Char’s Chopsticks: Kai Sushi

Crab Dynamite

Since sushi is one of my favorite foods, I had to try Kai Sushi, the new Japanese restaurant that opened when the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, remodeled.

Even though there were just two of us, my dining companion and I ordered off the menu like crazy: a Baked Crab Dynamite (pictured right), Rainbow Roll, Veggie Roll, Tuna Tataki salad and the Yamada Roll.

Chars_Chopsticks_Kai_SushiI was quite impressed with Chef Tadashi Yoshino’s presentation. I expected the table to be crowded with several dishes, but all the sushi rolls were neatly arranged on one platter. I couldn’t wait to dig in.

My favorite was the Yamada Roll— named after sushi chef Eima Yamada—which featured hamachi (yellowtail) with spicy tuna on top. I’m a big spicy tuna fan, but I’ve never had it paired with hamachi. It was a great combination.

After dinner, we also ordered raspberry crème brulee.

This Japanese restaurant offers a view of the ocean—a nice change from rice paper walls. Get there a little before sunset and it’ll be the perfect setting for a romantic dinner. The dimmed lights and the glowing wall behind the sushi bar (below) also add to the ambiance.

Chars_Chopsticks_Kai_SushiThe restaurant’s interior design is inspired by the native Hawaiians’ voyage across the Pacific Ocean. You’ll find hand-carved ceiling beams that mimic the shape of outrigger canoes and light fixtures designed as fishing baskets.

My only complaint? I can’t get any Yamada Rolls on Oahu.

Categories: Oʻahu