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Sushi YuZu Brings Freshness to Ko Olina

By Michelle Lee Photos By Nathalie Walker
June 30, 2013

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Given the success of YuZu’s Ala Moana Hotel location, it was only a matter of time before diners in West Oahu would gain access to the restaurant’s innovative, izakaya-style sushi. After much pleading from loyal fans, YuZu now welcomes the launch of its second location in Ko Olina, Sushi YuZu.

Run by husband-and-wife duo Isamu and Moco Kubato, Sushi YuZu offers a unique twist on traditional Japanese cuisine through the creative usage of bold ingredients and cooking techniques.

As implied by the restaurant’s name, the yuzu fruit is a core and ever-present part of the eatery’s menu.

“Most sushi restaurants use a rice vinegar with refined sugar that is not healthy,” says Isamu. “We have our own special sushi vinegar with yuzu juice, Hawaiian salt and organic cane sugar.”

Completely free of any MSG or refined sugar, Sushi YuZu’s unique sushi vinegar maintains a subtle, yet deeply influential flavor that works well with sashimi and rice.

“With normal rice vinegar, sushi can taste dry,” explains Moco. “Our yuzu vinegar took a long time to perfect, but everything is the perfect ratio and it goes down very smoothly.”

To start, the Kubatos recommend any of the menu’s uniquely prepared appetizers, such as Heart of Palm Tempura ($10.95), a tempura-style fried heart of palm with homemade sauce and daikon radish sprinkled with yuzu sea salt. Ideal for meat lovers is Australian Wagyu Lemon Beef ($35.95), which comes with Maui onions and a yuzu sauce. For a slightly lighter, yet still filling meal, YuZu Somen ($10.95) with tomato and cucumbers is refreshing and a favorite among locals.

The Ko Olina location also offers two styles of omakase, a chef’s choice meal of several types of sushi and sides. Omakase Hawaii ($29.95) comes with ahi poke as well as three types of sushi rolls: Shrimp Tempura Roll with Spicy Tuna, Seafood Dynamite Roll and Ko Olina Roll. For a more traditional menu, Omakase Japan ($39.50) features a collection of sashimi, including Hawaiian ahi, Japanese yellowtail, king salmon, ikura, scallop and a snow crab hand roll.

With the addition of Sushi YuZu, the owners hope to reach those from all sides of the island.

“We are very excited about being in Ko Olina,” says Moco. “The beautiful and relaxing environment makes it the perfect complement to our fresh, creative dishes.”

Sushi YuZu

92-1047 Olani St., Suite 1-101
678-1155
Sunday–Thursday, 4:30-10 p.m.
Friday–Saturday, 4:30 p.m.-midnight