also very trendy and have a modern meets antique feel to them. The tables are dark wood and there are both circular tables and booth seating available. Although the restaurant is large its not very noise which makes it the one of the best restaurants in town. The bar/lounge area is also lovely and very chic feeling. Its nice to go for a drink before dinner or even to have dinner at the bar with a friend.

Consistency: This restaurant receives my top personal chef approval for being one of the best Japanese restaurants in Hawaii. Each dish is always consistently tasty and you know what to expect.

Parking: Nobu offers Validated parking at the hotel.

Price Range: Medium-High ($18-$46) per Entree
Corkage Fee: Wine $25 per bottle, Champagne $35 per a bottle
Reservations Recommended
Take Out Not Available

Happy Hour in Lounge

Address:
Nobu Waikiki
2233 Helumoa Road
Honolulu, HI 96815
waikiki@noburestaurants.com
Phone: +1.808.237.6999
Fax: +1.808.237.6990
Website: http://www.noburestaurants.com/waikiki/experience/introduction/

Hours of Operation
Sunday – Thursday: 5:30 p.m – 10:00 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Monday – Sunday: Bar Lounge 5:00 p.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Nobu restaurant review in hawaii

New Style Sashimi

Nobu's miso black cod

Miso Black Cod