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“Great Place for Lunch behind Ala Moana”
Review of Mimasuya Italiano of Kyoto - CLOSED

Mimasuya Italiano of Kyoto
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed October 10, 2013

Kyoto is head over heels about all things Italian. And, yes, salt is available but not necessary here.

Great value in the luncheon set menu selections. And we also like the staff here, who are young, correct, and pretty knowledgeable. There is a lot to like and care is taken over the food. Italians come here for lunch, and the headwaiter's mother is from Barcelona.

Tables are set far apart, which is unusual for Honolulu— so the atmosphere is hushed but informal.

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Thank TokyoFrenchFlyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (23)
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9 - 13 of 23 reviews

Reviewed September 8, 2013

Well, I've dined at this location over a number of years and a number of incarnations, and this is right up there with the best of them. I enjoyed my experience quite a lot and would definitely come here again. Now, some more detail:

A couple of unfortunate things when we first arrived was that we had to trudge up an almost spooky, undecorated, hardly lit stairway because the elevator is either out of order or totally and permanently gone. This is NOT the way to introduce an elegant and upscale restaurant. Robert Irvine would have a lot to say about this. We arrived a little early and were told, in a very dismissive tone, that we could sit on the sidelines and wait. No offer of a drink or snack, menus or anything, and then when other people arrived they were given precedence and were seated first. That wasn't very nice. When the hostess finally did arrive, she acted as if we were just waiting for someone and we had to remind her that we had a reservation and had been waiting to be seated. She also greeted us with this phony grin that was almost scary. This grin never left her face until she had us seated. I was totally thrilled that she would not be our server. Because of these negatives I had to take off one star. One more little hiccup was that some diners arrived in shorts, tee shirts and flip-flops (and not even clean shorts, tee shirts and flip-flops). In a restaurant with the elegant setting that this has, it's a bit of a turn off. The only reason I'd say it was the owner's fault was that they don't have a better dress code.

Okay, now that we have the bad things out of the way (whew), let me say that the rest of our experience was very nice. Our server, whose name I can't remember...sorry, was very pleasant and very knowledgeable about the menu, wines, etc. He was always there and able to assist us in choosing our food. His knowledge of the menu and good wines to complement the food was truly first rate.

We decided to try the chef's tasting menu, which consisted of six courses, and we thought at $50 that it was quite a bargain. In addition to it being a great value, the food was top notch and had excellent taste (except for my inability to eat fish). We started with an "amuse bouche" which did not amuse my bouche, mainly because it was some kind of anchovy thing, with a very strong fish taste, which I can only eat if you don't mind my running out of the place retching and throwing up. After that, the three-item appetizer plate was fine, as it had a nice baked scallop, a lovely duck breast topping a very delicious porchini mushroom mousse, and a kind of cheese cracker with an unfortunate topping of smoked salmon (see my comment about anchovy). Next was a very fresh and tasteful green salad with a soy and vinegar dressing, followed by a nice cauliflower potage, which unfortunately was rather aggressively under seasoned. After that was the pasta course, and our server had recommended a chilled pasta which sounded sort of strange, but was really absolutely fabulous, and possibly the highlight of the evening. Next was the main course. I had a very nice rack of lamb with a tasty mint sauce flavor and my companion had a kind of bass. Then came a nice dessert plate with various cakes and ice creams. This wasn't all that thrilling or unusual, but it was just fine. We both eschewed coffee or tea.

To sum up, everything was just perfect except as noted. The full bar is very extensive and I was able to find my favorite gin. Our server was knowledgable about wines, although he was less sure about the bass.

I'd definitely go back here again, and thought it's a worthy replacement for the unfortunate venues that have been here before. Hopefully it will be around long enough for us to make a return trip. Definitely a highest recommendation.

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1  Thank Whitsiepoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

Terrific set menu choices, very fresh ingredients, lighter Kyoto-style Italian food in practical portions. Great date or ladies' lunch spot. Excellent service

Thank GladThenMadCustomer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2013

Mimasuya Italiano of Kyoto. Nope, not making that up. Stare at it until your head explodes, back off of it all you want . . . but you can't make something like that up!

Apparently this restaurant is part of a wave of new restaurants in Hawaii that are upscale Italian, owned and operated by Japanese. Italian food with Japanese flair, they say. Well, here's the really amazing thing: it works! This was as cultured, delicious, attentive and satisfying a dinner as I have had in Hawaii in a long time. The restaurant was very empty, despite the very nice white tablecloth and covered seats decor, gleaming, spotless environment, etc. The air of prosperity was there, but not many customers. But the hostess, authentic Italian, was so genuine and happy to tell you all about the place, you just couldn't resist. My server was simply amazing - cultured and attentive and delighted to explain every dish in detail. Amazing pasta dishes, meats, salads, soups - I had a lobster linguine, and the last thing I expected for $28 was a whole Maine lobster chopped up in there! It was simply awesome. The wine list, though small, offers some real gems, and not at over-the-top prices.

Given the predominance of tourist traps (yuck) and local dives (yay!) on the Honolulu dining scene, there are not many independent restaurants serving classic cuisine that I care to repeat. Mimasuya Italiano of Kyoto is different. I'll be back for sure!

Domo arrigato, grazie, mahalo . . . . whatever! It works!

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2  Thank Holokauahi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2013

My coworkers and I stopped at Mimasuya for the first time on our lunch break. The food was awesome! I had the shrimp and asparagus pasta $14, salad and app included!! Great Lunch!! They were quick too, I had more than enough time to get back to work. Mike and Steffan were very helpful with their suggestions. The tiramisu and coffee for $5 was a nice too!

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2  Thank Abby1111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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