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Raising the bar in Japanese-casual dining

Inside Feature

June 16, 2019

Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

THE UBER-POPULAR HONEY TOAST ($9)
is a must-try at Shokudo Japanese Restaurant & Bar. The house specialty features thick Japanese white toast that is cut out and cubed before being drizzled with honey and topped with vanilla ice cream. Diners can also add toppings ($2 each) including Hot Fudge, Sweet Red Bean, Matcha Green Tea and Kona Coffee, and may also select from premium ice cream flavors such as Matcha Green Tea ($4) or Cookies & Cream ($4).

In traditional Japanese households, there was no dining room — food and place settings were transported from the kitchen to the living room. It was not until influences of Western culinary cultures led to a dedicated dining space, or shokudo, being introduced.

Fittingly, Shokudo Japanese Restaurant & Bar has become a go-to dining destination for locals and visitors to Hawaii who seek out the popular cuisine that has put the restaurant on the map. For instance, a mention of “Honey Toast” among local diners immediately evokes the sweet flavors and aromas of Shokudo’s signature sweet treat.

LOBSTER DYNAMITE ROLL ($16)
is another example of Shokudo’s unique take on and enhancement of traditional Japanese cuisine. In this case, a California roll — which includes crab meat, avocado and cucumber dressed with masago — is elevated by being topped with rich and creamy lobster and a house-made dynamite sauce.

Situated conveniently on Kapiolani Boulevard near the bustling Ala Moana Center, Shokudo Japanese Restaurant & Bar offers an array of delicious choices that kamaaina diners and visitors alike have come to appreciate and enjoy since the eatery opened in 2005. The restaurant’s spacious dining area complete with comfortable seating, a modern interior and high ceilings makes for a memorable dining experience complete with stellar customer service throughout one’s meal.

The casual, inviting setting is ideal for families, couples and large groups looking to celebrate a special occasion or simply enjoy a night out. There also is a private party room available. In addition to the extensive menu featuring more than 60 choices at Shokudo, the restaurant also features a full bar complete with soft drinks, beer, wine, shochu, sake and specialty drinks.

SPICY TUNA ON CRISPY RICE ($13)
is Shokudo’s take on the fried tater tot trend as sushi rice is prepared so it’s fried until golden-brown, crispy and delicious before being topped with ono spicy tuna. A house-made soy sauce and mild jalapeno slices add a nice kick while supplementing the unique flavor profile of this dish.

Diners are encouraged to enjoy their Shokudo favorites “family style” so dishes can be shared with everyone at the table. Shokudo Japanese Restaurant & Bar has embraced creativity on its plate via influences from chef de cuisine Christopher Murakami, and diners will notice elements from countries such as China, Korea, Vietnam, Italy and France that work in harmony with the Japanese cuisine.

“We really focus on providing memorable hospitality, and it’s a family-style restaurant, so you can try a little bit of everything and really get a great experience,” Shokudo Japanese Restaurant & Bar assistant general manager Ryan Ko says. “You really feel the Aloha Spirit here as guests enjoy the Asian-fusion influences throughout the menu.”

SUKIYAKI BIBIMBAP ($14)
is nearly as pleasing visually as it is tasty. The hearty bowl is filled with rice, sukiyaki beef, kimchee, bean sprouts, chives and a hint of chef’s secret sauce along with a raw egg yolk that is mixed at one’s table just seconds before guests dig in.

Validated parking is available in the convenient lot that guests may access via Kona Street, behind Shokudo Japanese Restaurant & Bar.

To view the full menu and make reservations, visit shokudojapanese.com.

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