Italian Meets Japanese at Mimasuya Italiano
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In a political sense, countries may be at war with one another, but in the culinary world, diners are noticing the intermingling of many different food cultures and flavors.
Residents living in the Kakaako area can find such synergy at Mimasuya Italiano of Kyoto, a relatively new restaurant that infuses traditional Italian cuisine with the bold flavors and flair of Japan.
Mimasuya Italiano is the first restaurant — owned by accomplished Japanese entrepreneur Misaki Hibi — to open in the United States, joining the ranks of seven others in Kyoto, Japan. Since its grand opening almost seven months ago, the restaurant has mastered the art of incorporating a Japanese-style presentation in its dishes, utilizing bold colors and eye-catching garnish palettes.
Although vastly different from one another, the Italian and Japanese flavor profiles allow for both a visually stunning and uniquely tasting menu.
“The two worlds really fit well together,” says Shintaro Yano, general manager of Mimasuya Italiano. “Italian food is all about rich, comfort food with big portions, and Japanese cuisine is very conscientious about beautiful presentation, so with our food you get the best of both.”
Diners looking for a quintessential Italian meal will be pleasantly surprised at the subtle, yet impactful differences Mimasuya Italiano’s dishes present to give it a Japanese edge. One of the restaurant’s most popular dishes is Diablo Chicken Pepperoncinos ($26), a roasted medley of tender chicken, potatoes and sansyo peppers, an ingredient typically not associated with Italian food.
“The sansyo peppers give the roasted chicken a slight heat that makes the overall dish very tasty,” says Yano.
To start, the chef recommends Assorted Appetizers ($28), which comes with 10 different flavorful and beautifully plated dishes ranging from duck breast to tuna carpaccio. Pasta fans can choose from a plethora of dishes ranging from the creamy, egg-based Carbonara ($17) to the popular Chilled Fedelini ($16), a cold tomato-based pasta with grilled eggplant, prosciutto and tomatoes.
For a truly all-encompassing taste of what Mimasuya Italiano has to offer, the restaurant features a daily Prix Fixe Dinner Menu ($50 regular, $38 with the mention of this Dining Out article). The meal comes with six dishes: an appetizer, salad, soup, pasta, main entree and dessert.
“Everything on our menu is hand-crafted based on taste and visual appeal,” says Michael Lopez, bar manager for Mimasuya Italiano. “It’s a fine dining experience without the fine dining prices.”
In addition, Mimasuya Italiano offers a full-service bar as well as free parking.
Mimasuya Italiano of Kyoto
1341 Kapiolani Blvd, Suite 101, Honolulu
Daily, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. (lunch) 5:30-10 p.m. (dinner)
Closed every other Sunday