It’s time to go to GokokuAli Carte Columns
January 18, 2015
Story By: Ali Resich |
When looking out over Koko Marina in Hawaii Kai, with its glistening turquoise water sitting at the foot of the Koolau’s vast expanses, the view is nothing short of breathtaking. It’s only appropriate, then, to enjoy a meal that’s just as inspiring while taking in the area’s natural beauty.
Opened just last month, Gokoku Sushi is just the spot to find fare as idyllic as its location. “Gokoku Sushi features a sushi and tempura bar with a gorgeous view of the marina, which starts off any meal on a great note,” confirms PR and marketing director Mona Wood-Sword.
The eatery is the first venture in the Islands for established Japanese restaurant group Pierthirty, under the direction of founder, president and CEO Akiyuki Takahashi.
A mix of traditional and contemporary Japanese cuisine abounds at Gokoku, where fresh, local ingredients are brought together with seafood and seasonings for Japan to render truly authentic flavors. House Salad from Otsuji Farm ($9.50), for instance, utilizes spry vegetables from a Hawaii Kai farm, while Assorted Sashimi ($25.50-$58.75) showcases local catches, as well as fish from Japan in a spectacularly presented platter.
For its impressive array of seafood, Gokoku highlights island tuna, Kauai shrimp and Kona abalone, as well as Japan-sourced items such as hamachi, anago (sea eel) and madai (sea bream).
Classically trained executive chef Katsuhisa Inoue, whose background includes a position as head chef at renowned MEGU Restaurant in New York City, emphasizes quality and technique when crafting the menu. Meanwhile executive sushi chef Takeshi Matsumoto is known for adding the delicate, but unmistakable, taste of fresh shiso to many of his delectable sushi rolls.
Such prowess from the team is evident in dishes like Washu Beef Steak ($48.50), featuring unbelievably tender Wagyu beef topped with black and white sesame seeds, and served with assorted vegetables and black and white sesame sauces presented in a yin and yang pattern. “(The pattern) underscores the subtle difference the two flavors bring to the beef,” shares Wood-Sword.
To end any meal, patrons can’t go wrong with Gokoku Sundae ($12.50), an invigorating mix of azuki, assorted ice cream, fruit and green tea biscotti.
The restaurant notes that limited reservations are available for lunch and dinner, so calling to reserve a spot is highly recommended. Gokoku also plans to unveil new menu items as early as April, and Hawaii patrons can look forward to more Pierthirty dining experiences, as the group plans to open a number of establishments in the coming years.
7192 Kalanianaole Hwy., Honolulu
Lunch: Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 pm. (closed for lunch on Mondays)
Dinner: Nightly, 5-10 p.m.
Note: Complimentary valet service by Elite Valet is available for Gokoku Sushi patrons only (fronting the restaurant) Friday and Saturday, from 5 to 10 p.m.