It’s hard being away from home and going off to college on the other side of the country. I start to miss all the great restaurants back in Honolulu, especially when the semester gets busy and all I have time to eat is cup ramen. Now that it’s summer break, I get to enjoy all the restaurants I’ve been craving for the past semester, and you can’t come to Hawaii without eating Japanese food. That’s why Kohnotori is at the top of my list.
Kohnotori is an amazing Japanese restaurant known for its yakitori, a type of Japanese food that involves grilling skewers seasoned in either salt or teriyaki sauce. I immediately fell in love with the restaurant as soon as I tried my first teriyaki-seasoned shiitake mushroom.
There are a variety of choices: Japanese-style musubis, fried oysters, salads and soups. My favorites are the chicken in ponzu sauce topped with daikon, shiitake mushrooms, bacon-wrapped asparagus, bacon-wrapped enoki mushrooms, and baked miso rice ball. I suggest alternating between a salt or teriyaki seasoning because too much teriyaki can be overwhelming.
The best part is that although you get a few pieces per skewer, the seasoning is fulfilling enough to make eating here affordable.
Each yakitori ranges around $2-3. I can only handle eating 5 or 6 skewers which I know doesn’t sound like a lot, but the trick is teriyaki sauce and rice. Order a few meat dishes and a rice ball and you’ll be set. Kohnotori can still get pricey but it’s a great place for a college student like me, with a low budget and desire to splurge.
If you live in Hawaii, definitely take a break from studying and bring your friends and family out to dinner at Kohnotori. It’s a small restaurant so my advice is to get there at opening if you want seats, or make reservations. Otherwise, stop in after late-night bubble tea hangouts to snack on authentic Japanese food. Bonus: it stays open until midnight.