Monday, December 26, 2011

Tanioka's (Part 2)

(Original Review -- June 2011)

Me and my fish cravings. In early December, I made a return trip to Tanioka's in Waipahu, Hawaii (on Farrington Highway).

A bit of background info: Tanioka's is a family-run business founded in 1978. They are famous for their poke (a raw fish salad in Hawaiian cuisine, for those not in the know), fish patties, cone sushi, maki sushi, spicy ahi bentos, and fried chicken. Nowadays, the lines can get pretty long, especially if you go at the peak lunch rush.

Poke selection!

Fish and salmon patties
Shrump tempura and lumpia
Poi Mochi and Poi Andagi
Various types of musubi

First up, a fish patty and a salmon patty ($1.95 each). Each were juicy and seasoned well. In fact, the fish patty is a recipe handed down from the owner's mother. The patties are kept at room temperature, cooking them to order and eating a fresh, temperature-hot patty would be the only thing making this one better.

Fish patty (left) and salmon patty
My dad and I then got a bit adventurous and tried some new dishes we hadn't had before.

The sampler bento ($5.95) has small helpings of minced tako (octopus), tuna, and marlin on a bed of sushi rice. A wonderful choice here to try three of Tanioka's finest offerings. Perfectly cooked sushi rice, on the sweet-tangy side. It is kept chilled on refrigerated shelves.

Sampler Bento (Tanioka's)
A half-pound of wasabi-miso tako was next ($12.95/lb). A relatively new item at the time of my visit (beginning of December). Chewy tako combines with a creamy wasabi-miso sauce. The bite of the wasabi and the sweetness of the miso are addicting, but I found it to be very rich, preventing me from eating more. My dad thought it was too sweet for his liking, and it's probably one that really should be eaten with a bunch of rice and water (in contrast, I can eat most pokes without starch or liquids).

Half-pound of Wasabi-Miso Tako
Overall, Tanioka's left a very positive impression, more so than my last visit. I got to see and try more of their food, and I now have a better understanding of why they have earned numerous awards over the last 33 years. 8.25/10

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