Japanese Fare Like You’ve Never Tasted Before

Columns Pupu Picks

June 2, 2013

Story By: Steve Murray | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

After 25 years in business, Sushi King has become a place for nostalgia. Often introduced to young diners during their first semester at the University of Hawaii or taken as the place for a celebratory meal with family, the King Street eatery is more than just a place to grab some good Japanese food. As Yelp reviewer Todd O. says, “It was grandpa’s go-to place.” Now it’s his.

Exactly what to try depends on individual needs. Sushi is basically appetizer turned entree, so your choices are nearly endless.

If there is one dish Todd’s grandfather would likely have enjoyed, it’s Miso Butterfish ($9.50), in which black cod is marinaded for several days in miso, mirin and sake. It is then broiled until the skin is dark and crispy, leaving the flesh soft, and, well, buttery.

Garlic Ahi ($8.50) may also have been a favorite. Three pieces of thinly-sliced ahi are marinated in garlic, mirin, shoyu and cooking sake, and sauteed to a deep brown. The fish maintains the necessary moisture and flavor the recipe requires. It also comes with an ample side salad of lettuce, carrots and a miso dressing.

Had grandpa been adventurous, he likely would have enjoyed the fresh Monkfish Liver ($8.50). I take that back. One doesn’t have to be Andrew Zimmern to enjoy the dish. It’s basically faux gras from the sea. What could be better?

The liver is cleaned, then steamed and served with thinly-sliced cucumber, radish sprout, ohba leaf, grated daikon with chili and topped with ponzu sauce. Not only is it flavorful, but it comes nicely displayed with a mix of bright colors and exquisite presentation.

One final suggestion for grandpa, or anyone, is Dynamite ($14.50), which consists of white fish, salmon, hamachi, zucchini and onion layered in an abalone shell, and covered with crab, topped with a spicy mayo that is then baked to a crispy coating. The result is a fresh, tender appetizer that is really just fun to eat.

Sushi King

2700 S. King St., #C
Open daily for lunch: 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m.
Dinner: Wednesday–Monday, 5:30 p.m.–2 a.m. Tuesdays, 5:30–10 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96826

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