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Honolulu's Japanese Food Guide: High-End Japanese Restaurants


Chef Yoshihiro Matsumoto at Nanzan Giro Giro.

Photo: Olivier Koning

High-end Japanese restaurants are rare in Hawaii. Two relative newcomers worth noting:
 

Nanzan Giro Giro is Honolulu’s first kaiseki restaurant, offering only one seasonal tasting menu that changes monthly. Chef Yoshihiro Matsumoto creates meticulous courses with unexpected combinations: eggplant and uni, ahi and sweet pea. The locations of Nanzan restaurants reads like a bumper sticker: Kyoto, Paris, Honolulu.
$$$$ | Nanzan Giro Giro | 560 Pensacola St.  | 524-0141

Wada bills itself as a kappo restaurant, fine cuisine served over a counter, meaning you can watch the chef slice paper-thin slices of tongue for the ishiyaki or assemble an uni and beef sashimi bite. Favorites include fried mozzarella in dashi and Wada’s yuba concoctions (silken tofu skin), which, last we had it, was paired with rosy slices of duck. No sushi here, but Wada offers an impeccable daily selection of raw seafood.
$$$$ | Wada | 611 Kapahulu Ave. | 737-0125

,April