Keeping a family tradition alive
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When the restaurant that their parents had been running for 40 years had to move out of Waikiki for renovations in the area, brother and sister Hiro Takei and Rie Takei-Akita couldn’t bear to see it close for good. So the pair decided to take the restaurant, Odoriko, to a new location on Kapiolani Boulevard, where it now sits.
“It’s what we do — the restaurant business, food, service — it’s just built into what our family has always done,” Hiro says. “I don’t think there was ever any doubt that we wanted to reopen.
“Our foundation is an assortment of a lot of varieties of Japanese cuisine,” he continues. “There’s traditional things like sashimi, tempura, sushi, teishokus (and) noodles.”
And since its move into town from Waikiki, Hiro says, you can expect a few changes. As he explains: “Now that we are in Kapiolani, we have increased the amount of local favorites — with a Japanese flair to them.”
That means that these days, you also can find local fusion items — including poke, sliders and Salt and Pepper Pork Chops ($13.95). These chops are tenderized, then crusted with mochiko for a touch of crunchiness, and fried. In addition to its salt and pepper seasonings, the dish also comes with a tangy, sweet homemade wine dipping sauce. Underneath all of that, you’ll find a house-made potato salad to complement the chops.
Keep in mind that this dish also is available for $11 during Odori-ko’s happy hour, which runs from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and again from 10 p.m. to closing.
Another popular local favorite is Odori-ko Hamburger Steak ($14.95) that’s made with ground beef, egg, bread crumbs and onions, and then seasoned with salt and pepper and broiled. It’s served with a mushroom wine demi-glace sauce.
“This is a big, fat juicy patty that’s homemade,” Hiro says.
The dish is served with fried potato, green string beans and a mushroom and bean sprout medley.
For another local fusion item, Hiro points to Tebasaki Chicken Wings ($7), featuring two large deep-fried wings that are dipped in a sweet honey glaze and accented with pepper and sesame seeds.
1680 Kapiolani Blvd., Honolulu
Daily, lunch: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., dinner: 4:30 p.m. to midnight
Sunday-Thursday you can get free valet; Friday and Saturday, valet costs $5.