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Filling Up on Okazu

Story By Yu Shing Ting Photos By Nathalie Walker
March 11 - 17, 2012

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At Nuuanu Okazuya, there’s sure to be something to satisfy any appetite. Its extensive menu offers not only an impressive list of traditional Japanese-style okazu, but also a great selection of local favorites such as Pork Hash Stuffed Aburaage, Chicken Long Rice and Loco Moco, as well as comfort foods including Spaghetti, Meatloaf, Chili and a variety of stews.

  • Kimpira Gobo ($2.50)
  • Nuuanu Okazuya's business manager and chef Johnathan Mosley
  • Kobu Maki ($2.25)
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Some must-try dishes are Nishime ($2) — a mixed vegetable dish with daikon, konbu, konyaku, carrots, bamboo and shiitake mushrooms, Kobu Maki ($2.25), which is a seaweed roll with pork and a stick of burdock, and Kimpira Gobo ($2.50), which is seasoned and boiled burdock root.

“These are three of our most popular dishes because they are the most labor-intensive dishes we make,” says Johnathan Mosley, business manager and chef. “Our food is just like home cooking, and the menu keeps expanding, so I don’t get bored and our customers don’t get bored. Also, our andagi is really popular. It’s light and soft inside, and crunchy outside, and I’m always experimenting with different flavors. I’m going to try to make a shiso andagi.”

Located on Nuuanu Avenue behind Pali Safeway, the eatery has been in business for more than 30 years, but switched ownership from the Nagamine family to Mark Kitagawa in 2007. Since then, the menu has just about doubled, offering everything from breakfast to daily plate lunch specials and bentos, as well as sandwiches, musubi and inari, saimin, soups, desserts/treats and more. The menu also notes that if you don’t see something you want, it can be made on the spot if you are willing to wait or call ahead for pick-up.

Open seven days a week, Nuuanu Okazuya also offers a catering menu, and conveniently accepts credit cards. There’s also a free loyalty card for customers to earn points and redeem for discounts on future purchases.

“I’ve been told that people want to know how I learned to make our food taste so traditional in such a short time,” adds Mosley, who also has been with Nuuanu Okazuya since 2007. “Once I learned how it’s supposed to taste, I made it my own.”

Nuuanu Okazuya

  • Where
    • 1351 Nuuanu Avenue
    • Honolulu, HI 96817
  • Call
    • (808) 533-6169
  • Hours
    • Monday – Friday
    • 5 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    • Saturdays
    • 5:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    • Sundays
    • 7 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Notes
    • Street parking available.
  • Website