Here To Stay
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For those driving along Waialae Avenue, the spot where Izakaya Restaurant Ko now sits has frequently evolved over the years from various restaurants to sporadic endeavors. Still, Izakaya Restaurant Ko — which now is under new ownership (also the owners of the Japanese restaurant Rinka off Kapiolani Boulevard) — is here to stay because of its tried-and-true approach to Japanese cuisine with a modern twist.
From Snow Crab Cream Gratin ($12.50), which is a hearty Japanese pasta of sorts, to the more traditional Grilled Butterfish with Saikyo Miso ($16.75), the eatery’s collection of fresh appetizers and grilled small plates creates an eating experience of epic proportions.
From now until an undecided date, the Kaimuki restaurant is offering 25 percent off the entire food and drinks menu, which means a discount on its full bar, including Asahi on draft and a selection of sakes and shochus. Furthermore, Izakaya Restaurant Ko’s kamameshi menu will be 50 percent off until April 15, if you bring in the establishment’s coupon, which can be found in Dining Out (see page 11).
Although you could miss the location, you want to keep your eyes peeled for the street-side Izakaya Restaurant Ko sign, which will lead you to parking behind the building, as well as to another available lot to the side of the restaurant after 5 p.m.
One of the featured kamameshi dishes is Salmon and Ikura Kamameshi ($14.50 regular, $7.25 special). The traditional Japanese-style preparation of this entrée involves a kama, which is a metal bowl connected to a wooden box with a lid for steaming. Meshi, stands for the rice in the dish, which actually is cooked in a soy-sauce dashi for added flavor and a pleasantly soft texture. Although kamameshi meals can include any type of meat, seafood and vegetable, this specific menu item steams fillets of fresh Atlantic salmon and then adds prized ikura (salmon roe) on top after it’s done steaming.
Izakaya Restaurant Ko
3196 Waialae Ave., Kaimuki
Daily, 5 p.m.-2 a.m.; closed Tuesday