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Inside Feature

There’s Something for Everyone at Kozo

By Maria Kanai
September 9, 2016

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Ebi Fry Bento ($7) A. CONSILLIO PHOTOS

Ebi Fry Bento ($7)
A. CONSILLIO PHOTOS

Nothing is better than enjoying delicate pieces of raw fish, resting on soft grains of white rice and wrapped in crisp, dried seaweed. At Kozo Sushi, sushi is served with care and consideration for those who don’t have time to sit down at an expensive restaurant — you can just pick up a healthy lunch or dinner and eat it on the go.

Kozo Sushi hails from Osaka, Japan, where it originated as a franchise in 1972. According to owner Maki Niwa, Kozo was initially built to fill the gap between an okazuya and a pricey sushi bar, making it possible for people to enjoy this traditional Japanese cuisine via fast food, take-out style.

Sweet Chili Chicken Bento ($8.99)

Sweet Chili Chicken Bento ($8.99)

That’s why you’ll find that Kozo’s prices are reasonable and most items are under $10. There’s still a Kozo in Japan, and here on Oahu, there are multiple locations around the island, including Kahala Mall, Pearl City, Pearlridge, Moiliili and Keeaumoku.

“What sets us apart from other sushi restaurants is that we’re a franchise from Japan, and we’re able to offer real Japanese sushi at an affordable price,” says Niwa.

You’ll find good variety on Kozo’s menu — hand rolls, hosomaki, makimono, nigiri and donburi. The seafood is fresh, whether it’s ahi, ika, salmon, shrimp, tako, unagi, negitoro or ikura. And for those who aren’t in the mood for raw fish, Niwa says Kozo offers tasty bentos that still taste authentic and can sate your craving for Japanese food.

Teriyaki Chicken Bento ($7.99) FILE PHOTO

Teriyaki Chicken Bento ($7.99)
FILE PHOTO

“We want our customers to know that we also sell food aside from seafood and raw fish,” says Niwa.

Teriyaki Chicken Bento ($7.99) is a tried-and-true option for folks who don’t want to stray from the classics. The bento includes teriyak i chicken, tossed salad, shinko (pickled radish) maki and soba noodles. Sweet Chili Chicken Bento ($8.99) is a newer addition to the mix, packing a half-pound of deep-fried chicken served with a homemade sweet chili, hot-and-sour sauce. The chicken is topped with sesame seeds and green onions, and paired with furikake rice, tossed salad and two pieces of shinko maki.

Ebi Fry Bento ($7) is another favorite. With breaded fried shrimp topped generously with homemade katsu and teriyaki sauces, the bento also has inari sushi — a deep-fried tofu pouch, or aburaage, filled with sushi rice — two pieces of shinko maki, tossed salad and rice topped with shredded nori.

Kozo Sushi

638 Keeaumoku St., No. 101, Honolulu (and various locations)
946-5696
Monday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
kozosushihawaii.com