Every time we go to Hawaii, my family and I always go to Furusato Sushi in search of late night eats, pre-departure meals, and bento boxes for the beach. From when I was a child until now, the decor, staff, and style of Furusato Sushi hasn't changed much. One this is for sure thought, they do have a bunch of loyalist visitors from all around the world. During this most recent trip while I was waiting in the characteristic line that's generated in front of Furusato, I met a couple from Australia's Gold Coast who said that Furusato Sushi is always their first stop whenever they land in Hawaii. >< Us too! It's a pretty innocuous sushi restaurant nestled right next to an ABC store and housed within the Hyatt towers, but you'll find a line out the door almost every night.
One thing you'll notice immediately upon walking in, is that Furusato is small and that there are only about two to three waiters busing a sushi bar area and the main floor. This is a pretty general estimate, but they probably only have about eight tables that can sit four people in the main dining area. As a result of the good food and the tiny dining area, there are often 10-15 minute waits to be seated. However, I assure you it is totally worth it.
The waiters are friendly,efficient and you'll be able to recognize them quickly because they're all wearing black slacks and blue polo shirts. ;) They'll immediately offer you something to drink, tea, water or beer, and be back to take your order pretty quickly. The space is definitely learning towards the clean and efficient side of restauranteering and the decor of the restaurant leans on the minimalistic simple side. There won't be any ostentatious flags, decorative screens, or sake bottles lying around, but instead no-nonsense black chairs and tables with a efficient and streamlined sushi bar.
The menu is actually pretty simple as well, they have some larger dishes for sharing, more complex sushi rolls, and basic "don" or rice bowl items (my father's favourite has always been the Aloha Don). Despite the relatively simple menu you'll fine all the dishes executed to perfection. Yfor mou'll have a hard time finding simple, cost efficient, casual sushi that's fresher the Furusato's dishes. I highly recommend this little store. <3 It's a well loved and frequently visited sushi joint by my family and I'd love to share it with you guys. =)
Onto the meal!
These photos are actually two meals combined together, one set from my last trip and the other from my family's visit in October, but the quality and execution of the dishes were the same and very delicious.
The Waikiki bridge offers both sashimi, nigiri, and roll options to satiate your hunger for all kinds of raw fish. The bridge includes one ikura nigiri, one tobiko nigiri, one tuna (maguro) nigiri, one yellowtail (hamachi) nigiri, salmon sashimi, tuna (maguro) sashimi, yellowtail (hamachi) sashimi, squid (ika) sashimi, unagi (eel) nigiri, geoduck nigiri, a california roll with slices of salmon and avocado and tobiko (shrimp eggs) sprinkled on top (I can't remember the name =__= so many rolls! Dynamite, Alaska, Aloha....), and finally a two piece sushi roll that has shrimp tempura and some bean sprouts (again I have no idea what this is called =__= SORRY!)
Honestly, everything on the bridge was delicious, fresh, and delectable. My family and I were actually afraid it wouldn't be enough for three people, since it was only advertised to serve two, but with the additional "fancy" sushi roll (essentially the sushi rolls with the names) it was perfect for three. Even my dad, who is a sushi purist, loved the "pimped out" California rolls and even took a whole piece of the beansprout tempura out of his own free will! So if you have a lot of mouths to feed the Waikiki or the Hawaii bridge are both fresh viable options for your party.
This Negitoro Set is what I had ordered the second to last time we had visited Fususato Sushi.Unfortunately, I don't think this set is there anymore, but I was quite proud of myself when my dad said that he wished he had ordered it instead of his usual Aloha Don. The components of the set itself are very simple: a lightly dressed salad, a bowl of miso soup and then the Negitoro Don itself. The salad and soup were good, but nothing particular out of the ordinary. The salad was dressed in a lemon and ginger salad dressing and the miso had it's usual seaweed, tofu, and green onion friends floating around in there.
Honestly, I wish they kept it on the menu because I feel like I would have ordered it again and again. The sushi rice in every dish has the perfect ratio of rice to vinegar, salt, and sugar and this tart savory combo stands out against the delicate, creamy, and slightly oily texture of the negitoro. To further diversify the textural profile of this simple sushi don the chef included tobiko (shrimp roe) and ikura (salmon roe), both contributed significantly to my enjoyment of the dish. The flavors were simple, but married together well and it makes me sad that this item is no longer on the menu.
Honestly, I forget what this item that we ordered was named, I think it was mountain or volcano something or other, but it was the dish we least liked out of everything that we've tried here. My mother had the misfortune of ordering this dish and she spoke of her dissapointment throughout the meal. What made us dislike the dish didn't have anything to do with the freshness of the fish or the flavor combo on the plate, but instead is was just the rice to fish ratio. After eating all the slices of unagi, ika, maguro and avocado (and feeling hardly satisfied) we were left with an overly large mountain of sushi rice on the plate.
The fish was fresh, the sauce was good, the flavour profile of the dish was alright....but it just wasn't a good value for the money that the dish cost. Everything else that we've tried we haven't been disappointed with.
Ultimately, I've been going to Furusato ever since I was a little kid and I've loved it here. The fresh fish, the simple execution, the aloha spirit, and the affordable price make this place a staple on every Waikiki vacation my family has. After you eat you can also always head over to the convenient ABC Store located right around the corner for your beach, snack, and refreshment needs. =P Don't let the location turn you off though, I highly recommend Furusato. Thanks for coming!
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Price: $$ out of $$$$$
Kid Friendly: Yes! If they like sushi =) There are some cooked rolls though.