Ready to rollCover Story
June 19, 2022
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
Just in time for summer, GOEN Dining + Bar has rolled out an upgraded sushi menu featuring nine new items that guests are already raving about.
By utilizing a creative approach to “new American” dishes that showcase and infuse the vibrant local flavors of Hawaii, GOEN Dining + Bar produces a time-honored dining experience inspired by chef and restaurateur Roy Yamaguchi and his team.
According to Yamaguchi, the name GOEN represents a 5-yen Japanese coin, and refers to good luck, fate and strong relationships. The three graphic elements on the coin represent agriculture and fisheries, and the hole in the middle represents industry. Yamaguchi thought the name fit his restaurant concept perfectly as it’s guided by the principles of helping Hawaii become more sustainable by working with local farmers, fishermen and ranchers.
Native Hawaiian illustrator Solomon Enos created the eye-catching mural at GOEN that features fish and the namesake coin with vibrant colors that also relate to a gathering place — exactly what guests can look forward to when dining here.
Located in the bustling Lau Hala Shops in the heart of Kailua, GOEN is open nightly for dinner starting at 4 p.m., and serves lunch Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. Guests can unwind in the open-air atmosphere that presents a hip, refreshing vibe.
GOEN executive chef Yoichi Saito and his team craft a variety of starters, entrées and desserts, from seared fresh fish and roasted meat preparations to carefully crafted pasta selections, fresh salads and creative sushi presentations.
“GOEN is meant to be a neighborhood restaurant, and we truly want that ‘everyone knows your name’ feeling!” Saito says. “We want to leave guests wanting more, and we’ve created a menu that is dynamic enough bring you back time and time again, including with our new sushi offerings.”
The revamped sushi menu offers something for the entire ohana, including the alluring Firecracker Rainbow Dragon Roll ($24) crafted with shrimp tempura, avocado, salmon, hamachi, ahi, unagi and crunchy tempura flakes for an added textural element. Pink Lady Roll ($19) features soft-shell crab tempura and creamy avocado wrapped in soy paper.
Ahi & Avo Soft Shell Crab Roll ($23) is a seafood lover’s paradise, as soft-shell crab tempura is joined by creamy avocado, ahi, crab and bubu arare for an added crunch. Green Salmon Roll ($19) is constructed with crab mix, salmon, shiso, jalapeños and sliced lemon. Dynamite Roll ($23), meanwhile, explodes with flavor, as shrimp tempura and spicy tuna are paired with torched salmon, hamachi, and baked crab mix.
“The community has been our biggest supporter, allowing us to be a part of their lives and to evolve with the times,” says Saito, who encourages diners to keep an eye out for new cocktails and menu items that will be introduced periodically. “We can’t begin to thank our diners enough for supporting us, from enjoying take out to dining in with us; we are here because of you!”