Welcoming takoyaki and new izakaya
Fans of Takoyaki Yama-chan at Shirokiya may find a second home now that the street-style stand has opened a second branch outside Don Quijote, whose little food court focuses on fast, inexpensive fare.
Owners marked the occasion with a grand opening celebration on Sept. 16 that included samplings of takoyaki, yakisoba and strawberry mochi.
In addition to basic takoyaki that starts at $4.50 for five pieces, you'll find enhanced versions featuring cheese, kim chee or a combination of negi-mayo-ponzu.
For those who cannot survive on the bite-size octopus balls alone, feel free to add okonomiyaki, yakisoba and omelette fried noodles, starting at $4.90 for mini portions, or $7.90 to $8.90 for regular portions.
AND NO matter how much competition is out there, the new arrivals continue.
A day after Takoyaki Yama-chan's opening came the grand opening of Izakaya Mai in the spot where Ojiya used to be across from the Hawai'i Convention Center at 1718 Kapiolani Boulevard.
Japan-born sushi chef and restaurateur Yoichi Ito, who once served as a sushi instructor for Benihana restaurants, ran his successful Izakaya Mai in San Mateo for a decade before deciding to move to Hawaii — in part to find his son a wife!
Unlucky in love proves to be lucky for us due to the restaurant's varied and affordable menu of Nagasaki-style chanpon ramen noodles, blue crab salad and sushi.
The restaurant is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner from 6 p.m. to midnight Mondays through Fridays and 5:30 p.m. to midnight Saturdays (last dinner orders at 11:30 p.m.), with happy hour from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays. Call (808) 942-3838.
Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.