A Steak House Stakeout
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It’s a longtime Waikiki landmark, a favorite of kamaaina and visitors alike, with a stellar reputation for top-quality food and service. It has an authentic Japanese ambiance (with a fascinating collection of antiques and artwork) and expert chefs who grill your meals with flair, teppanyaki-style, right at your table: Kobe Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar.
Yes, a steak house — and one of the best. But why, oh why are we talking steak house in a vegetarian column?
Let’s review the reason we offer this column in Dining Out. The concept is to assist those among us who choose not to eat meat or fish when dining out with carnivorous friends, family or co-workers. We peruse the menu to reveal meat-free delicacies that may not share the spotlight with the likes of prime rib eye.
“We are trying to work on a vegetarian selection,” admits Kobe owner and general manager Roy Nakamura, adding that more and more often the steak house is getting requests for meat-free dishes. There are probably myriad reasons for this trend, but it’s good news for vegetarians!
Meanwhile, you can enjoy a full-on meal here without compromising your diet.
Simply titled Vegetarian Dinner ($14.95), it’s a healthy plateful of vegetables that includes the eatery’s standard sides — zucchini, mushrooms, onions, bean sprouts — in addition to nutritious carrots, broccoli and roasted potatoes, all grilled teppanyaki-style by Kobe’s expert chefs right at your table. And all of Kobe’s teppan meals include steamed white rice, tsukemono and hot green tea.
Just want to chill in the lounge? In addition to its traditional sushi bar, where you can order up a fresh Avocado and Cucumber Inside-out Roll ($8), the lounge also offers pupus to complement its cocktails, including traditional Japanese Hiyayakko Tofu ($4), cold tofu topped with ginger and bonito (optional), and Agedashi Tofu, deep-fried, golden-brown morsels topped with minced green onions.
And you’ll just have to stake out the steak house for the debut of the abovementioned addition of more meat-free authentic Japanese options.
Kobe Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar
1841 Ala Moana Blvd.
Open daily Lounge: 5-10 p.m. Dinner: 5:30-10 p.m.