The other day Derek was craving sushi.
He was so desperate, he even suggested just grabbing something quick at Genki Sushi.
“Maybe we should get something better than Genki,” I said.
“Yeah…” His voice trailed off.
I knew what was at the end of that sentence. “Yeah… but I don’t want to get dressed up, I don’t want to pay $300, I just want to eat a couple of nigiri and that’s it.”
So I pulled out my iPhone and dialed the number to the best hole-in-the-wall sushi bar in Honolulu — at least to me.
Located in the airport’s industrial neighborhood, Mitch’s Fish Market & Sushi Bar is that great find you never want to tell anyone about. And I didn’t — for a long time — until I realized it’s no longer a hidden gem.
Everyone knows about it!
Here’s the story: Mitch’s is owned by Craig Mitchell, who hails from South Africa. In 1983 he hit the road, traveling around the world before landing — permanently — in Hawaii.
In 1996 he took over the Seafood Company, where he had been working, and opened a poke shop soon thereafter. But when his mother died in 2003 — Mitchell had brought his family from South Africa to live here — the shop closed up.
But fueled by both a desire to own a restaurant and a need to do something, Mitchell opened this sushi bar a year later, serving fresh fish from around the world. The bar’s unique specialties include live lobster and abalone.
But here’s what I love: there’s nothing fancy about this place. There are a handful of stools at a bar, a few tables and that’s it.
The best part: you don’t have to dress up, either. In fact, you might look out-of-place here, where one table was filled with a group of friends in T-shirts and shorts and armed with a cooler of beers. (Mitch’s is BYOB.) On the other table sat two sun-kissed couples who looked like they had just popped in after a day at the beach.
So I knew Derek would love the place.
Here’s what our recent dinner looked like:
Mitch’s Fish Market & Sushi Bar, 524 Ohohia St. Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily. Phone: (808) 537-7774