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Step Up to the Plate

Sakura Restaurant

By Alana Folen Photos by Leah Friel
April 8, 2013

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A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS WEEK’S HOUSE SPECIAL: Sashimi Donburi ($19)

Fare with flair is what you’ll find at Sakura Restaurant on Waialae Avenue, where brothers and co-owners Jun and Ryo Tsuchiya treat their guests like family and present traditional Japanese cuisine, along with dishes that play up French, Italian, American and local influences as well.

Jun says a most-coveted entree on the menu is Sashimi Donburi, which features a vibrant array of maguro, salmon, unagi and more on a bed of vinegar rice.

Here at Sakura Restaurant, presentation and taste are essential elements evident in all of its exquisite creations.

Maguro ahi is a local fish that the restaurant retrieves from the fish market on a daily basis.

“We use bigeye ahi and it’s very tender,” Jun says.

Morsels of avocado, chiso, cucumber and a hint of wasabi add texture and substance to the dish.

While obtaining the freshest of local fish is integral for Sakura Restaurant, hamachi is shipped in from Kumamoto,

Japan, twice a week. “It’s a beloved fish by locals in the Islands and it has a strong flavor.”

A Japanese delicacy of ika (squid) is brought in from Kyushu, Japan, and topped with tobiko.

“Our customers really take a liking to ika and we’re happy to offer it,” Jun says.

Warm vinegar sushi rice is ideal for Sashimi Donburi, as Jun says it pairs perfectly with raw fish.

Unagi (eel) is grilled and glazed with a sweet kabayaki sauce.

Sakura Restaurant

3008 Waialae Ave., Honolulu
Tuesday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (lunch), 5 p.m.-midnight (dinner and late night)
Sunday: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (lunch), 5-10 p.m. (dinner and late night)
Closed Mondays