Shokudo updates: a sushi bar with Tsukiji fish and beer taps with Bud Light

Shokudo's omakase sashimi ($48.95), which included otoro and shima aji from Tsukiji, kampachi and bigeye ahi from Hawaii.

What’s new on Shokudo’s menu: otoro sashimi from Japan’s Tsukiji fish market and a deep-fried California roll topped with spicy ahi. A $68 bottle of Konteki organic daiginjo and $15 pitchers of Bud Light. Brown-rice sushi and tempura-battered and fried bread pudding with sake caramel and vanilla ice cream.

This is how Shokudo, eight years since opening, continues to pack its dining room.

Drive by the place at night, and you’ll almost always see crowds, which start to swell the later it gets. As a late-night destination, it draws a hip and young crowd, but, stopping in for an early dinner last night, the restaurant was full of young families, multigenerational celebrations, and pau hana drinkers—all of whom were thrilled by the employees’ zombie flash mob (you can catch the show again tonight, Halloween, at 7 and 9 p.m.).

From left to right: the Volcano roll (deep-fried California roll topped with spicy ahi, $13.45), vongole udon ($12.95), tempura bread pudding ($6.45)

I can’t help but think of Shokudo as a cross between Morimoto and Denny’s—a fun, trendy, modern place that offers Japanese comfort food and drink in the form of fresh tofu, mochi cheese gratin, ume vodka sodas, and of course, that towering honey toast, all for reasonable prices.

With its new offerings, it seems Shokudo is building on its comfort food repertoire—like with a creamy, white sauced vongole (clam) udon—while recognizing that diners’ tastes have grown more sophisticated. Hence, a sushi menu that could rival the more “serious” izakayas around town. It offers hamachi, shima aji (jack trevally) and otoro from Tsukiji, uni from Santa Barbara, big eye ahi and kampachi from Hawaii, and more than a dozen other fish varieties.

Rivaling the fatty otoro in richness and delight: the tempura honey toast bread pudding. I love the honey toast as it is, but deep-fried in a crunchy batter? Shokudo, you’ve outdone yourself.

Shokudo, 1585 Kapiolani Blvd., 941-3701,