So we've been here before... What once was Izakaya Mai and before that was Ojiya Restaurant is now Japanese Restaurant Yacchaba. Hopefully, this concept will stick as the location is actually quite good. Located across the street from the Hawaii Convention Center near 24 Hour Fitness and Ala Moana Center, this bustling intersection has a good amount of car and foot traffic along with ample parking nearby.
The concept is new to Hawaii, izakaya-style iburi (smoked) meats and seafood served in a tapas format. So portions are smaller, meaning you can try more things, and the flavors are unique. I was mildly apprehensive when the first dish came out -- smoked mozzarella cheese served with slices of picked daikon, sounds super weird. But, the flavor was wonderful, you get the aroma of the smokiness from the cheese and the pickled daikon was a great compliment. Other dishes like smoked potatoes, yuka fries, and some type of fried ball with corn it were rather tasty. Since everything is bite sized I felt like I could eat all night long.
Another notable concept is the fresh fish and meats come served with burner that you are supposed to cook, or heat, on the Mount Fuji stone. The fish sizzles and smoke fills the air. My personal favorites for the main dishes were the salmon and the steak. At the end of the evening they also brought out cold somen noodles served with canned mackerel, that was light and refreshing.
Everything here is very authentic and if you appreciate Japanese levels of service you will love it.
1718 Kapiolani Boulevard
Honolulu, HI 96814