Sunday, October 26, 2008

The ‘Fish Prints’ Restaurant

“Gyotaku” is a traditional form of fish printing originating in mid-19th Century Japan. Ink is applied to a fish, then rice paper is rubbed onto the fish. When the paper is removed, an impression of the fish remains on the paper.

“Gyotaku” is also the name of a popular Japanese restaurant in Hawaii that has won numerous food critics and customer awards for its food. Its walls are adorned with gyotaku art by Naoki Hayashi, who uses non-toxic acrylic paint and frames his print with koa wood.

I’ve known the owner, Thomas Jones, since the 1980s when he first came to town to manage the Waikiki restaurant Kyotaru, which had just purchased the Columbia Inn restaurants. Tom has an interesting story, rising from dishwasher for the Kyotaru enterprise in Japan to president of REI Food Service (owners of Gyotaku) to Hawaii’s Small Business Person of the Year in 2005.

I had lunch at the King Street location the other day, as I do every few weeks. My favorite order is the Gyotaku Lunch Box featuring assorted sushi, shrimp and vegetable tempura, shoyu chicken, salad and miso soup. Check it out:

If you live on Oahu and haven’t been to either their Pearl City or Honolulu or the new Niu Valley location, do yourself a favor and try it sometime.

1 comment:

Bevlove said...

This sounds like a wonderful restaurant, Craig. The food looks delicious.