5 places where Hawaii locals eat sushi


Here is a list of the sushi restaurants where the locals go when we want our nigiri and temaki as fresh as it gets:

1. Mitch’s Fismarket and Sushi Bar

An alumnus from HAWAII Magazine’s 2013 “75 Places” list’s “From the Sea” section, Mitch’s popularity remains rooted in its always crazy-fresh locally and internationally procured seafood selection. The sushi here is not cheap. The atmosphere is laid-back. But we appreciate both every time we sample an unsullied slice of Mitch’s lusciously fatty New Zealand salmon or fresh-cracked lobster sashimi with our BYOB mini cooler. 524 Ohohia St., Oahu, (808) 837-7774

2. Koiso Sushi Bar

Make your reservation now. We’ll wait. Back with us? Get ready to be happy. You’ve secured one (or more) of just 16 seats at this popular, never-empty Kihei sushi bar whose owner, Hiroaki Kudo,
is as admirably fastidious about his rice (top-grade, Japan-imported, cooked and mixed just so) as he is his seafood (much of it fresh-flown from Japanese suppliers). It’s all served sauce-free and unadulterated for true sushi purists.
2395 S. Kihei Road, Maui (808) 875-8258

3. Yohei Sushi Restaurant

One of Honolulu’s first restaurants offering traditional sushi, Yohei at twenty-something is still one of the city’s most popular. Order omakase style (meaning the chef decides) and you might be surprised with oyster with quail egg, hamachi kama or ahi rib karaage alongside your ahi, toro and uni. Don’t believe the non-local Yelpers who don’t understand. Yohei is a local Japanese food institution. 1111 Dillingham Blvd., Oahu (808) 841-3773

4. Sushi II

There’s more than sushi at Sushi Ii. Lots more than we have space to mention here (baby abalone served butteryaki style, to name one.) But sushi devotees will appreciate Ii’s ample nigiri selection—crunchy mirugai, grilled anago (freshwater eel), hard-to-get sweet pike mackerel and torched Miyazaki beef, for starters—matched with, say, a whole grilled kampachi, grilled lamb lollipops or baby octopus karaage. Oops. Out of space. In Samsung Plaza: 655 Keeaumoku St., Oahu (808) 942-5350

5. Takenoko Sushi

The reservation card was filled for nearly a month when we called this Hilo sushi bar juiced up on resident friends’ tales of fresh-from-Japan briny mentaiko, exquisitely fatty toro and to-die-for unagi nigiri, and promises of “the best sushi not just in Hilo, but in the state.” We trust our pals enough to list Takenoko here. Our January reservation can’t come soon enough. 578 Hinano St., Hawaii Island (808) 933-3939

Categories: Food