New eats: Sakura Terrace

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The first intel comes from an acquaintance I run into at a rum-tasting. I don’t really trust it: The only other time I’ve seen him is at a sake-tasting, and both times he’s been very, uh, happy.

“Did you try the new Japanese place on King Street?” he asks. “Sakura something.”

“Is it open? I haven’t been able to find out a thing.”

“Just opened today!” Rum Taster exults. “It’s all rice bowls.”

Rum Taster turns out to be right: Sakura Terrace, open since November in the King Street spot formerly occupied by Peppa’s Korean BBQ, has an entree lineup that features nothing but 15 rice bowls. Think ahi, hamachi, ikura and other prime sashimi atop sushi rice, with beef, chicken and unagi bowls the only non-raw fish options.

Which means Sakura has to get the rice bowls right — and that non-sashimi eaters will go hungry unless they like beef, chicken or unagi. Rice bowls are the main draw, not the eight seafood-centric apps or the three salads (two featuring seafood). The only other comparison I know in this town is Michinoku over on Keeaumoku, which builds a much larger Japanese menu around a core of 10 premium, sushi-centric rice bowls.

So the questions are quality, price, atmosphere and service. How does Sakura Terrace rate?

Sakura Terrace

Picture 1 of 15

Like a lot of small places lining King Street, Sakura Terrace is easy to miss. Look mauka as you're going down King shortly after Piikoi. A small driveway just before the restaurant leads into its own parking lot.

Sakura Terrace Japanese Cafe
1240 S. King St.
808-591-1181
www.sakuraterrace.com

15 comments
konaish
konaish

Just added Sakura Terrace to my list of places to try. Great pics! I especially want to try the Ikura & Uni bowl, my two favorites. I can always count on you to keep me in the know about the best new eateries in town. Thanks!

MoOgooGuypAN
MoOgooGuypAN

Chirashi is my favorite "go-to" item whenever dining out Japanese style and rarely do I deviate from it. I loves me some good sushi, but I enjoy having control of my sushi rice to sashimi ratio. One of my favorites is at Kunio's in Waikele. Your pics however are calling my name to Sakura Terrace. The salmon and hamachi are making my eyes tear from envy.

Annoddah_Dave
Annoddah_Dave

EO: We found this place to be quite delightful for a lunch or light dinner. If you ate here everyday for a week you might tire of it due to sparse menu. However, they do a good job. Fuud is tasty as pictured. Would rate this place a B to a B+

jlieu
jlieu

O-M-g. I think I am speechless. I absolutely love the pics and it is close to my home. I think Logan and I need to have our next girls night out here! WOWZA! Thanks Melissa for the heads up! <3

MyongChoi
MyongChoi

Menu seems a bit limited and prices a bit high for this place to find mainstream success. We'll see if they can last. But I love Michinoku so if they're comparable to them, then maybe they have a shot.

DianeSeo
DianeSeo

It wasn't a good thing to find that pin bone in my salmon, but I would return here because overall, the fish was fresh.

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

Hey, I wasn't complaining! I was merely stating fact. Remember, I am not the complainer. har har

nonstopmari
nonstopmari moderator

@konaish u made my day! :D btw u'll be interested in the blog i'm writing for tmrw, abt the majestic king of fruits ;)

nonstopmari
nonstopmari moderator

@jlieu u, speechless?! Will be a quiet nite for u and Logan ;)

nonstopmari
nonstopmari moderator

@MyongChoi comparable on prices for rice bowls when u take volume and sides or no sides into consideration. At michinoku I pay more and always leave stuffed. At Sakura I leave feeling just right.
Also m's atmosphere is white concrete cinder block, pretty sterile, but svc is so homey and mom-and-pop friendly. For me boils down to how hungry I am.