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Crossover Cuisine

By Terri Hefner Photos By Nathalie Walker
May 12, 2013

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Success in the restaurant business these days takes creative restauranteurs who truly understand their customers and are savvy about location without compromising their chefs’ culinary expertise and experience.

At Sakura Restaurant, co-owners Jun and his brother, chef Ryo Tsuchiya, who hail from Japan, knew instinctively that in order to please the palates of Hawaii’s diverse population and find their own niche, it made sense to offer something unique.

The eatery not only presents exceptional authentic Japanese dishes, such as its mouthwatering Miso Tofu ($8), but adds a Western touch to its menu as well. Call it cultural crossover cuisine.

And they’re happy to cater to individual tastes. For vegetarian customers, Chef Ryo shows off his innovative culinary style to revise Sakura’s Seafood Sake Pasta. Yep, the chef does pasta, but not your ordinary tomato sauce topped with meat and cheese variety. In this vegetable-rich revision, the chef forgoes the seafood and sake, and expertly replaces those flavors with delicious results.

Vegetable Pasta ($14.50) features spaghetti tossed with sliced mushrooms, onions, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower and cherry tomatoes tossed

with garlic oil and topped with shredded chiso, with yuzu kosho (a citrus-laced Japanese hot sauce) on the side for a spicy, savory kick.

Pasta with Japanese flavors and flair?

Bring it on.

Sakura Restaurant

3008 Waialae Ave.
259-7100
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);
Closed Mondays