** UPDATE 07/25/10: This restaurant is now closed. As I drove by the other day, I saw the space is now occupied by a Korean BBQ place. Wouldn’t be surprised if it was the same owner, different concept. **

This Japanese restaurant opened about 2 months ago in the Old Stadium Mall in Moiliili, where Maru used to be. I’m always on the look out for good Japanese restaurants, so I decided to check it out.

I noticed small hints that this place was probably not run by Japanese, from the slight spelling errors on the menu (thukemono), to the waitress calling in our order to the kitchen (I swear I heard her say something like “combination #3 yoboseyo-!”). And when we received the assorted side dishes in the middle of the table to share, it was all so familiar. 🙂 Upon asking our server, she confirmed that the chef is Korean, but told us he was formerly at a Japanese restaurant before opening up his own place. Once she knew we knew, the first thing she said was “you want kimchi?” to which I answered “yes!”

Anyway, back to my review. The menu is very standard with all the local Japanese favorites like sushi, tempura, teriyaki chicken and tonkatsu. We shared a Spider Crab Roll ($9.00).

Mastunoki - Spider Crab Roll ($9.00)

Hubby had the Combination 3 ($13.95) with tonkatsu, tempura and gyoza. It comes with rice, miso soup and salad.

Matsunoki - Combination 3 ($13.95)

I had the Bento Box 2 ($11.95) with tempura and nigiri sushi. It also comes with rice, miso soup and salad.

Matsunoki - Bento 2 ($11.95)

And we received some kimchi and chive pancake, compliments of the chef.

Everything was tasty and freshly made. I wish them the best because I feel the market is already saturated for local Japanese restaurants. As far as the offerings, I would say that they are very similar to Kochi Restaurant, Sushi King, Minato, and Gyotaku for their combination teishoku, and are at similar price points. The food is just as good, and the service and ambience is probably better because it’s such a tiny restaurant. A big plus is that they have a sushi counter and they’re open late. If you like local Japanese food, they’re worth a try.

PRICE RANGE: $9.95-$13.95 for most teishoku. Click here to view their menu.
MY BILL: $44.55 for two
RETURNING?: Probably

(Located in Old Stadium Mall, where Maru restaurant used to be)
2334 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96826
Mon-Sat 11:00a-12:00 midnight
Sun 5:00p-12:00 midnight


November 2009
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