22 2016 Dec

Past Closing at Sushi Izakaya Gaku

HawaiiTagged food, honolulu, izakaya, japanese, oahu

A quick drive out of Waikiki, you can find Sushi Izakaya Gaku. A place that has been serving up creative dishes for izakaya while also providing some elaborate sushi. We happen to come here primarily for the izakaya. Not to say we didn’t sample some of that wonderful fish. But mainly we wanted a festive night of drinking as we feasted.

We arrived at the restaurant around 8pm and put our name on the list. The wait time was about an hour for our group, a party of seven.

While this place takes reservations, they do not take them after 7pm. Why? My only guess is that it’s a true izakaya where there’s no such thing as a time limit. With that in mind, it’s really difficult to keep any reservations in order when people have a good time and continue ordering more. And going into the evening hours, that becomes more and more difficult. I mean, take us for example. By the time we left, we were the only party there. And looking around the restaurant, they had already started cleaning up.

Thanks for letting us stay to finish our drinks… I mean food.

Our table was in the back where they had sunken seating in a semi private enclosure. The server helped us order the right items explaining each of the dishes. The only thing they ran out of was the duck. No problem. We had over fifteen dishes to go through. Several of them being spectacular so I’m okay with missing one of the dishes. Having a party our size let us try out about half of the menu if you don’t include the sushi. As for the service, it was very attentive. Our drink glasses remained full and every dish came out in good time. We couldn’t have asked for more than that. Well, except maybe to try that duck. Anyways, it was still a memorable meal.

Sushi Izakaya Gaku

1329 S King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814
+1 (808) 589-1329

Verdict: Get yourself out of Waikiki and get dinner here. You won’t regret it.

Tako Basil @Sushi Izakaya Gaku

A wonderful start to our meal, cooked thinly-sliced octopus topped with special garlic dressing. The tartness of the dressing complimented by the basil and tomatoes made this so fresh.


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Hamachi Carpaccio @Sushi Izakaya Gaku

Yellowtail in a olive oil vinaigrette, topped with a jalapeno and thinly cut onions. Nice follow up of our first dish as we lightly stroll into this feast.


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Kabocha Karaage @Sushi Izakaya Gaku

Deep fried pumpkin with sesame dressing. A heavy addition to the meal even though the dish itself was rather small. This was about the extent of our starches. Yeah, no rice with this meal.


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Omatsuri Natto @Sushi Izakaya Gaku

Let me start by saying I'm not a big fan of natto, Japanese fermented beans. However this combination included uni, ahi, ika, yamaimo, ikura, and a quail egg. Mixed together and served inside some nori and I was surprised. Love the texture and the flavors. The bitter fermented taste was still there except with the other flavors, it worked. Nicely done!


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Gaku's Tori Karaage @Sushi Izakaya Gaku

Who doesn't like popcorn chicken. I sure do. The pieces here are rather large. We had to cut them up in order to share them. No complaints.


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Gindara no Miso-zuke @Sushi Izakaya Gaku

Everyone kept thinking this was seabass. We are so spoiled. This was grilled miso marinated butterfish, which tasted as fluffy as seabass. But hey, it tasted great.


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Homemade Shrimp Fish Cake @Sushi Izakaya Gaku

We were skeptical about this fishcake. Boy were we wrong. It was very tasty and quite frankly, didn't need to be dipped to be enjoyed.


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Hamachi Kama Shioyaki @Sushi Izakaya Gaku

We got a rather large yellowtail collar for our order. The only thing I could have used here was the dipping sauce. It may have gotten lost among the table but would have been great to put that minced daikon in there.


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Seared Wagyu Beef Sushi @Sushi Izakaya Gaku

You noticed the name of this restaurant includes the word sushi right? Well, it does and that means we wanted to try one of their specials, wagyu nigiri. Oh what a treat. A light sear on this beautifully marbled piece of beef to make it a perfect bite. What a shame I had to share. :)


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Komatsuna and Shimeji Mushroom Ohitashi @Sushi Izakaya Gaku

Chilled vegetable of the day with mushrooms and bonito flakes. A good palate cleanser, though you may want to order two since it's pretty small.


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Baked King Crab @Sushi Izakaya Gaku

Being from Maryland, we needed to try this so-called crab cake, made with king crab. My goodness, did we pick a good time to explore. This was so tasty, I almost wonder if I can't go back to normal crab cakes.


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Kurobuta Sausage @Sushi Izakaya Gaku

Pork sausage topped with mozzarella cheese. Enough said.


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Gaku's T.N.T. @Sushi Izakaya Gaku

This is Gaku's seafood dynamite. A mix of various seafood in a cream sauce topped with a crusted cheese. A bit on the heavy side yet still very delicious.


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Gyutan @Sushi Izakaya Gaku

This grilled beef tongue was a big hit tonight. Cut a bit thicker than other places and grilled to perfection, these pieces of beef tongue rivaled many cuts of beef. The seasoning made you want to eat this all night. We should have ordered second serving.


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Gaku's Rib Eye Steak @Sushi Izakaya Gaku

Closing out the night was the ribeye. Cooked to a medium rare and cut up into shareable pieces, this made for the perfect end to the meal.


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The OxPosted December 22, 2016 By the hungry ox

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