Nishime, tempura and hijiki at Ichiban Okazuya
This tiny one-room throwback to plantation days has no seating, limited parking, and the best Japanese plate lunches on Maui. Behind the counter, cooks pile buffet pans high with savory okazu (side dishes). Nishime, an aromatic stew loaded with chunks of lotus root, carrot, kombu, and potato, simmers on the stove. Earthy, dark flecks of hijiki seaweed make a warm, nutty salad. The crispy and plump tempura shrimp haven’t a trace of extraneous oil and the soft, creamy tofu balls are nearly sweet enough to enjoy as dessert.
2133 Kaohu St., Wailuku, (808) 244-7276, $8