After making a few calls this afternoon, a few of us decided to get together tonight for dinner. Since everything was planned at the last minute, we wanted to go somewhere that didn't require reservations and that didn't require us to get dressed up. Someone suggested Okinawan food, and since it was still early, we ended up here at Sunrise.
As you enter, you can hear the sound of Okinawan music as it fills the room. The restaurant is small and cozy, with seating for about 25 people. It was quite busy when we arrived as there were only a couple of tables available.
Besides a few specials listed on a couple of boards behind the sushi bar, the dinner menu is quite short. Actually, there are 10 different items on the regular menu to chose from. On the bottom of the single paged menu are the sushi combination dinners.
While snooping around in the condiment tray, which is something that I often do, I noticed this. Anyone know what it is? I wanted to open the bottle to smell the contents, but I decided not to. These actually looked like pickled chili peppers if you ask me.
After placing our orders, the first items to arrive were the tea and some takuan (pickled daikon).
Two of us ordered the sushi combination with Okinawan soba (US$12.00).
Topped with a tender, meaty pork rib, the soup was further garnished by a lone slice of kamaboko (fish cake) and some chopped green onions. The bowl here was on the small side, but it was full of noodles. The broth was clear and had a meaty, slightly spicy flavor. After eating some of the noodles in the bowl, I was surprised to see lots of benishoga (shredded pickled ginger) in the broth.
Here is a close up of the Okinawan soba noodles. See how the noodles are thick and somewhat flat? These noodles are usually made using wheat flour instead of buckwheat flour, which is what traditional soba noodles are made from. These noodles were firm and slightly chewy -- perfectly cooked if you ask me.
The other two ordered the sushi combination with the special miso soup (US$12.00).
The miso and shrimp flavored broth was garnished with a slice of kamaboko, some chopped green onions and a shrimp head. After digging through the bowl of soup, we discovered it filled with all sorts of stuff -- bean sprouts, tofu, luncheon meat (!), wakame (seaweed), salmon, daikon and Chinese cabbage. I'm not sure if I missed anything, but if I did, it's because there was quite a bit in that little bowl of soup.
This was the sushi platter that was served with our combination meals.
It contained three pieces of tekka maki (tuna roll), three pieces of kappa maki (cucumber roll), two pieces maguro (tuna), two pieces hamachi (yellowtail), one piece tako (octopus), one piece unagi (eel), a pile of gari (pickled ginger) and a mound of wasabi. The fish was fresh, and I felt we were given a nice assortment of sushi. As always, my favorites were the hamachi and the unagi.
The food here at Sunrise is good, and to some, it's just like homemade. Even though the portions may seem small, by the time you're done eating, you realize that you're full. All those things, along with the homey atmosphere, the prompt service and the not-so-usual flavors and dishes, give me enough reasons to keep coming back.
525 Kapahulu Avenue