Leave it up to the chef

Cover Story

December 5, 2021

Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

>Assistant sushi chef Serah Duhaylongsod, head sushi chef Miki Yanagihara and kitchen manager Ryan Muraoka smile for a photo behind some of Shokudo Japanese Restaurant & Bar’s many offerings.

Shokudo Japanese Restaurant & Bar continues to serve as a go-to dining destination for locals and visitors who seek out the popular cuisine that put the restaurant on the culinary map.

Situated conveniently on Kapiolani Boulevard near the bustling Ala Moana Center, Shokudo Japanese Restaurant & Bar offers an array of delicious choices that diners have come to appreciate and enjoy since the eatery opened in 2005.

The restaurant recently moved next door to its previous location, in the same Ala Moana Pacific Center building, and features a welcoming vibe that creates a memorable dining experience complete with stellar customer service. The casual, inviting setting is ideal for families, couples and large groups looking to celebrate a special occasion or enjoy a night out.

(From left) Second course: Sakizuke-Toro Tartate; first course: Surinagashi Sampler; third course: Men-Aosa Somen

Shokudo has just introduced a new omakase menu, which loosely translates to mean “I’ll leave it up to you, chef.” Essentially, guests put their faith and trust in Shokudo head sushi chef Miki Yanagihara, formerly an assistant sushi chef at Nobu in Hawaii, to plan and deliver a delicious six-course meal. The omakase menu was crafted by blending traditional kaiseki menu items and infusing them with local ingredients.

“Chef Miki and the culinary team will take guests on an edible journey fueled with delicious bites, precision and culinary skill,” says general manager Ryan Ko. “Our omakase menu features well-dressed nigiri sushi along with tasty kaiseki — traditional Japanese-style courses. Omakase menus, like the one we have rolled out, typically feature the freshest fish and the best seasonal items.”

Sixth course: Mizumoto (dessert) with Matcha Toast

The omakase menu begins with a Surinagashi Sampler featuring a traditional soup made with seasonal veggies along with chilled edamame, Kahuku corn and kubocha trio. The second course spotlights Sakizuke-Toro Tartate as UDSA beef, fresh tuna belly, takuan, uzura, avocado, bubu arare and kaiware are dressed with a light truffle soy sauce.

The third course follows with Men-Aosa Somen, with somen noodles, shirodashi and aosa, which precedes an alluring eight-piece nigiri assortment: chu-toro (with zukedare chutoro and kizami wasabi), kanpachi (with kaiware and homemade yuzu vinaigrette), shiro ika (with seared ika, house ume dressing, kizami nori and shiso), hamachi (prepared fresh and spicy with negi, crispy rice and house soy), king salmon (with Maui onion, tobiko and house ponzu dressing), hotate (seared with su-miso, bubu arare and micro cilantro), local ahi poke (with crispy renkon chip), and ikura (a mini ikura donburi with uzura, kizami nori and shiso.

Fourth course: eight-piece nigiri assortment

Suimono-Asari Sake represents the fifth course along with clams, mirin and dashi. To round out the special meal, save room for the Mizumoto (dessert) course with Matcha Toast built with Japanese white bread, mascarpone cheese and azuki.

The special menu is priced at $75 per person, and for the time being, it is available Monday through Thursday at two seating times: 5 and 7:30 p.m. Reservations are required for the omakase menu, and the days the menu is served may be subject to change based on availability.


1585 Kapiolani Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best