Home Cooking Like No Other
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Nuuanu Okazuya is known for serving the kind of traditional okazu and local dishes that remind you of childhood. As the eatery’s tagline suggests, one bite and it’ll taste “… just like home.” But owner Mark Kitagawa and manager Johnathan Mosley also have a few tricks up their sleeves when it comes to putting a new twist on an old favorite. Whether classic or inventive, each culinary pleasure is prepared with a dose of comfort.
“It’s not always traditional, but that’s comfort food. Something that Mom might have made, or your aunty put together,” says Mosley. Take Oxtail Stew ($4.75, small; $9.50, large; $7.85, plate), for example, an irresistible stew version of a local favorite. Or there’s temptingly delicious Beef Stew ($4.50), the quintessential homey dish. Both meals are flavorfully prepared from scratch and served with rice.
When it comes to ground-breaking eats, there’s one Nuuanu specialty Dining Out has been dying to try — fishcakes (80 cents-$1.40). The eatery is fluent in up to 18 varieties and it’s not uncommon to encounter an entirely different selection of fishcake available from day to day.
After taking over the more-than-30-year-old delicatessen from the Nagamine family in 2007, Kitagawa assembled his crew to build on the variety of fishcakes offered by the previous owners. “It’s always an expansion or twist, we don’t do one flavor,” explains Mosley.
While the charming spot had already sold out of one of its best-sellers, Gobo Fishcake, by 9 a.m., Plain, Hot Dog, Boiled Egg, Vegetable, Furikake, Chives, Shrimp, Vienna Sausage and Crab and Onion took Dining Out to fishcake heaven.
The cakes’ slightly crispy shell and soft, chewy interior make them the perfect base to add flavors to. For an extra kick, try Mosley’s Spicy Fishcake made with Chinese chili paste and sprinkled with cayenne pepper. Kitagawa has his own tasty interpretation of a Spicy Fishcake as well, made with a variety of fresh peppers.
As Mosley describes, “People buy out all of their favorites. Doesn’t matter what’s up there. It’s all comfort food.”
- 1351 Nuuanu Avenue
- Honolulu, HI 96817
- (808) 533-6169
- Monday – Friday
- 5 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- 5:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- 7 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- Street parking available.