Izakaya Naru – Honolulu, HI

Have you been to Izakaya Naru? They’ve been around for a few years but exist in a bit of a non-descript location. They are located in the same building as Sushi King but when they first opened, they had like no signage. I didn’t even know they were a restaurant until I noticed customers inside as the door opened and closed. I seriously thought it was some kind of secret society, lol. This is a sweet place run by sweet Japanese people. Their crowd is a mix of locals and Japanese tourists, they are very artistic. Their menu is handwritten by the staff and if you make a reservation, they hand write your name on a sign. Very nice and personalized touch. The lighting in the place is a bit dim so I apologize in advance for the dark pictures!

150227-01Garlic Fried Rice with Squid – $9.50

The rice was definitely tasty and I liked the little crispy rice on top. Just a bit of a small portion for $10.

150227-02Salmon Carpaccio – I think this was a special for the day. It was good but not something I would order again.

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150227-04Gyoza Pizza – $8.50

This is one of their signature dishes. Very interesting concept. It’s pretty much the gyoza skin as the crust, topped with gyoza filling and cheese and baked. I think this dish is okay but not great. Definitely something to try once to say you tried it but not something I would want again.

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150227-06Shoyu Pork Belly – $9.75

First of all, what’s up with the egg?! Japanese restaurants are the very place I expect the egg to be cooked on point. The gray ring was disappointing, not that it stops me from eating it. The pork belly was not great, it definitely could have been more tender than it was. Felt very dry, good thing had the fat to help out the dryness. I wouldn’t order this again.

150227-07Okinawan Sweet Potato & Mochi Ice Cream Parfait – $7.00

Very interesting dessert. I was not a fan at first but I really did enjoy the sweet potato mochi. The title of the dish was a bit deceiving, it’s actually sweet potato mochi so don’t be like me and start looking for separate mochi. They added frosted flakes cereal on the side which really threw me off. It did not go with the dessert and the dessert did not need that. I do actually want the mochi again so that’s a plus.

This is definitely not one of my favorite izakayas. I guess I should try some other dishes next time because the staff are really nice! I had a really nice and refreshing drink and I can’t remember it! Maybe that’s a good excuse to give them one more try…

2 comments

  1. jalna says:

    I cocked my head in confusion and thought, “Huh?” How do I not know of this place? I must pass by it everyday on my way home from work. I’ll try to pay more attention next time I’m in that area. Thanks for the review!

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