Thursday, May 6, 2010

What I Ate in Hawaii, Part 4

When I couldn't remember the name of the Japanese pub we ate at in Honolulu, I knew that there was a single word I could google to have my answer. In seconds I had it: Tokkure-Tei.

That word was "norichos." And what, pray tell, is a noricho? Only the most delicious portmanteau I've ever tasted.

The noricho is a zany marriage between nachos and sushi (where the "nori" comes from). Now that I re-read that description, it kind of makes me want to vomit, but I swear that they're delicious. Who doesn't want to eat deep fried, nacho-shaped wedges of seaweed piled with roe, avocado, daikon sprouts, tomatoes, and American cheese?

Okay, so the American cheese still kind of makes me want to vomit, but after much sake it made me want to do the reverse of vomit (eat it).

The somewhat kitschy, fusion-born noricho is surely the signature dish of this very fun to eat at Japanese pub-style eatery, itself a cross between a sushi bar, a gastropub, and a tapas restaurant. But they also do straight-up sushi very, very well, as in the butter-soft, super fresh, not even remotely fishy tasting mackerel nigiri.

I happen to love mackerel in all forms, even canned, but this was the best I've ever had it. We also ate tender, charcoal grilled slices of tongue....

A sweet, creamy portabello dish that was like slow-cooked mushroom candy...

Baked Alaska rolls....

And the boiled peanuts that start the meal, which are oddly similar to the hot boiled peanuts found throughout the South.

We finished with a perfectly good grilled okra, but at that point in the meal and after that much sake, I think we were all secretly wishing we'd just ordered a second round of norichos.

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