Kikuya Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar – Kalihi, HI

Correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t there a Kikuya in Kaneohe? Yes, I see there is, with a slightly different spelling. Are they sister restaurants? Anyway, I went to the Kalihi Kikuya for dinner on a Friday night and it was pretty okay. I wouldn’t call this high end Japanese but more of a family style restaurant, super fast service. The restaurant was full of Korean waitresses, nothing wrong with that! The hostess was super friendly and the other wait staff were just super hustlers, not the chatty type. The location may not be ideal for most. The parking lot is kind of horrendous and shares the same lot with I don’t know, 10 restaurants? I thought I found a stall in front of the Chinese restaurant and parked when a worker came out asking if I was picking up from them. No, I wasn’t. She said the stall I used was for their pick-up orders only. Okay, I moved my car. There was a cone not in the stall but fronting the stall with no sign. They couldn’t just write a quick piece of paper saying take-out only? The cone was not blocking the stall, I promise.

Anyway, I parked next to the adult store. I didn’t even know we had one in Kalihi, lol.

Combo Dinner Set Sides
edamame, pickled cabbage (pink stuff), tossed salad (with an asian vinegary dressing, good!), miso soup

Combo Dinner 1st Choice | Shrimp Tempura w/Veg.
Two big shrimps, kabocha, green beans

Combo Dinner Set 2nd Choice | Sushi
4 pcs. nigiri, ahi, salmon, tai, tamago

Combo Dinner price is $17.95 for 2 choices and $20.95 for 3 choices. A pretty good deal to me nowadays! The food came out FAST. Just homey Japanese dishes. The sushi was pretty good and the cuts were good!

My brother chose the sushi and the chicken karaage (WHY!). To me, if you gonna pay the same price for the sets – go for the pricier stuff! Not chicken karaage! I tried a piece. It was bland, not enough salt and they don’t serve it with lemon. Wouldn’t get the karaage again.

All in all, it was good! Not too busy, we got seated right away but the restaurant definitely had groups dining in already at 5PM. I bet it gets super busy after my senior citizen dining time. I would definitely dine there again, great to know that such a restaurant exists so close to home. Get plenty restaurants I need to check out in this strip mall.

8 responses to “Kikuya Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar – Kalihi, HI

  1. vickinags

    I love that place! Except for the parking, like a lot of my favorite places so I usually do lunch take outs but once in a while will go for dinner.

  2. vickinags

    oh, and for a very short while, there was a Kikuya in Manoa where Off the Hook is now. Used to be really good. Maybe the site was too small to be profitable, only had about 4 or 5 small tables.

    • Jenny

      Haha I don’t even know what off the hook is. I am so out of it with Mānoa stuff. Is obok still around? lol

      • vickinags

        JP Lam and the guy who used to run the Yajima-ya lunch wagon and restaurant opened a poke shop that is soooo popular, the line many times wraps around the Starbucks end of the building.
        I get various combos from Kikuya (don’t care for sashimi/sushi too much,) but like their nabeyaki soba.

        • Jenny

          Oh! I didn’t realize that was the name! I went to that poke shop once! It was alright. I guess I don’t need high quality poke. I’ll have to try their nabeyaki soba next time!

  3. kat

    never heard of either kikuya. the tempura looks great!

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