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Cover Story

New Menu Enhances Yoshi’s Appeal

Story By Kyle Galdeira Photos By Nathalie Walker
June 17 - 23, 2012

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A key characteristic of a restaurant’s staying power is its ability to adapt to the needs of its customers.

Yoshi Japanese Dining & Bar revamped its menu a few months ago, and its patrons are toasting the changes, which have resulted in more variety and plentiful portions.

The restaurant used to be known as Yakitori Yoshi, and previously specialized in skewered cooking methods. But after a change in philosophy, Yoshi reopened in March to the tune of an expanded Japanese menu coupled with a versatile full bar.

“We no longer serve yakitori; now, we serve sushi, sashimi and teppanyaki,” says president and owner Akinori Hirose. “On the teppan grill, customers may choose from steak, chicken, garlic shrimp and many other favorites.”

Hirose says that the changes at his 1427 Makaloa St. eatery came about after customers clamored for more choices.

“The local customers wanted sushi and sashimi, and while the yakitori was popular, it wasn’t as popular as our selections now,” he says. “Now, they have more choices, and the local people definitely appreciate the larger portions!”

One of Yoshi’s top sellers is Assorted Sushi ($20), which incorporates recommendations from the chef on a daily basis. Some of the possible choices include ahi, hamachi (yellowtail), red snapper, shrimp and salmon sushi rolls arranged on a platter.

Hirose also is proud of another new menu item — Two Choice Set Menu ($25). With this selection, customers can pick from two entrees, including Rib Eye Steak, Grilled Chicken, Assorted Sushi and Sashimi, Pork Cutlet and Garlic Shrimp. Additionally, the set includes salad, miso soup and rice.

“The portions are really big, so I’m sure the customers will enjoy them,” says Hirose.

As a starter, Hirose suggests Yoshi Salad ($6), which is composed of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes and is topped with a creamy homemade orange dressing that includes carrots in the secret mixture.

Tempura Ice Cream ($5) is a must-have dessert following one’s meal at Yoshi. The creamy dessert is wrapped in pound cake, deep fried, covered in honey and served on a bed of salt and rum that is ignited as it’s brought to the table.

“People love the presentation!” Hirose says.

For those looking to supplement their meal with a selection or two from the bar, Hirose suggests Takesake ($8), a special house sake served from bamboo. The sake is smooth and easy to drink, and its unique presentation completes the experience.

Yoshi also features popular Happy Hour specials when, between 5:30 and 7 p.m. and again from 10 p.m. to close, customers may enjoy $2 Kirin on draft and $8 pitchers of the beer, in addition to $2 Bud Light bottles. There also is a Ladies Hour special menu available from 9 p.m. to closing time, and includes $4 drink specials on the Takesake, various wine selections, Shochu and Chuhai.

Just in time for Father’s Day, Dining Out readers who bring in the coupon from this issue can receive Tempura Ice Cream for just $1 with the purchase of $25 or more from the regular menu. It’s the perfect way to cap a celebratory meal.

Yoshi Japanese Dining & Bar

  • Where
    • 1427 Makaloa Street
    • Honolulu, HI 96814
  • Call
    • (808) 941-6891
  • Hours
    • Monday, Wednesday – Saturday
    • 5:30 p.m. – Midnight
    • Sundays
    • 5:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
    • Closed Tuesdays