New restaurant in Waikiki: Ringer Hut, the first Hawaii location

Just opened in Waikiki: the first Hawaii branch of Ringer Hut, a Japanese chain with over 550 restaurants in Japan, Taiwan and San Jose, California. It takes the space of Menchanko Tei (which moved to Keeaumoku) in the Waikiki Trade Center. Incidentally, the owner of Ringer Hut and Menchanko Tei are brothers.

It's kind of the Japanese equivalent of Denny's—a no-frills menu with reasonable prices, a solid standby for those looking for familiar sustenance rather than culinary revelation.

On the menu: Nagasaki champon noodle ($7.50) in a milky, comforting broth topped with fresh cabbage, thinly sliced meat and fishcake; lunch sets with a choice of fried chicken, grilled mackerel or simmered pork ($7.50), and oden ($2.25 a piece). Tonkatsu is the most expensive item—$19.50 for a set.

Expect to see more of Ringer Hut—the company hopes to open at least four more locations in Hawaii.

Ringer Hut, Waikiki Trade Center 1st floor, 2255 Kuhio Ave., Suite 118, 924-8366