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Nami Kaze’s New Izakaya Style Dinner Is One of Honolulu’s Best

Nami Kaze Hero Credit Thomas Obungen

The izakaya fashion is spreading at Nami Kaze. Photo: Thomas Obungen

BAt brunch alone, I already thought-about Nami Kaze to be one of one of the best new eating places in Honolulu in years. With a menu of honey walnut shrimp and waffles and so-called omelets, that are actually decadent chawanmushi topped with mentaiko or shrimp and chilli chips, chef and proprietor Jason Peel shows a playful originality. And now, at dinner, the creativity continues to bubble.

ALSO SEE: Nami Kaze Introduces New Seafood-focused Brunch at Pier 38

Nami Kaze Abalone Martha Cheng

Kona abalone. Photo: Martha Cheng

Dinner is served on small izakaya-style plates. There are some apparent crowd favorites, just like the lobster chawanmushi for dinner ($17) and Kona abalone ($22) with Rockefeller-style oysters, smothered in butter and served with garlic cabbage and a sprinkling of Sweet Land Farm goat’s cheese tomme are occupied. Put costly objects like lobster and abalone on high of something, and other people will go for it — although Peel reveals much more care with these components than many others. But it is his strategy to often-overlooked merchandise that actually shines. Take the Cold Smoked Tomatoes ($13) with Mrs. Cheng’s Custard Tofu and a contact of Ume Ponzu—ethereal, refreshing, and calming. Or the Corn Beignets ($9), ethereal puff delivered to earth with a dredging Japanese curry salt and Kewpie mayonnaise.

Nami Kaze Cold Tomato Credit Thomas Obungen 09

Cold Smoked Tomatoes. Photo: Thomas Obungen

Peel dedicates its menu to seafood and greens—focuses which are far too uncommon in Honolulu. Even rarer: two dishes of ‘ulu – the tough factor. A chef not too long ago lamented that too many individuals mistreat ‘ulu just because they see it as a potato substitute and do not perceive its starch content material. Peel understands. For his ‘ulu tots ($10), he lightens the heavy starch so that they’re extra like deep-fried bites of ‘ulu mousse and combines them along with his grandfather’s recipe for barbecue sauce. The ‘Ulu Patatas Bravas ($9) deal with is extra conventionally potato-esque — chunks of it deep-fried — served with dots of Hawaiian chili-pepper gel, Kewpie, and teri-gel, the presentation a bit fussy, however alternatively, me cannot suppose of a greater method to evenly distribute the sauces for every chunk. Nami Kaze retains turning my concepts of what is going on to work the other way up, and could not all of us use a bit of refresher on concepts?

Nami Kaze Dish Ulu Tots Credit Thomas Obungen

‘Ulu tots. Photo: Thomas Obungen

Like brunch, the dinner menu can really feel overwhelming. It helps to simply ignore the sushi aspect, which I discover much less sturdy. The wine record is a bit boring however the sake shouldn’t be. There’s sake on faucet ($10), a bushido ginjo genshu that is simple and durable, making it a simple pairing for something on the desk (it was out on my second go to, which made dinner rather less enjoyable) . The Fukuju Hyogo Junmai Ginjo ($20) is extraordinarily fairly and delicate – good to drink neat however may be drowned out by the flavors on the desk.

SEE ALSO: Sake Islander’s Omakase Sushi Restaurant opens in Chinatown this week

Nami Kaze Ulu Credit Thomas Obungen 08

‘Ulu patatas bravas. Photo: Thomas Obungen

The dessert menu is the shortest part of the menu: at present Asato Family Sorbet and a inexperienced tea chiffon cake ($6) with lemon-macerated strawberries, mild and easy. Here’s hoping the dessert expands in some unspecified time in the future — I’ve liked pastry chef Beverly Luk’s sweets at her earlier areas (most not too long ago Hau Tree).

But speaking about extra is a bit embarrassing, like complaining about diamond footwear which are too tight, when there’s already a lot to discover and delight on the menu. Nami Kaze, as my colleague Mari Taketa places it, “brightened my world.”

1135 N Nimitz Highway, (808) 888-6264, namikaze.com, @namikaze.hello

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