New eats: Yuzu

Finally! A new izakaya opens in town, and it’s one with deep cred. Yuzu is owned by Isamu and Moco Kubota, owners of Kaiwa at Waikiki Beach Walk and the former Okonomiyaki Kai and Hale Macrobiotic on Makaloa. One’s artistic and elegant, one served solid Japanese street food, and one was, well, healthy. Which means from the day I hear about Yuzu, I’m itching for a review.

I’m also dying to continue a tradition. Every time a new izakaya goes up that we deem review-worthy, we throw open the experience to readers. Why? Izakaya dishes are meant for communal dining, small plates shared by everyone at the table. And without our readers, Nonstop is nothing. We savor every chance to eat and drink with you.

So I put out the call ー Free on the 30th? Open call for eaters ー and you responded. Within hours all spots were filled, half by people I’d never met before, which always makes me happy.

Nonstop’s Yuzu review happened last night, and I’ll tell you now: Yuzu is a great add to Honolulu’s izakaya scene. Here’s the full report.


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Q: What’s a yuzu?

A: It’s a Japanese citrus, aromatic and knobbly. It’s less tart than lemon or lime and nearly as bitter as grapefruit, but with a hint of gentle sweetness that’s likened to mandarin orange.

Yuzu is also Honolulu’s newest izakaya. Go into the Ala Moana Hotel lobby, turn left at the front desk, go past the elevators, turn right at the souvenir shop, follow the corridor to the end, look left, give the secret password.


Ala Moana Hotel
410 Atkinson Drive