Sunday, September 12, 2010

Trip to Hawaii (Maui - September 2010)...Ichiban Okazuya

We were going back to LA in the afternoon. It turned out to be the most relaxing Hawaii trip in the past many for us. We were sentimental when we had to leave "our" condo in Kahana.

On our way to Kahului Airport, we stopped by at Ichiban Okazuya in Wailuku to pick up plate lunch. It's a very Japanese-Hawaiian style take-out place, and loved by the locals.

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Yes, the owner/ chef (Sasaki-san) was there! He was the guy who made the wonderful sushi at the wedding for another friends back in July (here's the link). He only does sushi for catering, while his shop has only deli and cooked items. They have a large menu of mostly rustic Japanese dishes. The kitchen had about 6 people and they were working so busily.

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I ordered Miso Butterfish with Kinpira Gobo and half-and-half brown & white rice. The fish was cooked to order, and I could overhear the cook saying "Oh, this miso fish looks and smells so good. I just want to eat it!" as he was preparing it. That's so sweet. And, he was right. The butter fish with the miso sauce was so juicy and so delicious! I soaked the rice in any remaining sauce, and ate everything. Kinpira gobo (sauteed burdock root and carrot) was so rustic and homey. It hit my spot, too.

I also had the Namasu (wakame and cucumber in vinegar sauce) and even sauteed Okara (soybean pulp with vegetables)!!

This was exactly what I was craving for and why I love Hawaii. I wish Ichiban Okazuya was in the west Maui. Their food is so rustic, so good, and real.