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Pupu Picks
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Sekiya’s Spans Generations

By Steve Murray Photos By Nathalie Walker
July 1, 2012

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Change is greeted at Sekiya’s like processed cheese in Paris, and that’s just the way its customers like it. Since 1935, generations of diners have stopped by the Kaimuki landmark to dine on okazu, sushi, plate lunches and good old American hot dogs and hamburgers. Manager Mary Kaui, who has been greeting customers for 14 years, has seen parents turn into grandparents and keiki into parents of their own.

“I love the customers here. They know your name. They are really more like family then just customers,” she says.

Popular appetizers at Sekiya’s are as different as the eclectic mix of customers who regularly come from as far away as Kaneohe and Waianae. Corned Beef Hash (95 cents per piece) is a traditional tasty hash that is tempura fried.

Inari Sushi ($1.35), with moist vinegar rice, carrots and string beans, is a nice way to begin your meal or to take with you to be enjoyed later. Takeout is a big deal here. The Okazu deli boasts some 25 items, but as with all things on the seven-page menu, customers have their favorites from which they rarely vary. In fact, as we were chatting, a customer came, ordered and left within a minute. It’s not that surprising, says Kaui.

“He comes in every day at the same time and orders the same thing. He doesn’t even have to tell us what he wants. We get a lot of people like that.”

Another option, whether getting it on the go or dining with your friends and neighbors, is Maki Sushi ($3.95), which is big enough to be cut into eight hearty portions, or the Standard Bento ($7.25). The bento is a tummy-satisfying mix of maki sushi, chow mein noodles, shoyu chicken, barbecue beef, a hot dog, namasu and tsukemono.

Oh, and everything on the menu is made fresh just like grandma would. It has to be because tutu has been eating here for years and wouldn’t stand for anything else.

Sekiya’s Restaurant and Delicatessen

2476 Kaimuki Ave., Honolulu
732-1656
Sunday-Thursday: 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 8 a.m.-11 p.m.
Okazu daily from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.