Something’s Fishy… and Healthy!

AHI & Vegetable entrance.If there is one thing that Honolulu has, it’s a lot of restaurants. If there is one thing that residents love to do, it’s EAT! There are many restaurants but some are often overlooked because either they are very small,they are out of view of the mainstream, their menus consist of somewhat esoteric entrées or any combination of these characteristics.

One place I discovered actually has all of these characteristics. Even it’s name is a little… odd. AHI & Vegetable is a tiny little hole-in-the-wall located at 1126 Fort Street Mall that sells itself on the freshness and healthy quality of the food on the menu. Their motto says, “Eat fish, Live healthy!” They also bring in fresh fish daily from auction and have “No MSG” posted just about everywhere. Okay, these are positives. It’s clean, the staff is patient, they will let you re-create their menu without blinking and, unlike most restaurants in a business district, they stay open — until 6 PM!

Drawbacks? It’s a little pricey. But then, fresh ahi (tuna) usually is. The average cost for a meal is somewhere between $7 and $8. Everything on the menu comes with “Vegetable” automatically. There is ahi and vegetable, shrimp and vegetable, salmon and vegetable, crab and vegetable, and then there’s teriyaki chicken with a small salad or beef curry and a small salad. If you want a more complete meal, you can order a “set” which,along with a choice from the aforementioned menu, includes miso soup and your choice of steam, brown or sushi rice. They also toss in some fish eggs and ginger.

Inside AHI & Vegetable restaurant.There’s definitely a Japanese influence but, there is something more that I just can’t quite put my finger on. Perhaps it’s the boss who picks up on a customer’s possible likes and dislikes. I had the crab and vegetable set with miso and sushi rice. The chef/owner automatically said to me, “you don’t want fish eggs do you?” I just looked at him and said, “No, I don’t.” I was actually confused by his question because it was so unexpected. He was right, I don’t do fish eggs. To be honest, this was not my kind of meal at all. But, it was late and I was desperate. By the time I left, I felt satisfied both with the food and with the service. The servings are not skimpy and the food is good… and fresh!

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