2840 Kapiolani Blvd., Honolulu
Our Rating Neighborhood Manoa Valley/Moiliili/Makiki Hours Thurs–Tue 4:30–11pm Phone 808/737-0230 Prices Plates $7–$50 Cuisine Type Japanese/Sushi Web site Gazen Other Reservations recommended
This spot, perpetually packed with locals, is the best of the mid-range izakaya, a Japanese pub with snacks made for sharing. Don’t miss the fresh, homemade tofu sampler (it will change your opinion of tofu forever); mochi agedashi (fried sticky rice balls in dashi); daikon salad, an explosion of textures; and the fresh fish carpaccio. Finish off with the fried sweet potato mochi.