YuZu’s veggie treasures to go
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Aptly named after the delicious Japanese citrus fruit, the cuisine at YuZu brings a similar refreshing and light taste to the table. The owners of this eclectic establishment, husband-and-wife team Isamu and Motoko (Moco) Kubota, are no strangers to the fine-dining scene, as the duo have previously owned other eateries, as well as YuZu’s sister branch currently located at Ko Olina Resorts.
Opening its doors in Ala Moana Hotel in 2011, the restaurant makes it clear that it has high standards, boasting a motto stating that, “Healthy food made with quality ingredients is the YuZu way.” Further reiterating this motto, Isamu explains that, “Our sushi rice is accented with yuzu vinegar and organic cane sugar instead of regular sushi vinegar and refined sugar, which makes it better for your health.” Isamu continues on, attesting to the fact that, at YuZu, “We only use good ingredients and (offer) tasty foods, because we want local people to come, as well as guests from other islands (and beyond).”
And while one can most definitely enjoy dining in at YuZu, the eatery is excited to announce its new take-out option, for those who would like to enjoy restaurant-quality fare from the comfort of home. Simply call ahead and swoop up some of these delicious dishes, or stop in and say you’d like your grinds to go.
Try a sample of Soy Karaage with 6 Kinds of Vegetables Bento ($12.95), featuring soy karaage and side dishes, including pumpkin, lotus roots, watercress, boiled vegetables, beans salad and Hawaiian ogo.
Or opt for Kuruma-Fu Burger ($11.95). Kuruma-Fu is wheat gluten, and YuZu serves it in a patty deep-fried with cutlet sauce and Vegenaise, topped with onion, tomato and lettuce.
Another great selection is Three Sushi Nigiri and Vegetable Roll ($12.95) consisting of three sushi nigiri — tomato, lotus root and natto. The vegetable roll is wrapped with soy paper and includes kaiware, greens, avocado, cucumber, cherry tomato, burdock and carrot.
When asked what about the restaurant business attracts him the most, Isamu explains that it is fulfilling to see how “good food makes people happy — both in mind and body.”
Ala Moana Hotel
410 Atkinson Drive, Honolulu
943-1155 or 391-3753 (takeout)
Monday-Saturday, Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Dinner: 5-11 p.m.
Sunday, Dinner: 5-9:30 p.m.