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A Carnivore’s Dream Restaurant

By Andy Beth Miller Photos By Lawrence Tabudlo
July 5, 2015

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Any visit to Honolulu’s newest yakiniku destination, Japanese B.B.Q. Yoshi, will quickly reveal its undeniable motif: meat. And not just any meat — only the highest quality, premium kind.

Whether it be U.S. Kobe kalbi or ascending grades of primo wagyu, Japanese B.B.Q. Yoshi caters to every diner’s true carnivorous side, the one that demands protein not from a wrapper nor hidden in a bun, but rather meat that stands on its own.

Since its opening in February, Hajime Saito, Ching Lau, Mason Kiyomoto-Isara, Shinichi Sato and Scott Motoda — a dream team of five longtime friends, each with extensive knowledge of the yakiniku industry — have literally “managed” to make Japanese B.B.Q. Yoshi a truly special place that satisfies every appetite.

“We cater to anyone that enjoys good meat,” explains Motoda. “Whether it be a teenager or elderly couple celebrating an anniversary, we want everyone to know they are welcome here.”

Reiterating the importance of each member’s hands-on mentality when it comes to every stage of the eatery, Saito explains that “none of this could be possible without these guys beside me,” further revealing the heart of what makes this place hum. That, and the meat, of course.

So without further ado, feast your eyes on these finds, as Dining Out finds out what all this beef’s about.

Proving that there is indeed something for everyone here, U.S. Kobe Toro Kalbi ($19) offers an affordable 4-ounce serving of wagyu seasoned to your liking, with a choice of salt and pepper or mouthwatering marinade (shio or tare).

Be sure to look out for Japanese Wagyu Lifter Cap Kalbi (market price, averaging $27-$32), as this seasoned-to-order (shio or tare), Grade A4/A5 limited edition item isn’t always available, and sure doesn’t last long when it is!

Moving on up the heavenly ladder of meat, Japanese Wagyu Short Rib Kalbi ($38) also is a Grade A4/A5 (4 ounce) selection, and “all boneless, as all our items are,” assures Kiyomoto-Isara. Japanese Wagyu Ribeye Steak ($100), a 7-ounce slab of marbled heaven, is seasoned with salt and pepper and served alongside assorted raw vegetables as well as the chef’s recommendation of wasabi and/or dipping sauces.

And although the “less gamey” taste speaks for itself, “the marbled texture also makes a difference,” explains Kiyomoto-Isara, who points out that “you know you have quality meat when you are able to serve and prepare it a little more rare.”

So, at least at Japanese B.B.Q. Yoshi, the next time someone “has a beef” with you, you’ll know it’s definitely a good thing.

Japanese B.B.Q. Yoshi

1316 YOUNG ST., HONOLULU
784-0067
SUNDAY-THURSDAY, 5:30-11 P.M.
FRIDAY-SATURDAY, 5:30 P.M.-1 A.M.