Butter Me Up With Butterfish

Columns Ono, You Know

June 2, 2013

Story By: Alana Folen | Photos by: Leah Friel

Do you want to win me over big time? Well, the way to my heart is through food (surprise, surprise!) — you name it, I love it. Pasta? Most definitely. Steak? Pass me the steak knife. Salad? Sure, I like to be healthy. Cake? Need you even ask? And ice cream? Now, I live for that sweet stuff.

Yet, this week, you can push all of that aforementioned goodness aside, because all that matters is that I’m buttered up with butter-fish! This Japanese staple is heaven sent, and thank goodness the following Ono, You Know hot spots know how to do it justice. Broiled, baked, steamed or pan-fried, I’m not picky. Forget the bells and whistles, butterfish shines through on its own. The meat is tender, rich, flavorful and moist — everything you could ask for. It’s like buttah, baby!

Ocean House

Dine amid views of a white sand beach and pristine azure waters at Ocean House, a hidden gem of Waikiki. Located in Outrigger Reef Hotel, Ocean House resembles a charming plantation-style home and treats its guests like family as they enjoy American classics, including mouthwatering prime rib, and Pacific fusion fare, such as Lilikoi Miso Butterfish ($36.50).

While everything on the menu is amazing, in my opinion, it’s Lilikoi Miso Butterfish that’s been reeling in my hearty appetite.

Sometimes you have to indulge! Are you ready for this? Imagine a bed of warm sushi rice topped off with the most tender and moist lilikoi miso butterfish (Alaskan black cod) and adorned with wild mushrooms, green onions and Japanese pickled vegetables.

“The lilikoi miso sauce is spectacular! It’s comprised of lilikoi, red and white miso and a little sake. It’s very tasty,” says general manager David Nagaishi.

A popular favorite with the locals, this 7to 8-ounce piece of fish just melts in your mouth — so much so, that while it has absolutely no trace of butter, you would think it did. Lilikoi Miso Butterfish is the perfect marriage of texture and flavor. Take one bite and you won’t know what hit you! You’ll definitely be back for more. Everything tastes better with butter … fish!

Ocean House
Outrigger Reef Hotel
2169 Kalia Road

3660 on the Rise

Rise up to decadence at 3660 on the Rise, where an explosion of flavors and exotic local influences hit the dining scene. This award-winning establishment on Waialae Avenue opened its doors in September 1992 by partners chef Russell Siu and Gale Ogawa, and it’s been a go-to spot for the dinner crowd ever since.

And since we’re talking butterfish, 3660’s Soy Sake Fillet of Butterfish ($29.50) is a dish to behold.

“This dish is special because we marinate it in a light soy sake marinade, as opposed to a heavy miso paste,” says chef de cuisine Lydell Leong. “The sauce complements the fish because it’s light and doesn’t overpower the other flavors of the dish.”

Soy Sake Fillet of Butterfish also is served with fire-roasted bak choy and miso ginger dashi nage. According to Leong, this alluring dish is the one if you are watching portion sizes, because you don’t have to eat a large amount to feel satisfied.

“The taste is very rich,” he explains, adding, “Butterfish is a great fish that our local clientele can identify with and is familiar with. Those who try it for the first time usually like it, and butterfish contains a lot of healthy omega 3 fatty acids.”

3660 on the Rise
3660 Waialae Ave.

Makino Chaya

When you have a vivacious appetite, Makino Chaya’s all-you-can-eat buffet is the best answer. So, get in line and partake in more than 100 items on the buffet or on the menu. Bring on Seafood Dynamite, never-ending crab legs, zesty curry and more!

I always do damage when it comes to the buffet — say hello to fourth and fifth helpings! However, this Japanese seafood restaurant in Aiea’s Westridge Shopping Center also boasts fabulous bentos, including the top seller — Misoyaki Butter-fish Bento.

Priced at $4.97, this bento dominates with its epic array of California rolls, inari sushi, shrimp tempura and more, along with a bed of fluffy white rice and one piece of misoyaki butterfish.

Hand me the chopsticks, please, because it’s time to get down and dirty with my personal bento favorite. The fish is baked and glazed with a miso marinade, which is a gorgeous combination of salty and sweet.

“We prepare more than 150 bentos per day, and we always sell out,” says president Jo Makino. “So, it’s best to call ahead and reserve your bento the night before.”

All bentos are available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily, and Misoyaki Butterfish Bento has my name written all over it!

Makino Chaya
Westridge Shopping Center
98-150 Kaonohi St.

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