Those who know me know I’m not a big sushi eater.
I like my dishes cooked, not freshly slaughtered.
So going to a sushi bar is only fun if 1) the person I’m with loves sushi and 2) there’s stuff on the menu I’d eat.
Luckily — more for my friend than me — the restaurant he had suggested had enough assortment on its menu to make even a non-sushi-eater like me enjoy dinner at a sushi spot.
Kaiwa, located on the second floor of Waikiki Beach Walk, has managed to survive the changes to the neighborhood for five years. Its garnered a loyal following of foodies who love (and crave) the eclectic offerings such as hamburger steak with Hudson Valley foie gras, grilled live baby abalone from the Big Island, hamachi jalapeno carpaccio, ika somen uni shoyu and — get this — an awabi and uni glee martini topped with a steam whole abalone.
So I was intensely curious to sample the strange dishes served and prepared here by innovative executive chef Hideaki Kishishita.
Here’s what my recent dinner looked like:
Kaiwa on Waikiki Beach Walk
Though it had opened back in 2008 — and I'm always in Waikiki — I had never eaten at Kaiwa. Maybe it's because I'm not much of a sushi fan. (After all, the word, "sushi," is on the sign outside.) But I was pressured into trying this Tokyo-based teppan fusion restaurant by a sushi connoisseur. I think he just didn't want to share.
Kaiwa, Waikiki Beach Walk, 226 Lewers St., 2nd floor. Hours: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-11 p.m. daily. Phone: (808) 924-1555.