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Friday, November 11, 2011

Moved: Morio's Sushi Bistro

Photos by Martha Cheng

Unagi tororo

A solemn, serious Sushi Nazi behind the sushi bar? Not at Morio's Sushi Bistro, which recently moved from its tiny spot in Waikiki to a marginally larger space on King Street, seating 15 or so in about 200 square feet. Instead, you have Morio, alternating between audibly cranky and feisty. You will inevitably hear him, and he can hear you, too. "Watch your language," he yells in jest to a customer's f-bombs while dropping a few himself. This is an intimate dining room, but not for intimate conversations.

Nigiri omakase

Beers flow between diners and the kitchen, and Morio sends out an unexpected stream of small plates. There's a complimentary leafy salad, seaweed salad, and a mayo-y apple salad, then fried gyoza stuffed with beef and fried salmon musubi balls before we get to what we actually ordered: unagi tororo (unagi topped with yamaimo—grated mountain yam—and a raw quail egg, $7.25), chicken fried in the lightest of batters ($5.75), and a nigiri omakase ($27.50). The nigiri includes a velvety, fatty chu-toro; crisp and sweet "top shell," similar in texture to geoduck; a long strip of anago, a saltwater eel; in addition to the usual (albeit immensely fresh) suspects of sushi.

But just because Morio doesn't enforce shoyu dipping rules doesn't mean he can't be commanding. When he wants you to drink, he gets his way, and that's how a bottle of shochu ends up on our table.

TIP: Bring your own beer and don't forget some for Morio and the staff to experience Morio's full conviviality.

1160-A S King St., 741-5121

Posted on Friday, November 11, 2011 in Permalink

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About This Column

From five-star restaurants to hidden holes-in-the-wall, Biting Commentary will let you know what’s hot and what’s not. Find out the latest restaurant news—who’s opening, who’s closing, which chef is moving on, where the great special dinners are. Discover the best menu items, fabulous wines, stunning cocktails, hand-crafted beers. Be the first to hear about upcoming food events and festivals.

Food editor Martha Cheng graduated from Wellesley College with degrees in Computer Science and English. She's a former line cook, food truck owner, Peace Corps volunteer and Google techie. Follow her on Twitter @marthacheng.


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