Combining Sushi With Speedy Service

Columns Foodie Fare

June 9, 2013

Story By: Christina O Connor |

If you’re craving sushi, but don’t have the time to dine at a sit-down restaurant, Kozo Sushi provides a convenient combination of sushi and speed, without compromising taste. While the quality might be right on par with sit-down establishments, the prices are different.

“We have quality items at reasonable prices so that anyone can buy our sushi,” explains Kozo Sushi owner Mika Niwa. “Customers tell us that they love Kozo Sushi because we offer good sushi in a short amount of time at a low cost.”

While there are plenty of sushi establishments to choose from, Kozo Sushi sets itself apart by coming up with a range of interesting recipes. Niwa says that the chefs at Kozo are constantly creating new dishes.

For a sample of Kozo’s creative concoctions, try Dynamite Maki ($7.25), which features shrimp tempura, lettuce, teriyaki sauce, sesame seeds, ahi, masago, green onion, barbecue chips, chili sauce and wasabi mayonnaise.

Another popular option is Hurricane Maki ($7.25), a combination of jumbo fried shrimp, salmon, lettuce, green onion, sweet chili sauce, teriyaki sauce, wasabi mayonnaise and barbecue potato chips.

Kozo Sushi also offers great party options for your summer get-togethers. The Deluxe Maki Set ($25.99) is comprised of 52 pieces of sushi, including Futo Maki, Egg Maki, California Maki, Ume, Kanpyo, Inari, and Cucumber and Shinko Maki.

Niwa says that one of Kozo’s most popular items is the Kamaaina Plate ($43.99), which has an impressive array of 98 pieces of sushi. Its items include California Maki, Tempura Maki, Futo Maki, Egg Maki, Ume, Inari, Cucumber and Shinko Maki.

The menu also consists of a variety of nigiri, bento and donburi. And for a complement to any meal, Kozo also offers Miso Soup ($1.50), Shrimp Tempura ($1.20) and Vegetable and Shrimp Tempura ($1.20).

And if you haven’t been to Kozo in a while, you could be missing some exciting new sushi, as the restaurant regularly rolls out new items. Next up, Niwa says that the chefs are working on new maki items, as well as increasing the variety of bento combinations.

On the Side

When Kozo Sushi first opened in Osaka, Japan, more than 40 years ago, it drew in customers with its innovative concept of providing quality sushi in a fast-food type setting.

Today, that is still the restaurant’s appeal.

The concept of Kozo proved so popular in Japan that the restaurant soon expanded to Hawaii, where it now has several locations, including Kahala Mall, Pearl City, Pearlridge, Moiliili and Keeaumoku.

Owner Mika Niwa says that the restaurant has created the menu based on traditional Japanese fare, as well as local influences.

“We use both Western and Japanese ingredients to create items that we think would taste good,” Niwa says. “Also, we often are influenced by both the fusion style and the traditional style in order to appeal to all of our customers.”

According to Niwa, another thing that makes Kozo Sushi stand out is its recipe for one very crucial part of good sushi — the rice.

“We have been constantly improving our rice vinegar formula,” Niwa says.

Kozo Sushi

638 Keeaumoku St., Honolulu (and other locations)
Monday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96814

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