A Perfect Pairing of Italian Fare and Japanese Flair

Columns Lite Bites

April 20, 2014

Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

Mimasuya Italiano of Kyoto is a traditional Italian restaurant, but with a Japanese twist. On the menu are classic Italian dishes including pasta and risotto, however popular Japanese ingredients such as uni, kabocha, sansyo peppers and various Japanese seasonings and sauces are incorporated into the dishes as well.

“Japanese fusion is integrated into our appetizers and main entrees,” explains manager Michael Lopez. “Also in our presentation.”

A best-seller is Uni Pasta with Carbonara ($17), which features spaghettini served with creamy egg sauce and pancetta. The Catch of the Day (market price) also is a customer favorite, showcasing fresh Island fish including opakapaka in a lemon butter and caper sauce, and served with a vegetable medley.

Chef Toshiya Umeda, who has a background in Italian, French and Japanese cuisine, also has been creating new dishes (currently offered as specials) that are expected to be added to the menu. Those items include Chicken Ragu over Spinach Tagliatelle ($20), accented with onions, zucchini and bell peppers; and an Apple Tarte Tatin ($8) dessert with caramelized baked apples over a buttery pastry and topped with vanilla bean gelato.

Mimasuya Italiano of Kyoto opened in December 2012 by Japanese restaurateur Masaki Hibi, who owns eight restaurants in Japan, including a second Mimasuya Italiano that opened six months ago.

“He and his wife come to Hawaii a lot, and eventually this is where they want to retire, so he thought he might as well open a restaurant here,” explains Lopez.”He brought our chef here with him from Japan, and together they created the menu.

“It’s a casual restaurant with a fine-dining style of service and food, but without the fine-dining prices. We have a full bar, and an awesome wine list. This was a brand new concept for the owner.”

Lopez adds that Mimasuya Italiano makes a point to utilize quality, local ingredients as much as possible, including produce from Kula Farms.

“It’s important to the chef to keep things local and to get the best flavor.”

The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, and can seat about 68 people. Free parking is available in Uraku Tower, basement level.

Mimasuya Italiano of Kyoto

1341 Kapiolani Blvd., Ste. 101
Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Dinner: 5:30-10 p.m.
Closed Tuesdays.
Notes: 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.

Honolulu, HI 96814

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