Restaurant review: Yajima-Ya

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One the first night of my winter vacation, I met my aunt and cousin for dinner a casual local place in the Moana/Makiki neighbourhood. This was a relatively new place, transformed from what was a more traditional japanese restaurant called Hinone Mizunone.  From what I can tell, the owners of this restaurant also operate a food truck of the same name, as well as an automotive service station down the street.

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The new place combines japanese cuisine with local hawaiian fare.  We were seated immediately upon arrival.

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These were the complimentary appetizer plates

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This included pickled daikon radishes, pickled cucumbers, and dried seaweed salad.

I ordered a combination that consisted of sushi and karaage.

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This was the spicy tuna sushi roll.  It’s ahi tuna in an inside-out roll, with a seaweed wrap on the side, and a tender sushi rice on the outside, dresed with toasted sesame seeds.  Its served with a morsel of wasabi paste, pickled ginger, and several drops of chili sauce.

This sushi was just okay.  The rice was cooked to the right doneness, but it lacked the sharpness that is characteristic of sushi rice.  It was either lacking or very light on sushi vinegar.  The tuna was tender and delicate.

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And this was the chicken karaage.  This is marinated boneless chicken, dredged in seasoned flour and deep fried to a light crisp.  It’s served with a lemon wedge, and a soy and mirin based dipping sauce.  The chicken was properly cooked, and well seasoned.  The coating was lightly crisp, at least for the first 10 minutes or so, while it was still hot.  I became less crisp as time wore on (most likely because of the wheat flour used in the batter).

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The dining room was clean and bright and minimalist.  It was large enough to seat 40-50 guests.

Our server was prompt and polite.

Yajima-Ya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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