‘Gourmet Alley’ Of Japanese Fare Turns 1Inside Feature
December 3, 2017
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
With a collection of 15 food-and-bev erage establishments arranged like a small village on the lower level of Waikiki Shopping Plaza, Waikiki Yokocho Gourmet Alley gives diners the opportunity to enjoy cuisine inspired by Japan’s quaint alleys, which are laden with restaurants and bars, all without leaving the 50th State.
As part of its one-year anniversary celebration, Waikiki Yokocho is hosting an array of family-friendly activities today, including free photos with Santa, face painting, balloon animals and live music. The anniversary celebration is also a great opportunity for local diners to discover the incredible value offered at the aromatic “alleyway,” as the 15 eateries offer both happy hour and kamaaina discounts throughout the day and night; these price savings are available daily throughout the year and, in many cases, can even be combined for even greater deals.
At Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen, known affectionately by loyal diners as “Volcano Ramen,” happy hour specials are available from 2 to 5 p.m. and include a host of meals for less than $10. Customers can enjoy Karamiso Vegetable Ramen for just $9.95 (regular price is $13), and receive an additional 10 percent off via the kamaaina discount; add gyoza or chicken karaage for just $2 more.
Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen is also known for its signature volcano-like Beef Sukiyaki Kazan ($25.80), which is composed of Kazan-style ramen in an original tonkotsu broth enhanced with a specially blended sukiyaki-shoyu paste. The broth is added at the table and the dish is covered to cook as the volcano-like bowl boils and steams right before diners’ eyes. This customer favorite is served with a bowl of rice. (Local guests are encouraged to use their kamaaina discount.)
Just steps away at Sizzle, diners can try the ohso-good Kobe and wagyu beef selections, while also taking advantage of happy hour deals from 2 to 5 p.m. and again from 10 p.m. to closing, and a 10 percent kamaaina discount available all day and night. The restaurant serves up stellar lunch specials for just $9.95 apiece, including Sukiyaki Don, composed of stir-fried beef and onion in seasoned sukiyaki sauce with rice and pickled ginger. Yakiniku Beef Bowl is another lunch special built with delicious, tender kalbi short ribs atop rice and served with salad and kimchee.
Stop by Marion Crepes Hawaii, where fresh ingredients are used to craft made-to-order crepe selections, including Fruit Madness ($9.50, $11 with ice cream and $13 with cheesecake). The light-and-fluffy crepe is filled with blueberries, strawberries, banana, pineapple, coconut flakes and a sweet honey sauce. For just 50 cents more, whipped cream that is made in house daily can be added.
Marion Crepes Hawaii offers happy hour deals from 3 to 6 p.m., during which slightly smaller versions of select crepes can be purchased for 40 percent off regular prices. And, if guests present a receipt from a neighboring Waikiki Yokocho restaurant, the aforementioned discount can be applied throughout the day and night — definitely a sweet deal.