Kobe grills to thrill
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Through five decades of pleasing multiple generations of diners, the skilled staff at Kobe Japanese Steak-house & Sushi Bar continues to dazzle diners with menu creations that keep the eating experience fresh, fun and entertaining.
Kobe is situated conveniently at the gateway to Waikiki on Ala Moana Boulevard between the iconic Ilikai and Hilton Hawaiian Village, and both kamaaina and visitors clamor for its generous portions and stellar customer service.
Modeled after a rustic Japanese inn, Kobe serves up authentic Japanese cuisine infused with local flavors and preparation techniques in a comfortable, family-style setting. As the skilled chefs prepare fresh meals on the flat-top teppan grills situated at each table, distinct aromas waft throughout the eatery as the culinary craftsmen deftly chop, slice and toss the ingredients to the delight of diners — some of whom represent a third generation of customers whose parents introduced them to Kobe, and now bring their children to enjoy the experience.
“Everything is presented before you and cooked to order, so you know you’re getting a fresh product,” says owner and general manager Roy Nakamura of the Kobe experience. “It’s a concept that’s always been present with us, but is becoming more popular with other restaurants. As far as freshness goes, it shows in all our items. You get really good food along with an entertaining presentation.”
Nakamura recommends diners delve into one of many popular complete dinner sets, including Ribeye Steak ($37.95), a long-time favorite featuring a 10-ounce portion of beautifully marbled and textured ribeye. Steak and Shrimp Combo ($38.95) is another go-to dinner set featuring a 5-ounce portion of sirloin steak coupled with six succulent pieces of shrimp.
The aforementioned dinner sets also include a two-piece Teppan Shrimp appetizer, pickled vegetables, shabu shabu soup, grilled teppan vegetables including zucchini, mushrooms and onions, white rice and hot green tea. Diners may substitute fried rice for an additional $4.
Kobe also offers up a vast array of superb selections on a nightly basis in its inviting lounge, which opens at 5 p.m. in concurrence with dinner service and features a daily happy hour from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The specially priced menu includes a host of deals including 20 percent off sushi, $3 standard cocktails, $3 domestic beers and $4 wine specials.
Those craving sushi may look forward to a wide array of freshly prepared selections, including Rainbow Roll ($15). The colorful creation has stood out as a customer favorite for years, and features a California Roll base topped with avocado, salmon, hamachi and maguro, which produce an array of appealing flavors and colors.
Additionally, the lounge offers nightly drink specials within the happy hour window such as Flavored Sakes ($4, available Monday) including peach, lychee and apple; Heineken and Heineken Light “Green Bottles” ($4, available Thursday); Mojitos ($5.50, available Friday) including coconut, lychee, pineapple, passion fruit, mango and melon; and Martinis ($5.50, available Sunday) including apple, lychee, cosmopolitan, lemon drop and chocolate.
“It’s a nice added touch where customers can enjoy a round or two before heading into dinner,” says Nakamura of the happy hour and lounge specials. “Diners can avoid the rush hour traffic, kick back and enjoy the calm, casual atmosphere.”
Kobe Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar
1841 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu
Daily, (Lounge) 5-10 p.m.; (Dinner) 5-10 p.m.; happy hour 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Note: Valet Parking available for $5, reservations recommended