Upcoming eats in Waikiki: Yokocho Japanese food alley

Billing itself as Hawaii’s first gourmet Japanese food alley, Waikiki Yokocho is set to open Dec. 1 in the basement of Waikiki Shopping Plaza. Sixteen new-to-Hawaii eateries will fill a culinary village with three themed alleyways: Ramen Road, Noren Street with savory specialties like sushi and tempura, and Engawa Terrace for desserts. I’ve never been more excited for the beginning of December!

Here’s what I’m looking forward to most.

Tsujita's slurpalicious noodles continue to attract many far and wide.

Tsujita’s slurpalicious tsukemen is famous for its thick, rich pork-and-seafood broths.

Tsujita

Specialty: Tsukemen-style ramen with intense broths served on the side for dipping
From: Tokyo and Los Angeles
If lines around the block in Tokyo and L.A. are any indication, Tsujita is going to be a major draw on Ramen Road. The hype is real: I’ve slurped up the L.A. version multiple times. Kore wa oishii!

Nin Nin Curry

Specialty: Curry rice
From: Japan
Nin Nin says it will serve nostalgic Japanese curry rice dishes finished with French sophistication. What? I’m so there.

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Kushikatsu Tanaka

Specialty: Kushikatsu (skewers of breaded, deep-fried meats and vegetables)
From: Osaka
Kushikatsu must be the pinnacle of all things fried to a golden-brown crisp. It’s Osaka on a stick: Unpretentious, fast and delicious, dunked unceremoniously in a savory, tangy dipping sauce. And perfect with an ice-cold biiru.

Shichimusubi

Specialty: Musubi (rice balls)
From: Tokyo
Shichimusubi pays homage to the chief ingredient in musubi: It uses top-quality organic Japanese rice in its freshly made rice balls.

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Kaneko Hannosuke

Specialty: Edomae tendon (tempura donburi rice bowl)
From: Tokyo
The Japanese have been frying food for a long time. The Edomae style of tempura means it hails from the Edo period, when shoguns ruled, and that the frying’s done in flavorful sesame oil. Kaneko Hannosuke is also famous for its secret tempura sauce. And a soft-boiled egg tempura. And lines out the door.

entrance

Other eats and drinks coming to Waikiki Yokocho:

BaikohkenHokkaido’s shoyu ramen with thick chashu

Marion CrepesJapanese-style cream-filled crepes

Ramen BARIOOverflowing bowls of Kurume-style tonkotsu ramen

BeniyaKyoto-style sushi and fresh seafood from Tsukiji

Umami Teppan KingyoTeppanyaki and okonomiyaki

NomuWhisky and cocktail bar

Tonkotsu Kasan RamenTonkotsu ramen from Osaka

Nana’s Green TeaGreen tea and matcha drinks

SizzleYakiniku style grill featuring Wagyu beef

Waikiki Yokocho
2250 Kalakaua Ave.
Basement of Waikiki Shopping Plaza, same building as Buho Cocina y Cantina and Tanaka of Tokyo
www.waikiki-yokocho.com