Satisfy your seafood cravingsCover Story
October 23, 2023
Story By: Dining Out Team | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo
Honu’s Kalbi & Sushi, located on Kapahulu Avenue, has been offering sensational seafood and top-quality meat options to locals and visitors alike since it first opened in June.
The restaurant’s owner, Sam Seo, who was the founder and previous owner of Ahi & Vegetable, has been in the food industry for almost 30 years in Hawaii. He says he had always dreamed of opening a restaurant in Kapahulu. Now, Seo’s new dream for the establishment is to create a chain, with seven to 10 Honu’s Kalbi & Sushi locations across the state.
Here, we had the chance to talk with Seo to learn more about the popular options found at Honu’s Kalbi & Sushi.
DO: How did you come up with the concept?
SS: All of my experience is in the Korean and Japanese food business, so I wanted to make a restaurant to combine both. I wanted to make a place where customers can enjoy two different cuisines at one place.
DO: How would you describe the cuisine?
SS: Basically Korean and Japanese cuisine — quality food with affordable prices. We are so proud to use high-quality meat and seafood even though it is a takeout restaurant. Our choice-grade meat is supplied by Aala Meat Market. Meanwhile, we get our 100% Hawaiian tuna from the fish auction every morning. No one can beat our prices and tastes.
DO: What are some of Honu’s Kalbi & Sushi’s bestselling dishes?
SS: Our Bento No. 8 ($18.95), which is an ahi, salmon and hamachi poke combo; Chirashi Bowl ($19.95), which comes with an assorted variety of premium fish — including ahi, salmon and hamachi — ika, ebi, tamago and ikura; Honu’s Special ($19.95) that comprises kalbi, meat jun, fish jun and mandoo; Poke Combo ($18.95) of spicy ahi and shoyu poke; and the Sashimi Special ($25.95), which includes ahi, salmon and hamachi sashimi.
DO: What are some unique items that can be found on the menu?
SS: Our grab-and-go station presents a variety of items prepared every hour and also some side dishes.
DO: What kind of experience do you hope customers take away when dining at Honu’s Kalbi & Sushi?
SS: We hope customers enjoy our prime location with indoor and outdoor dining areas. It is BYOB (bring your own beverage) and our restaurant is a one-stop shop with a variety of choices.