Izakaya Danji – Honolulu, HI

A new izakaya on the scene? I’m there. I’m a sucker for izakayas and Izakaya Danji is the newest one! The ratings on Yelp so far, quite mixed. We decided to give them a try anyway! We went in on Saturday night, right after they opened. I did call in to ask for a reservation and the waiter basically said, no need because they had a lot of tables open. Yes, yes they did. Some Yelp reviews state junk service and slow food service, well I experienced none of that! Great service and the food came out pretty quick!

Smashed Cucumber • $3.50

We’ve been really into smashed cucumbers lately and love that we find it in almost all the izakayas. How was the one here? Thumbs down. Absolutely no flavor. They seriously just smashed a few pieces of cucumber, dusted it with sesame seed powder and added a dollop of gochujjang on the side. No thank you. In fact, this flavorless dish inspired me to make my own smashed cucumbers the day after. I made a pretty good go at it, will probably post a recipe up when I perfect it. 🙂

Assorted Sashimi • $20.00

Another bummer of a dish! And for $20, I expected more. I mean…where’s the salmon?? Ahi, hamachi, hirame, katsuo (bonito), and fresh tako from Japan. The sashimi pieces were just okay, nothing to wow about. Wouldn’t order this again.

Corn • $4.25

Okay, this was one of my favorite dishes. Yes, corn. I liked that they sliced it off the cob…this corn is cooked on the grill and slathered in a nice teriyaki type sauce. Loved the smokiness from the grill and the sweetness from the sauce, it was a nice balance. You still technically have to eat this corn off the cob, but in a more dainty manner and with your chopsticks. I would order this again!

Seafood Bowl (Sesame Soy Sauce) • $14.50

Another bummer. Why? It’s basically the same fish as the assorted sashimi, plus a few pieces of cooked fish here and there. Not a fan of the pieces of fish, but the rice and the sauce was good. Would order again if I knew what types of fish were in for that day.

Kakuni (Japanese Style Pork Stew) • $11.25

Droolll…look when is this dish ever wrong? Oh wait, it can go wrong. If they don’t cook the pork down enough, the meat isn’t tender enough. The first two pieces were plenty tender, the last piece wasn’t. Now that I see the price tag again for the dish, I wouldn’t recommend it. Also wish the dish came with a little bit of rice for all that sauce….

Chicken Wings (Salt and Pepper) • $5.99

Hands down another favorite of the night. They do a great job seasoning and frying up these wings. It’s too bad this dish was near the end, I would have liked it earlier so I could have saved room in my tummy for another order. Heh.

Salmon Fried Rice (Special of the Day) • $9.95 (?)

This dish wasn’t mine but it was highly enjoyed – so if you see it on the specials for the day, get it!

Tan Tan Udon (Szechuan Sesame Soup Udon) • $10.25

Okay, my dish! So, I had two things that affected me and this dish. Firstly, the picture in the menu is hard to see so I thought this udon dish was sauced, versus served in soup. That was a bit of a surprise…though the title says soup so I guess it’s my fault. Also, this dish comes with a level 1 to 5 spice. I chose 3 to be safe, well 3 might as well be called mild. My friend tried some soup and he can’t even handle spice and felt this dish was mild. LEVEL THREE. I guess if I get this dish again, I would ask for level 5, but I’ll bet it will be weak sauce. I should ask for a level 10…

So what did I think of the restaurant? Well, it was okay. It wasn’t great nor was it bad. The food wasn’t anything special so I think I will still stick to my usual izakayas. Don’t just take my word for it, try it yourself! By the way, the parking lot attached to this restaurant is open for customer parking even though the sign says clinic parking only – I checked with the waiter.

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