Giving Diners a Winning CombinationColumns Foodie Fare
February 16, 2014
Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Leah Friel
Mimasuya Italiano of Kyoto offers the best of both worlds in a couple of different ways. Firstly, with its reasonable prices, it is more akin to a casual restaurant. But with its excellent service and elegant decor, you’re sure to get the fine dining experience. Secondly, it serves up a mix of Japanese and Italian cuisines to create a flavor all its own.
For a crash course in the cuisine that Mimasuya Italiano can offer, the Assorted Appetizer Tray ($28) is a good place to start. The tray is filled with ten selections of varying appetizers that the chefs create.
“The chef tries to change it up every couple days to make sure that no one gets the same thing twice in a row,” restaurant and bar manager Michael Lopez explains. “He tries to incorporate a little bit of everything. He uses meats and seafood, and a lot of vegetables as well. He pretty much incorporates what we are getting fresh. If we are getting a certain vegetable, then he will use that a lot. Or if we get a certain fish. Just whatever is in season.”
An example of what you might find in a selection of the Assorted Appetizer Tray is pictured: Scallops, Shrimp, Crab and Brie Cheese Salad, Smoked Duck Breast, Broccoli Aglio E Olio, Ahi Meatball with Pomodoro Sauce, Prosciutto Melone, Kombucha Spritzer with Prosciutto, Caponata, Tempura-style Squid and a Mini Caprese Salad.
Entree options include the Mimasuya Crab Cake ($17), which features crab meat wrapped in a crispy yuba — or tofu skin. It is then topped with a Dungeness aioli.
“The way he makes that sauce is that he cooks down the shells and everything from the Dungeness crab and makes a broth, and then he adds that into a creamy sauce,” explains Lopez.
Another popular entree is the Veal Milanese ($26), a veal cutlet that is breaded with panko crumbs and sauteed and served with Island-grown vegetables and a side of marinara sauce.
Mimasuya has made a name for itself with its traditional Italian-style pastas, including Puttanesca ($17), with black olives, capers, anchovies and locally grown vegetables. It’s all topped with a spicy anchovy tomato sauce.
“This one is probably one of my favorites because it is just so full of flavor,” Lopez says.
Currently, Mimasuya Italiano is working on creating a new menu, as well as a new bar menu. Lopez says that the new menus should be available by the end of March or early April.
“The menu will be simplified, and for appetizers and main entrees, we are going to be doing more fusion,” Lopez explains.
On the Side
When Mimasuya Italiano opened more than a year ago, it began as a Japanese interpretation of Italian food. But that concept has been evolving, and now, the two cuisines are combined together to create more of a fusion style, as manager Michael Lopez explains it.
“Lately, we have been doing a lot of fusion — trying to mix Japanese with Italian,” Lopez says.
Some dishes, like many of the appetizers, lean more toward Japanese cuisine. Others, however, maintain a stronger Italian influence.
“Our pastas, for example,” Lopez explains, “those are still going to be like a traditional Italian pasta but it is going to be more in the presentation where the Japanese influence comes in.” In addition to these diverse influences, Mimasuya Italiano also manages to incorporate a little local flair—at least in terms of its ingredients.
“Most of our stuff is local produce, like our tomatoes, and most of our vegetables are locally grown,” Lopez says. “We want to use products that are from our local farmers here, rather than waiting for things to get shipped from the Mainland. When (produce) travels, it loses its taste, it loses its texture.”
Contact Christina O’Connor at email@example.com
Mimasuya Italiano of Kyoto
1341 Kapiolani Blvd., Ste. 101
Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Dinner: 5:30-10 p.m. (last seating 9:30 p.m.) Closed every Tuesday.
Note: The restaurant houses a full bar. Free parking is located just past the eatery at the Kapiolani side entrance of the Uraku Tower, in the basement level.