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Lite Bites
Lite Bites

Kobe Keeps the Pupus and Sushi Coming

By Yu Shing Ting Photos By Leah Friel
January 26, 2014

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Kobe Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar is famous for its Teppanyaki cuisine, as well as those sizzling culinary performances by a teppan chef at your table. But for those looking for a place to just hang out and relax with some “lite bites” and drinks, Kobe also has a nice lounge with two large screen TVs and a full bar.

There also is a sushi bar with eight seats, and a great pupu menu featuring a variety of appetizer-type dishes, such as Ahi Poke Salad ($8) consisting of organic baby spring mix, grape tomatoes, poke (regular or spicy) and Oriental dressing. Also popular is Hiya Yakko ($4), which is soft, cold tofu sprinkled with bonito fish flakes and green onions.

From the sushi bar, the No. 1 item, Rainbow Roll ($15), is a California roll topped with avocado, salmon, maguro and hamachi. Another favorite is Veggie Roll ($8), made with radish sprouts, avocado and cucumber, and prepared inside-out.

“We get a lot of people from the hotels who come by after work,” says Roy Nakamura, who owns the restaurant with wife Lynn. “It’s a real quiet lounge with lighter fare.”

Stop in the lounge during happy hour (from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. daily), and enjoy a 20 percent discount on sushi items and drink specials.

Since its opening in Waikiki 43 years ago, Kobe Steak House has branched out to Maui and Palm Springs, and has become a family-favorite for locals and tourists, including many famous celebrities.

The Nakamuras purchased the Waikiki restaurant a few years ago from Marilyn Gardiner, wife of the late Rod Gardiner, who founded Kobe Steak House with Hy Aisenstat.

“It opened as a very traditional Japanese-style Teppanyaki inn, and we’ve kept everything the same,” notes Nakamura, who has been a manager at Kobe for about 20 years. “It’s the same concept. The menu is almost exactly the same. When we took over, our specific goal was to not change it. We’re keeping it to its roots.”

Kobe Steakhouse & Sushi Bar

1841 Ala Moana Blvd.
941-4444
Daily, Lounge: 5-10 p.m.
Dinner: 5:30-10 p.m.
kobewaikiki.com