Two-Minute Takeout: 22 Kailua
Affordable omakase and sushi bentos make this spot worth the drive to Kailua.
Update Sept. 20, 2020: Bento offerings have changed since this post, so check and order on their social media. In other news, 22 Kailua now offers pickups in town so townies don’t have to trek over the Pali.
It’s still a delicious landscape out there! As we ride out this pandemic by staying (mostly) at home, many of us are trying takeout from places we’ve never been before. Kelli Shiroma Braiotta seizes the chance to try a sushi spot so popular she could never get a reservation.
Hi guys, it’s Kelli, back with another episode of Two-minute takeout where we go to restaurants we’ve never been to before and order takeout for the first time. I drove across the Pali to 22 Kailua.
22 Kailua is a coffee shop by day and omakase at night. The sushi bar is in the back behind a curtain. Reservations are hard to get since seating is limited.
I haven’t been able to get a reservation yet and I heard they book up at least a month in advance. But 22 Kailua now has omakase bentos for takeout, which means I can finally get a taste of their omakase and sushi for a reasonable $22 each.
I’m going to have the owner, Dustin Iwabuchi, describe what we have here.
For the omakase bento ($22), we have bacon-wrapped tomato, tempura with our magic salt-shio on top, we don’t really do sauce. There’s nishime, our tamagoyaki that we make ourselves. We have broccoli and tomato with moromiso on top. This is our sunomono, wakame, cucumber, ebi and grilled saba. And this is a kurogoma pudding (black sesame).
In the assorted sushi bento ($22), we have salmon, ika, hotate (scallop), grilled saba, unagi, inari, California sushi and this is our oyster shoyu on top.
Of course, I had to try both bentos. Itadakimasu! Let’s start with the sushi bento. Here’s one of the maguro pieces.
Wow. The fish is super, super fresh. I just love how the fish-to-rice ratio is really on point. You really get your money’s worth.
I’m going to try one of the tempura from the omakase bento.
It was a little bit soggy, but it’s probably because I let this sit out. Everything was hot and crispy when I picked it up. I have to look back at Dustin’s video to see what else I’m eating here.
This is the closest I’ll get to their limited-seating sushi bar for now. So good!
Note: Takeout orders must be placed at least one day in advance. Check 22 Kailua’s Instagram for weekly specials.
22 Oneawa St. DM on Instagram to order. Open daily 11 a.m.–3 p.m., 5–7 p.m.