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“Fine Japanese no tourists here”

Hayama Japanese Restaurant
Ranked #138 of 288 Restaurants in Kailua-Kona
Cuisines: Sushi, Japanese
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Fine Japanese no tourists here”
Reviewed May 30, 2013 via mobile

We were recommended by a local to go to this restaurant and it bears testimony to the fact that the locals know best . We had fantastic Japanese food- mixed sashimi was so fresh and the mixed tempura had such a light batter. We loved the fact that it is a hole in the wall,nothing wrong with the atmosphere especially if you have eaten under the railway tracks in Tokyo.
It is not on the tourist strip in Kona make the effort to find it you won't be disappointed.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Shirley T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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29 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    18
    5
    4
    2
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Seattle
Level Contributor
203 reviews
123 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Zero ambience, but the food and service are quite good”
Reviewed May 1, 2013

This place has the ambiance of a Costco food court, but the food is really quite good, with very generous portions at reasonable prices. Sushi rolls and nigiri, as well as sashimi, are of high quality. I particularly liked the lighter than usual breading they use on their tempura.

This is not the place for a festive night out, but if you have a hankering for good traditional Japanese fare at reasonable prices Hayama is not a bad choice at all.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Skeptic2241
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Best Traditional Japanese Food ... just like Tokyo!”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

First of all, my friends, colleagues & associates have been frequently Hayama's over the past 7 years, and we have never been disappointed, by their traditional Japanese food, or their service, both which has been top-notch.
2nd - I have lived on 3 Hawaiian islands over the past 14 years, and am the youngest in our group, but have the only experience of having visited Tokyo on several occasions. I also live part-time in San Francisco, in the Inner Richmond district near Little Tokyo & Little Russia, on Geary Avenue.
3rd - Yes, there are many 'Japanese-like' restaurants in Hawaii, and anywhere you go on the mainland, with some that Market their "looks" or atmosphere, because their Food is shipped in commercially Frozen, while others simply do not hold any standards of authenticity. Hayama's is a traditional Japanese Family-operated restaurant, that makes the best outcome, in a modest, but very clean restaurant setting outside of Japan.
4th - Some of the BEST Japanese food that I have ever had in Tokyo, was NOT in a Resort hotel, or part of any commercial chain. Any Traveler worth his salt (or soy sauce) is cognizant of the fact that the best restaurants in any location, is and are the ones where the 'locals' most frequent; as well as, are usually located on back streets, and not visited by foreigners or travelers. This also holds true whether, you are talking about Mexican or Vietnamese or Indian food.
5th - what most people don't know about Hayama's is that they also offer items that are not on the Menu, but you have to ask for it. Of course, it's been a secret, until now, right? Right!
6th - The Rule of thumb is that if the Japanese or Thai chef and staff don't speak a whole lot of English, and they have strong recommendations from both locals and well-seasoned travelers like myself, who has lived in Asia before for over 5 years, already are AWARE that this is NOT one of those establishments 'where you raise the little flag on the table' for more ...
7th - The restaurant location - yes, it is located in a small strip mall, but because most other business's are closed by the time they open, you have plenty of parking spaces, making it a very quiet and private affair. Besides, I don't want the whole world to know about this great place ... and because it's rather small and intimate side, thus offering a charming atmosphere ... where the only thing lacking are Japanese candles on the table ...
8th - There are some really fancy restaurants in Hawaii, and few in Kona, most which have greatly disappointed this resident & world traveler, mostly by their Achilles heel. Which is a continuous revolving door of questionable "chef's and staff", with offerings of sub-par commercialized food 'stuff', under intentional 'Low-Light" atmospheres, that at times has produced nothing short of acute gastronomic distress, resulting in a visit to the local urgent care facility, for relief. Now read this - Hayama's is NOT one of these fancy establishment's, and over the past 7 years, none ... zero ... number of us have ever had to seek treatment at a medical facility, as in never.
9th - I am planning to bring the Lights On the Kona establishments where visitors and travelers should be cautioned about ... but, that's another series of reviews that I keep putting off ... not having the desire to revisit those unfortunate circumstances, again, after all, we did pay and tipped for this dis-pleasure!
Aloha nui loa!

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank whitetiger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, NM
Level Contributor
55 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Good food - run if the mill atmosphere.”
Reviewed February 2, 2013 via mobile

I stopped in here for sushi and the waitress let me add avocado to my rolls. Nice of her to do that. The sushi looked fresh and it was tasty, but part of what I love about sushi is the fantastic presentations. This establishment had a very average atmosphere and presentation.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank James M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Hills
Level Contributor
626 reviews
507 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 314 helpful votes
“Good Sushi, but....”
Reviewed January 10, 2013

I had dinner at Hayama's Japanese Restaruant tonight. It's located in a horseshoe shopping center at the very back. I almose missed it. I ordered Miso soup, Salmon and Albacore sushi, a spicy tuna roll, and Onkimo (Monk Fish Liver). The soup and sushi were both good, as was the tuna roll. The Onkimo was terrible. It was tasteless and still frozen in the center. The portions (three slim slices) couldn't feed a small bird. First and last visit for me.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Robert L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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