Imanas Tei – Honolulu, HI

Funny storry about Imanas Tei, well it’s embarassing for me but I’ll share it anyway. One of the first times I dined here, I was seated at the sushi bar and absolutely did not know what I was doing. So guess what I did? I placed my freaking purse on the front counter mantle. That mantle piece that the sushi chefs place your pieces of sushi on. Oh my gosh, the sushi chef who scolded me to remove it looked so mad. I will never forget that moment. Also that was probably one of the last times I dined at the actual sushi bar. Hahaha I don’t like sitting at the bars anyway, I don’t want to be watched or feel like I have to converse with the person behind the bar. I am a true introvert.

Anyway, this was a wonderful visit to the restaurant and it was even better because it was a nice birthday treat meal for me. I am always appreciative of my friends. Anyway, Imanas Tei used to be super popular. Not to say they aren’t anymore but it’s definitely easier to get a reservation now. And guess what! They joined the reservations on Yelp so you don’t have to call in to reserve a table anymore. That was a plus for me!

Chinese Cabbage & Grilled Chicken Salad with Japanese Nanami Chili Dressing | $7.00

Another funny story, I asked if this dish was spicy because my dining companion doesn’t like too much spice. I mean it says chili in the title and the waitress told me it’s not spicy (it was). Not super spicy but there was definitely a kick. I really loved this salad, it was delicious and so refreshing. I would get it again!

Maguro Shichimi Yaki | $17.50
pan fried nanami chili coated tuna with miso butter sauce

BY FAR MY FAVORITE DISH OF THE NIGHT. Their menu has so many items and this one definitely gets hidden in the mountains of text. I just so happened to see a picture of this dish on Yelp and went for it. It was so hard to find it on the menu but oh my word it was delicious. You know the 3660 on the Rise Ahi Katsu dish? The sauce on that dish is so good that I wish I had a big bowl of rice with it. Well this is no different. Dang I wish I had a big bowl of rice to eat with this dish. It’s also very buttery rich but…SO GOOD.

Kakiage | $10.50
fried burdock & seafood

This is definitely a dish you will see across the restaurant on almost every table. Perfect dish to nibble on as you down your beers (and I say you because I don’t drink beer) – freshly fried and served to you in a light batter. Pupu hour lover’s dream! (It’s good for non-drinkers too, per me).

Grilled Yamaimo with Natto (special)

Sorry I don’t have a price on this one, it was one of their specials. I love yamaimo and I love natto so where can you go wrong? We were very curious about how it would be served grilled. It also took a while to come out so the anticipation grew. The dish was good but it was cold?? Like from the refrigerator?? So why did it take so long to come out? It tasted great but I guess when I see the word grilled, I expected it to be served hot? It tasted great and I guess I could taste the smokiness from when it was grilled who knows when because it was ice cold. LOL – anyway it was good.

Anyway, it was a great dining experience as always. They always have a good number of servers running around. Their parking lot is horrendous and they share it with another restaurant and massage place. We got there super early so I was able to score a stall. There is street parking around the neighborhood but that’s a bit iffy to me. I guess you could park in the Nijiya market lot and buy something to get validation? Hopefully the rates outside of the validation aren’t too much.

8 responses to “Imanas Tei – Honolulu, HI

  1. vickinags

    all the dishes you posted are stuff I could eat! I better try there. I wonder if they all can be take out?
    I learned from Kat that heating natto destroys the
    beneficial enzymes that make it healthy so maybe have to think of this as a potato salad. Sounds so yummy either way!

    • Jenny

      Yes! Especially because of covid, I saw them doing plenty take out orders! You live so close, go try them! I loved this dish cold and I never knew that about natto! Not that I have ever had natto warmed up??

  2. jalna

    LOL, funny story! It’s totally something I would do. The food looks awesome.

  3. kat

    aiyah! bag on table or counter is a no-no for me…everything sounded delicious!

  4. Ooooh. I would like to try everything – but not the natto one – never acquired the taste.

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