Say Goodbye to Vino and Hiroshi
Two great restaurants close this month—we’ll miss them.
Left: Hiroshi, Right: Vino
Photos: Steve Czerniak
“Change is good—and inevitable,” said chef and restaurateur D.K. Kodama in a press release announcing the closure of Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas, Vino Italian Tapas and Wine Bar and the ramen pop-up Slurp. Slurp’s last day is May 15, and Hiroshi and Vino’s last day May 21.
SEE ALSO: Noodle Tuesday: Slurp at Vino
So these are the final days for your favorite dishes. From Hiroshi, I’ll be mourning the Okinawan soba mazemen—thick, chewy noodles tossed with grilled salmon and salmon cracklings, ikura, calamansi and shiso—and some of the best and most creative fish preparations on the island, such as the pan-roasted onaga on an ogo squid ink pasta with kaffir lime cauliflower puree.
But the closure of Vino hits my heart as hard as my stomach. Vino is one of those restaurants that feels like home. Partly because of the simple fare, of fresh pasta and comfort food like a creamy and rich burrata, but mostly because of master sommelier Chuck Furuya’s presence. If he is in town, he will invariably be at Vino, walking the floor, earnest at times, whether talking about food or wine or you, alternating with joking and teasing and making inappropriate comments about your personal life. Just like family. Family that also happens to have an encyclopedic knowledge of wines, but is able to engage with you on any level, including mine: clueless. Vino was my favorite place to discover new wines and see a familiar face. I’ll miss the wine, but I’ll miss Vino more.