When I have time on Saturdays, I will highlight one locally owned and operated place to. Other than local ownership, my only criteria is that the food is awesome or great in some way.
This weeks I’d like to put a spotlight on Chirashi Sushi Don by Jiro. It is located in a small kiosk in the Lanihau Center between Palani Road and Henry Street. It’s between the ice cream shop and the drug store (Longs/CVS).
The business opened in early May.
Here is a list of what I love:
1. Unique category. Sushi-don is sushi on a bed of rice with additional ingredients. It’s a bit like a poke bowl, but there are more ingredients and it’s much more flavorful. Nobody is doing this in Kona right now, so it’s added to what we have available. Even though I love the Chinese and Thai restaurants here, we don’t need another restaurant doing the same thing. Give me something new!
2. High-quality ingredients. With such a delicate balance of fish, fresh and pickled vegetables, quality is essential. Jiro, the owner, told me that he wouldn’t add several items to his menu because he couldn’t get the quality of ingredients he wanted.
3, Great presentation. I used to live in Japan, where they often took great effort to make sure the food on the plate looked great. A lot of restaurants go for speed and volume, which makes for some very sloppy looking dishes. The suhsi bowls not only taste great, they also look great, too.
4. Not too much, not too little. I don’t need a huge lunch most days, and I find it frustrating to find healthy portions at many restaurants. Chirashi Sushi Don by Jiro’s bowls are satisfying, but not too much volume.
5. Good price point. All of his bowls are about $10, which makes for an affordable lunch or dinner, and if you consider the quality, a real bargain.
6. Great story. Jiro has worked for many years in Japanese restaurants, and now he wants a place of his own. When you go there, his wife will most likely be the one taking your order, and Jiro will be preparing it. I love entrepreneurism and people starting new businesses.
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