Pure Authenticity at Odoriko
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When describing the uniqueness factor of Odoriko Japanese Restaurant, general manager Hiro Takei talks about its authenticity.
“It’s simple to say we ‘keep it authentic,’ but what does that mean?” Takei asks. “To us, that means authenticity of not just taste, but authenticity of hospitality and service. A lot of our customers are repeat tourist customers; we’ve been complimented that our food is just like (food in) Japan. Our job, though, is not just to give Japanese food to Japanese people and make them happy; it’s to show this authenticity to people who aren’t as familiar with Japanese cuisine.”
Located in King’s Village Shopping Center in Waikiki, Odoriko opened in 1978. The eatery was the sister restaurant of the former Maiko Restaurant at Ilikai Hotel, which opened in 1972. The restaurants were under the same family business, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
“Maiko was open from 1972 to 1995,” Takei shares. “Maiko means ‘geisha’s disciple.’ The translation of odoriko is a dancing or performing arts girl, so it runs along the theme of traditional Japanese performance, arts or culture.”
Although Odoriko is an izakaya-style eatery, it is unique because it features a full course menu.
“(Izakaya restaurants) usually put as much emphasis on drinks as they do food and the menu is usually big, filled with lots of small tapa (appetizer) dishes to share,” Takei explains. “But we have a full sushi bar; our menu is more comprehensive than a typical izakaya menu so there’s something for everyone.”
The seafood items on Odoriko’s menu are customer favorites, as well as any item that has the eatery’s name in it. The Odoriko Roll ($11.50) — comprising salmon, squid, avocado and tuna — and The Odoriko Set ($39.95) — half a live lobster, New York steak, crab legs, salad, edamame, rice and miso soup — are signature dishes. Also popular is the restaurant’s variety of hot pot dishes.
“We have four different types — Sukiyaki ($35), Chanko-nabe ($38), Shabu Shabu ($35) and Live Lobster-nabe ($45),” Takei says. “It’s (the hot pot orders) for two people, but hopefully we can find a way to have it for one (person) also.”
Other popular menu items include Kalbi ($12.50), Tempura ($9.95 for vegetable; $13.50 for shrimp and vegetable), Handmade Tofu ($6.95) and Tofu Salad ($9.75).
There are several upcoming changes at Odoriko, according to Takei. Odoriko will soon kick off its Happy Hour from 4 to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight.
“It’s 50 percent off our beer and sakes, and 25 to 50 percent off about 25 of our most popular menu items,” Takei says.
Another possible change might be a revised parking structure so Odoriko customers can park anywhere.
“The King’s Village parking lot requires customers to pay $8 up front and we give back $4,” Takei says.
Takei notes that Odoriko can seat more than 200 people and offers customers private rooms for parties, tatami rooms — where customers sit on straw mats — and karaoke.
He clarifies that Odoriko is not a karaoke restaurant; karaoke is merely an option for larger parties.
“It’s (karaoke) offered after 9:30 p.m.; the rate is $30/hour for fewer than 10 people and $40/hour for 10 or more,” Takei says.
Odoriko also provides large party menus, ranging from $25/person to $45/person. The eatery features three types of party menu courses, according to Takei, and customers usually substitute items on the menu.
“There’s two ways we bring out the party dishes,” he explains. “One way is buffet-style, so we bring it out on large platters; the other way is we put it on smaller plates to share among three or four people.”
Odoriko Japanese Restaurant
- King’s Village Shopping Center
- 2400 Koa Avenue
- Honolulu, HI 96815
- (808) 923-7368
- Open Daily
- 6 a.m. – Midnight
- Parking at King’s Village Standard Public Parking lot ($8 pre-payment, parking limited), Miramar Hotel or Ohana East Hotel (customers receive validation up to two hours).