I met up with some friends at Sunrise Restaurant for our last get together in 2010. How is it that I’ve lived here for 13 years and never heard of this place? This tiny, bustling hole-in-the-wall Okinawan restaurant is tucked away from sight, just off Kapahulu Avenue and is a favorite of my friend’s hubby. He is Okinawan and navigated us through the menu. When I think Okinawan cuisine, I think goya (bittermelon), awamori, lots of fatty pork, and Okinawa soba and was delighted find all of these and more on the menu. (Except for the awamori – the restaurant is BYOB, they don’t even have soft drinks).
First up, Goya Champuru (stir-fry bittermelon with egg and pork, $8.00). I was never a fan of bittermelon until now, but this tasty dish changed that quite easily.
Nakami Champuru (stir-fry pig intestine with mushroom and veggies, $8.00). The intestine was very tender and flavorful.
And off their specials, Ahi Poke ($14.00) with a kick of wasabi.
Hamachi Kama ($13.00), a generous portion of the collar section of hamachi. Fatty and tender, I enjoyed the kama with a little grated daikon, lemon juice and shoyu.
Deep Fried Flounder – fried to a crisp so you can eat everything, crunchy bones and fins and all.
Assortment of Sushi. By this time we were stuffed but the food just kept coming!
Mini Okinawa Soba. Thick noodles, light broth similar to saimin broth.
Wow – they had to roll me out of there after all that food. For home style Okinawan cuisine, check out Sunrise Restaurant. I hear you can catch the owner’s impressive shamisen ( a traditional Japanese banjo-like instrument with only 3 strings) performance on some nights.
525 Kapahulu Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815