Just before COVID hit, Sakura Terrace quietly opened its doors on King Street after undergoing a beautiful renovation. My first time trying this restaurant left me wanting more as they are authentic in their service, style and dishes... but also showcase new innovations that are creative and meant to impress the eyes and stomach.
For lunch you can order a bento or chirashi and be nicely full. The portions are generous and the quality is superb. The sushi chef also takes great pride in making the usual finds, but also incorporating very unique and bursting with flavor additions to the menu.
Standout dishes include: renkon cheese, mushi awabi, hamachi carpaccio, spicy tuna, abalone and washu sirloin steak. They also have a bento set for the tempura lover, unreal sushi creations and rolls along with extremely fresh fish. Prices are also quite affordable considering the excellent quality.
The ambiance it like being in Japan. They have nicely spaced tables, accents of sakura and other Japanese elements and very traditional service with Japanese native speakers.
The exterior looks like a zen garden and they have sushi bar, inside and outdoor dining options.
There's a new bagel shop in town and these are not your typical bagels. Empty Elle (which phonetically is MTL, the abbreviation for Montreal) brings a smaller, sweeter and unique bagel unlike any other to the Hawaiian islands. You see, the bagels are hand-rolled, honey boiled, made without any preservatives and also include local toppings sources from around the state.
Born out of COVID, after the owner accepted a severance package from his former employer, he had a strong love and desire for bagel making and eating. Thus he decided to make and serve uniquely delicious and amazing bagels in the heart of Kailua town.
Local flavors and toppings include: Big Island Lemon Butter, Maui Black Kula Raspberry, Jerky Labs Pork Jerky, Waimanalo Greens, Big Island Dark Chocolate Coffee Butter, Waialua Goat Cheese, Andy's Spicy Pickles and local tomatoes, beets and basil. The bagels are slightly sweeter than your NY style. They are light in texture and also pleasantly chewy.
Located within Grace in Growlers the bagel truck is trendy, filling and delicious. Visit them at 143 Hekili Street... open Thurs & Fri and Saturday. www.emptyellebagels.com