Hinone Mizunone: food porn for Logan

These pictures are thumbnails. Click on them to see the bigger, yummier-looking images.

Staci & I decided to try out the new place on the corner of King & Keeaumoku.   “The old Taco Bell,” she said.   Neither of us even knew the name, but I recalled the outside looked cool & it had a parking lot.   So we met there.

Inside it still kind of felt like Taco Bell to me.   There were fewer tables but I could have been inside Wendy’s.   The tall ceiling & openness of the room gave a busy, bright feeling… like a fast food place.   I think some screens, hanging or otherwise, & some plants would soften the atmosphere.

Hinone Mizunone has mixed reviews, if you Google it.   Nadine Kam didn’t like it, & she even said their rice (which they claim is their specialty) was just like Hinode (Wow, the only worse insult would be Diamond G.).  Actually, her review is mostly focused on a dispute with the server & says very little about the actual food.   The Honolulu Weekly writer Margot Seeto found a number of specific things to appreciate.   I actually like her descriptions & her attention to detail with her experience of the food; she even shares some knowledge regarding the decor.   And some other dude named Aku enjoyed lunch there.   He also has some very helpful & specific observations.

Staci ordered the kabocha & the hijiki; I ordered mozuku (gotta try it everywhere they have it!) & their specialty, the “Sukishabu.”   We actually didn’t order any rice, believe it or not.

The kabocha was great, but then kabocha is always great.   I can cook this myself & it would be great.   But still.   Great.   I didn’t try the hijiki but Staci said it was disappointing.

The mozuku was very good.   Mozuku is very soft, silky seaweed in sweet vinegar; the best I’ve ever had was at Hakone – major slimefest.   This mozuku was extremely tasty, with just enough saltiness to balance the sweet & sour.   It had no other garnish (no ginger, no green onion) except a lemon slice, which I discarded.   Its texture was very smooth & silky.   I just wish there was more of it.

And then there was the Sukishabu.   Basically, it was a bunch of shabu shabu ingredients – thinly sliced beef, cabbage, enoki mushrooms, shiitake, leeks, & some mystery greenage – plus bean sprouts & carrots all layered in a wicker pot to be steamed.   This sounded really cool.

It took about 20 minutes for the Sukishabu to cook at our table; one of our servers set it up & started it, then came back & uncovered it for us, which was a good thing since I wasn’t paying attention to the time.   Ponzu & gomadare sauce, along with momiji oroshi (spicy grated daikon – you put it in your ponzu sauce to taste) & green onions.

The cooked meat was tough & overdone.   The ponzu sauce needed more lemon juice; it tasted almost like straight shoyu.   But the gomadare was ridiculously yummy.   It was like some kind of kickass salad dressing.   Normally at shabu shabu I don’t even bother with gomadare, although at new places I’ll taste it just for knowledge.   This time I dipped my hashi in the gomadare & then I ended up dipping everything in it.   If they brought me a little rocks glass I could have just poured it in there & shot it.   I’m not a sauce person so this is kind of meaningful.

Overall, I wasn’t super impressed but the prices are cheap, the service was very good, & there are a whole bunch of other items on the menu that we didn’t try.   If anyone would like to go for Part II, I’m down.

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4 responses to “Hinone Mizunone: food porn for Logan

  1. If I recall correctly I had the chicken katsu and butterfish combination. I wasn’t really impressed with it, to be honest.

  2. Oh man that sukishabu looks inviting! I dunno about the gomadare. I hate that stuff too but now I’m intrigued… Could there be a good gomadare out there? I don’t even bother tasting it anymore because I’ve never enjoyed it. Reasons I’d check this place out: good service, “ridiculously yummy” gomadare, cheap prices, awesome mozoku. Reasons I’m not so sure about it: The meat appears lean with strips of fat instead of marbled with fat, junk ponzu, carrots make meat taste like beef stew to me, would have to rely on the gomadare to steal the show. I’ll have to think about it.

  3. The meat on the sukishabu was definitely below par, & I actually wouldn’t order it again. I’d ask for a side of the gomadare. lol

    I should also mention that our very attentive server… looked like you. I wanted to get a picture of him but he was too busy.

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