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Ono, You Know

Plenty of Fish in the Sea

Story By Alana Folen Photos By Leah Friel
April 29 - May 5, 2012

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There’s something fishy going on this week, Ono readers, and I mean that in the best way possible.

As editor of Dining Out, I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to try a variety of foods on a weekly basis, and sometimes it makes me realize that I have to reevaluate my diet. Sure, I’m usually able to get the necessities in there such as fruits, veggies, dairy, proteins and sugars, but recently one thing that’s missing is an abundance of fish.

Many believe fish to be extremely beneficial to the mind and body as it’s a low-fat, high-quality protein, and filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as D and B2, which are essential to keeping the heart and brain healthy. Fish also is rich in calcium and phosphorus, and a great source of minerals including iron, zinc, iodine and more. Really, what more can you ask for, right? And on top of that, it’s delicious!

So, this week, fishing for this super food, I set my sights on the following Ono, You Know establishments and reeled in quite a catch!

Kozo Sushi

Sushi enthusiasts cast bait in hope of reeling in some of Kozo Sushi’s fishy favorites, so when my appetite led me to Kozo Sushi on Makolu Street in Pearl City, I knew I was in for something good!

Enter Kozo’s famous Dynamite Maki ($7.25) and Ahi Lover Nigiri Set ($7.50). These two alluring entrees rock the boat with bountiful flavors.

Dynamite Maki — a shrimp tempura maki with ahi and masago, topped off with barbecue potato chips, sesame seeds, green onions and drizzled with a spicy sauce with wasabi mayo — is a winner, and the morsels of fresh ahi that adorn this culinary masterpiece taste just as heavenly as they appear. As for the Ahi Lover Nigiri Set, the name quite appropriately speaks for itself. An ahi lover’s paradise, this entree features four pieces of ahi on nigiri rice and four zesty pieces of Spicy Ahi Maki.

As one of Hawaii’s best choices for take-out sushi, Kozo’s expert sushi chefs produce an endless amount of sushi creations at a remarkable rate to keep up with the eager demand of loyal patrons, yet Kozo makes it priority to only offer the finest in quality ingredients. Fish fanatics will be delighted to know that melt-in-your-mouth ahi is brought in fresh every day.

And if fish isn’t your fare, you need not worry, this sushi establishment offers a wide variety of sushi delights that span way beyond the realm of seafood, including Inari and Tamago (egg) maki.

So, the next time a sushi craving makes its rounds and hits you right in the stomach, Kozo Sushi strikes it big on taste!

Kozo Sushi
1029 Makolu St. #C (and various locations)
455.6805
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Chai’s Island Bistro

Chai’s Island Bistro lures diners with its award-winning Pacific Rim cuisine served within a contemporary atmosphere, and celebrity chef and owner Chai Chaowasaree naturally satisfies diners with extraordinary, upscale cuisine and the best in live entertainment nightly.

Open from 4 to 10 p.m. Chai’s Island Bistro draws in the dinner crowd with majestic offerings from its impressive menu. In the mood for fish? Chef Chai never disappoints, always catering to the customer’s needs. In fact, he highly recommends diners sample a few of his edible works of art and hook into Ahi Katsu with Wasabi Curry Sauce and Fresh Tomato Mango Salsa ($16), and Gravlax Salmon Roulade with Cream Cheese and Crab Meat on Cucumber Chips ($14). While both incredibly onolicious — and healthy, I might add — the one dish that continuously works up my appetite is Crispy Whole Snapper with Sundried Tomato Citrus Buerre Blanc ($39). The meat is fall-off-the-bone tender and the taste is the epitome of brilliant.

There’s no need to school you on the best cuisine because when it comes to fantastically prepared fish entrees, I think we’ve caught the prize at Chai’s Island Bistro.

Chai’s Island Bistro
Aloha Tower Marketplace
1 Aloha Tower Drive
585.0011
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Wahoo’s Fish Taco

With a name like Wahoo’s Fish Taco, you can only assume that you’ve hit the jackpot when it comes to fishy finds. Yes, this week, crazy about these sea creatures, I made my way to Wahoo’s Fish Taco in Kahala to savor the flavors found at this vibrantly refreshing establishment. With two locations at Ward Gateway Center and Kahala Corner, this California-based chain first made its way to the islands in 2006, when sisters Stephanie Gambetta and Noel Pietsch believed it was time for Hawaii to experience the finest in “California-Mex” cuisine.

The restaurant gives off a beachy vibe, welcoming to patrons just off the beach or business professionals wanting to grab a quick bite to eat. Wahoo’s specializes in tasty cuisine that is so healthy it’s ultimately guilt-free, and if you ask me, that’s the best kind of dining experience.

Two of my faithful favorites are Wahoo’s Seven Layer Salad ($10.75 with fish) and Nachos with fish ($8.99).

Who can resist these Nachos? Seriously, no one, because how can you when this pupu features crisp chips topped with gooey cheese served with fresh salsa, guacamole and sour cream? And to take this dish over the edge is the choice of spicy Cajun fish or grilled fish. I prefer spicy Cajun fish, which adds a bit of a kick to the already flavorful nachos.

And if you opt for the more healthy option of the two, Wahoo’s Seven Layer Salad with brown rice, black or spicy Cajun white beans, cheese, guacamole, shredded lettuce and cabbage, and salsa with your choice of fish, chicken, tofu, pork, steak or shrimp is sure to put a smile on your face as well. What I love most about Wahoo’s is the fact that you can always expect the freshest of fish — ono is the restaurant’s go-to fish of choice.

Then, in celebration of Cinco de Mayo, Wahoo’s is celebrating with all-day specials including $2 tacos, $3 Coronas and $5 Margaritas. Live music plays on from 7 to 9:30 p.m. with a performance by The Deadbeats at Wahoo’s Kahala and Mike Love at Wahoo’s Ward.

Wahoo’s Fish Taco
Ward Gateway Center, 940 Auahi St.
Kahala Corner 4614 Kilauea Ave.
591.1646 (Ward), 732.9229 (Kahala)
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