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Visit this fresh spot offering good-for-you Japanese delights

A La Carte

March 3, 2019

Story By: Caroline Wright | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

The glorious all-you-can-eat Ho Farms Salad Bar

The new Minori Craft Japanese Tavern opened for business last month, and it’s already creating ripples of excitement among locals who have discovered its izakaya-style fare.

Located at the former Tsukada Nojo building on Kalakaua Avenue, close to the Hawaii Convention Center, Minori was launched by the same owners and features some of Tsukada’s menu items, including its award-winning hot pot.

Polar Bear Shave Ice ($9)

“Our Bijin Nabe (Beautifying Hot Pot) gets its name from our original Chicken Paitan soup, which has a lot of collagen and is very addicting,” explains general manager Maki Sekiguchi. “There are three soup options to choose from — Original Chicken Paitan, Original Chicken Paitan with Spicy Miso, and Sukiyaki.”

Sekiguchi says guests may select ribeye, pork belly or chicken for their hot pot, and enjoy vegetables from the bottomless, all-you-can-eat Ho Farms Salad Bar. Prices for the nabe begin at $19.80.

Homemade Cold Aloha Tofu ($6) and Beautifying Hot Pot with chicken ($19.80)

“We recommend trying all of the vegetables in the hot pot — even those you wouldn’t usually add, like cherry tomatoes and lettuce,” she says.

With a name that means “harvest” in Japanese, Minori embraces farm-to-table cuisine, featuring local eggs, island produce, and Aloha Tofu in its dishes. Minori’s Homemade Cold Aloha Tofu ($6), topped with roasted sesame seeds and accompanied by small bowls of green onions and soy sauce, is great to share with a friend.

“It’s made in-house using soy milk from Aloha Tofu,” says Sekiguchi. “It’s very silky and flavorful.”

Minori’s dessert menu also features a carryover from Tsukada Nojo — Polar Bear Shave Ice ($9). Seemingly made for Instagram, it’s a whimsical way to finish a meal at Minori.

Offering two daily happy hours, Minori also features a live DJ on rotation every Friday and Saturday evening starting at 8 p.m. Plus, there’s free parking on the premises, and complimentary validated parking at Century Center for up to two hours.

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