Yajima-ya Japanese and Local Cuisine

Step Up to the Plate

February 18, 2018

Story By: Lynsey Beth Futa |


If you haven’t already heard, Yajima-ya Japanese and Local Cuisine has traded its takeout digs and on-the-go food truck for a sit-down dining experience. And while the newly transitioned eatery, which opened last December, still offers some of the food truck’s best-sellers, it also serves up so much more.

Imagine teishoku options for lunch and dinner, ranging from sushi and Japanese fare to delicious local bites. General manager Tomo Ito shares, “We always use local, fresh ahi from the (day’s catch). The other fish we import from Japan.”

Everything on the menu also can be ordered a la carte, and Ito encourages patrons to try dishes such as Hamburger Steak, Mushroom Chicken, Spicy Tuna Roll and various noodle options.

If you can’t decide, dig into a teishoku combo, such as Teishoku San, which combines meaty ribeye steak and various sashimi. Also, with every teishoku order, customers have access to the self-service soup station, which offers miso soup and soup of the day — refills welcome.

While Yajima-ya closes at 2 p.m. after lunchtime, make sure to return for dinner at 5 p.m. with your own alcoholic beverages, as the restaurant is BYOB (no corkage fee).

Ocean picks
Slices of local ahi, salmon, hamachi and squid are served with a helping of fresh ikura.

Carnivorous cravings
The ribeye arrives on a sizzling platter, topped with pickled onions, red ginger and green onions, with the addition of some veggies that cook alongside the steak. Ponzu sauce comes on the side for that perfect punch of flavor — add as much, or as little, as you desire.

Addictive additions
Three kobachi — a small appetizer, according to Ito — also come with each teishoku order. When Dining Out stopped by, they included fluffy tomago, shredded daikon and pickled veggies.

Don’t forget …
Teishoku wouldn’t be complete without a bowl of hot soup (either miso or the soup of the day) and steaming white rice.

Ilima Awards
Hawaii's Best