Korean Yakiniku That Melts in Your Mouth
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STORY BY MICHELLE LEE
As a melting pot of so many different cultures and backgrounds, Hawaii is famous for having a diverse flavor profile. It is no surprise, then, when 678 Hawaii opened last November, the community embraced the Korean yakiniku restaurant with open arms, chopsticks in hand.
With more than 250 locations in Korea, the successful barbecue franchise has expanded to the United States. In addition to Hawaii, customers also can enjoy the restaurant’s tasty Korean barbecue dishes in New York City, Los Angeles and Atlanta.
“The Mainland locations have been very successful,” says Daniel Yi, head server at 678 Hawaii. “When those customers come to Oahu and try 678 Hawaii, they all say the quality is exactly the same or even better because the service here is so good.”
True to authentic Korean yakiniku-style, meat is an integral part of the menu. “The meat comes from an exclusive collection of farms in California that use a combination of a superior breed of cattle and animal management techniques,” says Steve Song, restaurant manager. “We use all Kobe-style meat with no added hormones or antibiotics to ensure the richest flavor.”
Beef options include Premium Beef Set ($59.99), Thinly Sliced Brisket ($24.99), Boneless Short Rib ($23.99) and Prime Rib Eye ($28.99). “Our beef is very popular among local Hawaii residents as well as those who are visiting,” says Yi. “Because we specialize in meat, the quality has got to be the best, always soft and juicy.”
For pork lovers, diners may order from a variety of dishes including Premium Seared Pork Belly ($21.99), Marinated Pork Collar ($21.99) and Thinly Sliced Spicy Pork Belly ($21.99). Every meal comes with unlimited fresh side dishes such as sweet potato, salad and kimchi.
For customers wanting to maximize their yakiniku experience, 678 Hawaii also offers a variety of combination meals. The popular Mixed Combo (starting at $52.99) comes with Premium Seared Pork Belly, Prime Rib Eye and a choice between Boneless Short Rib or Outside Skirt. “The combination meals are popular because you can try a bit of everything and a stew is included,” says Yi. “We have traditional Korean stews, such as the soybean paste stew, kimchi stew and seafood soft tofu stew.”
Additionally, the grills come with side compartments, which allow diners to simultaneously cook their vegetables and steamed egg. “You end up with a lot of food on the table,” says Yi. “Everyone enjoys the family style-oriented atmosphere of the meal.”
The restaurant also offers many other innovative amenities. Each table comes with its own private vent vacuum, which lies directly above the grill. “The design of the vacuums prevents the smell of meat from getting into the customers’ clothing,” says Song.
Furthermore, the customer service at 678 Hawaii is exceptional. Rather than having to call out for a server, oftentimes having to shout because of the loud atmosphere, diners can simply press a button conveniently located at their table. When pressed, the button causes the assigned server’s watch to vibrate. Each server is assigned only four tables to ensure a prompt response time.
Abundant and free parking is available for patrons alongside the restaurant on Kalauokalani Way.
1726 Kapiolani Blvd. Suite 101, Honolulu
Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Sunday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.