Monday, November 7, 2011

Kona Kai Sushi

Kona Kai Sushi is one of Oahu's newest restaurants. I, of course, was hesitant since it is a new restaurant...and you all know how skeptical I am of newer eateries. BUT, at the urging of my HS friend, Blake (who is the manager there), we made a reservation!

Walked in, Friday night, and was pleasantly surprised to see almost all of the tables filled. There were only a few seats at the sushi bar that were reserved for us. Sat down, took a glance at the menu, and for the first time ever, didn't know what to order.

"What's good here?"

Don't you just hate it when they say that? I mean, I know it's their restaurant and they are boastful and proud of everything they make, but let's be practical here! What I'm really asking is, what are the popular menu items? What do people come here for?

Thankfully, we were generously started with a plate of beautiful Bintoro Sashimi Ponzu. Say what? Seared Canadian Albacore Tuna. WOW, how amazing was this dish!!! So creamy, this fish was so tender. No fishy aftertaste, just tender goodness topped with ponzu/radish. An amazingly tasty and simple dish. I could've ate two dishes by myself!

Other favorites? I am VERY proud to say that I tried Ankimo for the first time. Most will not find the name, Monkfish Liver, very appetizing, but trust me, GIVE IT A TRY. Same consistency as paté, but this time, it's topped on rice and wrapped with nori to make nigiri. No crackers included. There's no fishy taste in the Ankimo, and it's oh so creamy, almost like a soft cheese. I love how Kona Kai prepares it- with radish, ponzu and green onions. Takes the edge away. HAH.

We also ordered Daikon Salad, which came with a tarty plum vinaigrette. Tasted slightly like a Lihing vinaigrette! Very good, and very similar to Kohnotori's Daikon Salad.

Jeremy research Kona Kai on Yelp, and saw that many people ordered the Poke Chips. It's essentially fried tempura-battered nori (the kind you can buy in a bag) topped with poke, tobiko, green onions, a mayo sauce and some ponzu. One of my favorites!

One of our last dishes we ordered was the Ehukai Set. Comes with Otoro, Uni, Tai, Hamachi, Salmon and a Kona Roll. Jeremy and I both don't enjoy Uni, so they substituted it with Maguro. Thank you! Everything was delicious, especially the Otoro!! It literally melted like butter in my mouth.

Overall verdict? I would definitely be back. Great service, great food..only thing is the place is small, so be sure to make reservations! One small negative- they were out of a lot of things- No Hamachi Kama and no Toro Iwashi (Japanese Sardine)! BOOO!

Some other info- Kona Kai is located in back of Rock Bottom Bar off of University Ave. Same street as if you were turning to go to Bubbies or Kit N Kitchen. Park in the Burger King lot, and walk up the stairs to the Kona Kai!

Bintoro Sashimi Ponzu

Ankimo- Monkfish Liver

Daikon Salad

Poke Chips

Ehukai Set

Kona Roll- Snow Crab California Roll topped with Spicy Tuna and Tempura Flakes served with a Pineapple Chili Sauce.

Tai Kama substituted for Hamachi Kama

Kohada- Gizzard Shad. Jeremy asked for something "fishy"

Another table's order. Looks delicious!

Umeshu Rocks

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