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Join in the fun, food at revamped eatery

A La Carte Columns

March 7, 2016

Story By: Nicole Kato | Photos by: NATHALIE WALKER

Oxtail Soup ($14 happy hour/lunch, $17.95 regular)

Oxtail Soup ($14 happy hour/lunch, $17.95 regular)

Odori-ko, which first made its home in Waikiki nearly four decades ago, has established roots in traditional family-style Japanese dining. And after recently moving to its current location along Kapiolani Boulevard, the restaurant continues to offer the same attention to detail when preparing dishes, while also taking in the modernity of a new generation at the helm: siblings Hiro Takei and Rie Takei Akita.

The totality of the ambiance is reflected in Odoriko’s tagline: escape, engage, indulge.

Since reopening its doors in Town last October, the establishment has seen a number of live, local musicians grace its stage (on a nightly basis) and hundreds of happy customers return for gratifying libations, satisfying sustenance and copious amounts of fun.

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The eatery’s Oxtail Soup ($14 happy hour/lunch, $17.95 regular) pays homage to the island favorite — but with a distinct Japanese twist. According to Hiro, the dish highlights more of a shoyu base combined with bonito and sake flavors.

“Then we (finish it) the old-fashioned way, which is to let it simmer for a long time,” he adds. The five-hour process, while arduous, results in tender, flavorful meat falling right off the bone. (Ramen noodles can be added for an additional $2.)

Pupu-style sharing is all part of the sense of community shared at Odori-ko. Enter Hamachi Jalapeno Roll ($16.95) — and don’t let the simple, explanatory name fool you. The playfulness of texture and zest shines through with each bite. Smooth hamachi surrounds sushi rice and a spicy-tuna center for a creamy finish, while ripe jalapeno and masago give the dish a delicate kick and pop. Topping off the roll is Odori-ko’s house-made sweet yuzu paste that curbs any lingering spice.

Hamachi Jalapeno Roll ($16.95)

Hamachi Jalapeno Roll ($16.95)

Staying true to its community-mindedness, Odori-ko aims to please patrons of all ages. Each Sunday, accurately dubbed Family Sunday, keiki 10 and younger can eat off a special bento menu — featuring potato wedges, gyoza, arabiki sausage, onigiri and a main meat dish — for just $5 (regular price is $9.95). And Senior Tuesday, introduced just last month for guests 60 and older, offers 10 percent off regularly priced food items (excluding happy hour and special menus), and extends dinner specials from 4:30 p.m. to midnight in Sushi Teishoku ($19.95 special, $29.95 regular), Oxtail Soup ($14 special, $17.95 regular) and Unajyu ($15 special, $18.95 regular).

Odori-Ko

1680 Kapiolani Blvd., F8 Honolulu
955-6555
Daily, lunch: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; early happy hour: 4:30-6 p.m.; dinner: 4:30 p.m.-midnight; late happy hour: 10 p.m.-midnight
odori-ko.com

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