Newest location sees lines out the door

A La Carte Columns

February 23, 2016

Story By: Lynsey Beth Futa |

Combo Poke Bowl ($8.50)

Combo Poke Bowl ($8.50)

After Mamaya first gained popularity at Ala Moana Center’s Shirokiya Japanese department store and food court, and later at its Pearl City location, Mama-Ya Bishop Street CafAi?? eventually came to fruition.

Mama-Ya has been in business for nearly a year and continues to cater to an out-the-door line of customers each weekday during lunch. Serving a selection of musubis, bentos and various cold and hot entrees, it’s no wonder why the establishment has become one of the most beloved food stops for downtown employees.

California Ahi Poke Bowl ($7.95)

California Ahi Poke Bowl ($7.95)

Manager Takeshi Ouchi says that the cafAi?? is working on a new system during the lunch rush. Now, there will be two cash registers operating from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., which will allow the restaurant to take phone orders during lunch again. Mama-Ya also has taken extra steps in prepping all bentos before the shop opens each day, so that customers can pick them up and go, instead of waiting for their orders. However, if you don’t see your desired selection available, Mama-Ya is more than happy to make it for you. Also showcasing a recently revised menu, the cafAi?? is better than ever.

Ever popular is Mama-Ya’s selection of ahi poke bowls. Customers can choose from a handful of delicious flavors including Spicy, Shoyu, Oyster Sauce, Hawaiian and California ($7.95 each). Every bowl comes with a choice of either multigrain or white rice and a salad.

A view from outside of the eatery.

A view from outside of the eatery.

Some favorite poke-bowl picks include Spicy Ahi Poke, California Ahi Poke and Hawaiian Ahi Poke. Spicy Ahi features masago and a sauce with just the right amount of heat. California Ahi consists of Spicy Ahi Poke, crab salad and a creamy combo of diced cucumber and avocado to balance out the flavors. Hawaiian Ahi has a shoyu-based sauce with chunks of pineapple. If you can’t decide on just one, choose Combo Poke Bowl ($8.50) and enjoy two different poke in one meal.

Mama-Ya prides itself on offering high-quality fish, using choice ingredients, making all items fresh daily and selling everything at a low price. This winning combination undoubtedly is the reason why the eatery has secured a spot in the hearts and stomachs of loyal patrons.

Mama-Ya Bishop Street Cafe

725 Bishop St., Downtown
Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., except holidays and closed Saturday-Sunday

Ilima Awards
Hawaii's Best