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Pupu Picks
Pupu Picks

Yoshi’s Pupus Burst With Clean Flavor

By Steve Murray Photos By Nathalie Walker
July 15, 2012

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Understanding my own limitations when it comes to dissecting the subtle flavors of Japanese cuisine, I turn to my not-so-secret in-house expert. To say the least, she was impressed with the pupu options on Yoshi’s menu.

Earning most-flavored status was Deluxe Cold Tofu ($9). The creamy cylinders of fresh tofu are combined with mountain yam, natto, green onion, sea urchin and salmon roe to create a taste pattern that is sweet, savory and salty. Noting the ingredients, the life expectancy of the dish was destined to be short. It didn’t stand a chance. Within two minutes it was on to the next dish.

Garlic Toast with Spicy Tuna ($8) provided a nice counterbalance of flavor and texture. Spicy raw tuna is topped with sesame seeds, and gently placed on toasted French bread. Garlic, Parmesan cheese and mixed greens complete the crunchy, spicy stack of goodness. The tuna is spicy, and if you’re a fan of spicy ahi poke, you’ll be a fan of this dish as well.

How does Mozzarella Tomato ($8) salad fit onto a Japanese menu? Quite nicely, thank you. Locally grown tomatoes are sliced and alternated with portions of fresh mozzarella. The cleanly presented dish is topped with garlic, olive oil, soy, vinegar, lemon and a basil pesto. The key to such a salad is fresh ingredients that are simply adorned. Yoshi does this. Each bite bursts with a clean flavor that not only tastes great but cleanses your palette for the next option.

If you’re dining before sunset, the Early Bird Special ($9) should be considered. From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., you can create your own Two Choice Teishoku. Options include Sashimi, Grilled Salmon, Spicy Ahi Poke, Grilled Chicken, Pork Cutlet, Vegetable and Seafood Miso Tempura, and Chicken Karaage. Selections also come with a Small Yoshi Salad, Miso Soup and Rice.

Yoshi

1427 Makaloa St., Honolulu
941.6891
5:30 p.m. to midnight, Wednesday-Friday
5:30-11 p.m., Sunday Closed Tuesday