Gearing Up for Summer with Amazing Ahi

Columns Ono, You Know

June 4, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

With summer just around the corner, I’m already starting to think of barbecues on the beach and the sheer enjoyment of consuming edible favorites such as Spam musubi, kal-bi, potato mac salad, barbecue chicken, ribs and more.

At the same time, I’m trying to will myself back onto the treadmill again so that I’m one step ahead of bikini season. Still, I can’t help but notice the battle that lies before me — the urge to devour calorie-filled foods that have become my archenemies. Yes, I’m fully aware that scarfing down these ono favorites means additional hours on the treadmill.

Anyway, I’ve arrived at a happy medium this week. Forget the greasy hamburgers and potato chips — I’m going after mounds of fresh ahi poke and sashimi, not to mention ahi sushi and other temptingly delicious items of the sort — cooked or raw. Studies show that ahi is an excellent source of high-quality protein, rich in a variety of essential nutrients, including the minerals selenium, magnesium and potassium; the B vitamins niacin, and perhaps most importantly, the benefits of omega-3 essential fatty acids.

So what are you waiting for? Come along with me as we gear up for the summer by visiting the following ahi-licious establishments.

Eggs ‘n Things

  • The editor is ready to dig into the Fresh Ahi Steak dinner special ($12.85), while Eggs ‘n Things general manager Michael Skedeleski presents another entree of this immaculate fish.
  • Eggs ‘n Things' Fresh Ahi Steak dinner special ($12.85)
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Omelets, crepes, pancakes and waffles — these are a few of my favorite things — and, of course, Eggs ‘n Things is my restaurant of choice for all of these decadently delicious creations.

And while this Waikiki eatery on Saratoga Road is known for its plethora of breakfast selections, for the ahi lover in me, there’s one dinner special in particular that I absolutely can’t pass up. Drum roll, please … enter the Fresh Ahi Steak. This immaculate dinner special is available from 5 to 10 p.m. and features a generous serving of fresh tuna steak — be it sauteed, Cajun-style or Furikake-Macadamia Nut-style.

“Simple Sauteed Ahi Steak and Cajun Ahi Steak are available for breakfast as well as dinner, but the Furikake-Macadamia Nut Ahi Steak is only available for dinner,” says Eggs ‘n Things general manager Michael Skedeleski. “For dinner we serve a bigger cut as compared to breakfast.”

Priced at $12.85, the Fresh Ahi Steak dinner special is accompanied by potatoes, pancakes or rice and comes with your choice of potato or tossed salad.

“Our award-winning Fresh Ahi Steak & Eggs ($10.95) breakfast was named Best Breakfast by the Food Network Magazine,” adds Skedeleski, noting that Eggs ‘n Things serves more than 1,000 appetites per day.

“We get fresh fish every day provided by local vendors and there’s a special, secret ingredient that is added to our breading that makes our ahi unique,” he says. “Also, the combination of eggs, ahi and rice is really a perfect pairing. The cooks bring a lot of TLC to their creations, too.”

Agreed. The Ahi Steak is so tender and flavorful, and when paired with my choice of pancakes, it’s like a match made in heaven!

Eggs ‘N Things
343 Saratoga Road
(808) 923-3447
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The Willows

  • The Willows' Three Peppercorn Seared Ahi on Crispy Won Ton ($34.95, feeds 15 to 20 people)
  • The Willows' Ahi Poke is a hit, seasoned with ogo, green onions, Maui onions, drizzled with sesame oil and sprinkled with chili flakes and a kimchi seasoning.
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When you think of The Willows, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Ono food? Live music? A peaceful and relaxing atmosphere within a beautifully lush setting? How about all of the above? Yes, The Willows is all of this and more, having made its way to the top of my list for savory local favorites. In all honesty, the ahi here is to die for.

Thanks to executive chef Jay Matsukawa, The Willows serves up an array of ahi that is out-of-this-world delicious. Matsukawa’s famous Ahi Poke and Sashimi are showcased as part of the restaurant’s dinner buffet, offered daily for $34.95, and lunch buffet available weekdays for $19.95.

“Our Ahi Poke is seasoned with ogo, green onions, Maui onions and drizzled with sesame oil. It’s then sprinkled with chili flakes and a kimchi seasoning,” Matsukawa explains. “Our sashimi is very smooth.”

The Three Peppercorn Seared Ahi on Crispy Won Ton, served with a sesame vinaigrette ($34.95 feeds 15 to 20 people), is available on the catering menu only. According to Matsukawa, this delectable delicacy is a popular item among locals and is regarded as one of The Willow’s most highly requested items on the catering menu.

So, whatever your heart desires, expect to be dined to the nines when it comes to all things “ahi-rific!”

“We’re known for our poke, so I would say that yes, ahi is one of our signature items here at The Willows,” Matsukawa says.

The Willows
901 Hausten St.
(808) 952-9200
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Kozo Sushi

  • Kozo Sushi's Dragon Maki ($6.99)
  • Kozo's Maricel Cadiz with a tray of Dragon Maki.
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The ahi addict and sushi lover in me couldn’t be any happier with Hawaii’s premier choice for takeout sushi. Kozo Sushi’s magnificent array of ahi samplings has long been a classic for any party or celebration.

My favorite sushi pick has got to be Kozo’s Dragon Maki ($6.99), which offers the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. This zesty masterpiece is a feast for all the senses, and features eight pieces of shrimp tempura maki paired with fresh lettuce and seasoned with a sweet teriyaki sauce. It’s then topped with fresh ahi, masago, green onions and sesame seeds, drizzled with an extra bit of teriyaki and spicy sauce to give it an added kick.

The Dynamite Maki ($7.25), a shrimp tempura maki with ahi and masago, topped off with barbecue potato chips, sesame seeds, green onions and drizzled with a spicy sauce with wasabi mayo is also among my favorites.

Trust me, you can’t just take one bite without wanting more — you’ll be hooked on this ahi cuisine. Without a doubt, Kozo’s sushi makers display pure and utter talent, and with locations throughout Oahu, you won’t have to go far to partake in Kozo Sushi wonders.

Kozo Sushi
1029 Makolu St. #C
(808) 455-6805
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