Traditional Japanese CuisineInside Feature
December 16, 2018
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
For 40 years, Akasaka has built a loyal following by serving up some of the freshest, flavorful Japanese sushi and seafood creations available.
Owner Yuko Akasaka has managed the operation throughout its four decades and in addition to garnering praise from local diners and visitors alike, she has also hosted dignitaries at the restaurant including a recent visit by Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.
The dining destination is situated conveniently on Kona Street between the bustling culinary hotbed spanning from Kapiolani Boulevard to Ala Moana Center, and offers a warm, inviting atmosphere that transports diners to what resembles a traditional Japanese house.
“We’re very well known for our sushi, and keep our menu consistent with popular cooking and preparation styles,” explains Akasaka. “We have guests who come back from Europe and Russia after being away for 10, 20 or 30 years, and they are so happy to see us still here.”
In addition to the intimate dining area on the ground level, Akasaka also features an upstairs dining room that can host up to 30 guests. This private space is perfect for special events including business functions, birthday parties, anniversaries and other memorable occasions. To inquire about reservations and to look at set menu and a la carte options available, ask for Mimi, the popular manager who can help coordinate the ideal group outing.
Akasaka features a signature award-winning menu that has continued to evolve over the past four decades to feature items such as Scallop Butteryaki ($22.95), which is served on a sizzling platter and prepared with a house-made secret sauce including notes of miso, honey and lemon.
Diners have also come to know Akasaka for its stellar sushi selections, which are prepared to order with premium ingredients. Tokujo Signature Sushi Combination ($35.95) features spicy tuna and nine other varieties of nigiri sushi, including multiple types of fish imported from Hokkaido.
Aji ($12.95) is a popular a la carte sushi choice as the Japanese silver-skinned horse mackerel is imported fresh and prepared by the restaurant’s sushi chef, who has worked at the restaurant for 30-plus years. Butterfish Misoyaki Teishoku ($28.95) is another go-to seafood option as the dish is made with authentic ingredients, unlike some competitors that use imitation substitutes.
Guests can look forward to Fresh Oysters ($17.95 for five pieces) as the deep-cupped, meaty Kumamoto oysters offer a mild brininess and sweet flavor that pairs nicely with ponzu sauce and fresh lemon. O-Toro ($45.95) is a high-quality cut of blue fin ahi belly that, as Akasaka explains, is “very creamy and is like butter once you take a bite.”
As a special inside scoop for Dining Out readers, make sure to ask for Akasaka Special Maki ($19.95), a hearty sushi roll built with shrimp tempura, cucumber, avocado and spicy tuna. This off-the-menu choice, as Akasaka describes, will make you full, and is crunchy and very tasty.
Be sure to check out happy hour at Akasaka, available nightly from 9 p.m. to closing, as diners receive 10 percent off all food purchases and can also enjoy $5 large-bottle Asahi beer.