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Masa & Joyce Okazuya

Okazuya plate from Masa & Joyce: (left-right, front row to back) Okinawan Yakisoba Noodles, Teriyaki Fish Patty, Vegetable Tempura, Ume Musubi & Nishime (in the plastic container)

Continuing the Uchinanchu spirit from last week’s Okinawan Festival, today we decided to make a stop over in Kaneohe at Masa & Joyce Okazuya. A first for me, yet a frequent stop for my Uchinanchu friend, who’s order is shown above.

On the right side of the establishment as you enter is a glass refrigerator case with various poke, seafood and other pupu items. Head straight towards the front counter where the menu board is hanging and there under the glass case you’ll find the various trays of daily Okazuya items to pick from. This is “the gold”! All the other stuff on the menu looks ono, but we’re here today for Okazuya!

As is typical of many Okazuya shops, there aren’t any signs with descriptions or prices on each item, making it a little challenging to make your choices if you’re not a regular here. I arrived around 10:30am, thinking I’d beat the lunch hour rush. Which I thought I had done, as it was rather empty when I walked in, but before I knew it, there was a line building behind me that was already practically out the door! So I had to hurry and select items for two plates to go, which totaled $15 for both of them.

There’s also (limited) tables and seating if you prefer to dine in.

So the plate shown above was my friend’s order, and here’s my order…

Okazuya plate from Masa & Joyce: Okinawan Yakisoba Noodles, Vegetable Tempura, Ahi Tempura, Ahi Belly, Hot Dog Maki Sushi

So how is it?

The stir-fried Okinawan Yakisoba Noodles are a meal in itself, el dente, with generous slices of SPAM, carrots, white and green onions in it; the sum of its parts seasoned nicely in a shoyu-base that we can’t pinpoint, but works perfect. This the OTHER chow funn!

The Ahi Belly… OMG, this is like “buttah”. Being the fatty party of the tuna, this piece was super moist, very very flavorful, and gladly hardly had any bones in it. It had a light shoyu and sugar glaze on the seared exterior which gave it that signature “Okazuya style”. Highly recommended!

The Ahi Tempura has a rather thick and chewy, somewhat salty batter, which contrasted, yet complimented the tender ahi meat inside nicely. Here’s how that looks on the inside…

The Vegetable Tempura seemed to share the same thick, chewy and slightly salted batter as the Ahi version, except in this case being made up of carrots, onions, green onions and string beans.

Because of the batter, both these had character on their own, and didn’t need any kind of dipping sauce, as is usually the case with Japanese-style Tempura. Both good choices.

The Hot Dog Maki Sushi is such a no-brainer idea as far as “local food” is concerned, yet I don’t see this too often. This is a great alternative to the more familiar “Spam Musubi”. Here’s a cross section showing how it’s constructed…

Each bite: rice and hot dog, rice and hot dog, rice and hot dog. Life is complete!

That sums up my plate. My friend ordered the Teriyaki fish patty, which he gave me a sample of. OMG! That ROCKS! Order that on your next stop at Masa & Joyce. Trust me. I know I am. It’s not “fishy” at all. It taste nothing like the fish patty at Tanioka’s, which is excellent in its own right. It’s almost like hamburger-like, yet has something “Japanese” about it, and not fatty like a burger. I’d love the recipe for this.

He approved of the Nishime, which was the first time he’s ordered that from here since they didn’t have Kinpira (Gobo) today. While he says it doesn’t beat Ige’s, it was ono.

Other items included Okinawan Sweet Potato patties, various other fish items, Okinawan Long Rice, Teriyaki Fish Meatballs (same like the fishcake patty, but in different form), Aburage, Spam Sushi, Fried Tofu, and many other dishes just I can’t remember or identify.

Besides Okazuya, they also have a regular menu to order from, including a basic breakfast and soups such as Ox Tail, Ju Shi Me (Okinawan Rice Soup) and Okinawan Soba (like Saimin). There’s also plate lunches, bento lunches and Hawaiian Food, including all the favorites.

The Okazuya offerings are located in that glass case under this counter. “Da’ Gold”!

Now that I’ve sampled their Okazuya, which is on par with the best the island has to offer, next time around, I’m gonna’ go for one of the Hawaiian plates and see how M&J stacks up with Young’s Fish Market and Ono Hawaiian Food.

If you’re ever in the Kaneohe area and looking for Japanese, Okinawan, Hawaiian and overall local ‘kine grindz all in one stop, check Masa & Joyce out. Buggah stay winnahz, ono and oishii all at da’ same time! Go check ’em now go!

Masa & Joyce Okazuya
Hawaiian & Japanese Foods
Sashimi – Poke – Bento – Etc.
45-582 Kamehameha Hwy.
Tel: (808) 235-6129
Fax: (808) 235-0992

Tasty Island rating:


*Masa & Joyce Okazuya is located across Windward City Shopping Center (Foodland and First Hawaiian Bank). They’re in a small business plaza complex on the corner of Kamehameha Hwy. and Luluku Rd. (mauka side), and are also neighbors with Kin Wah Chop Suey, another popular place!…


10 thoughts on “Masa & Joyce Okazuya

  • September 8, 2007 at 5:40 am

    whoa…hotdog maki sushi? I never thought of that one, but it makes sense. I want one. *wah* Hey wait–I can MAKE one. *yay!*

  • September 8, 2007 at 5:59 am

    Hi Jodi. Mahalo for stopping by with the fun comments! If you don’t mind me asking, where are you originally from in Hawaii and where are you now? No need be specific. Just in general. Sounds like you’re an expat missing the island flavors.

    But yeah, isn’t that Hot Dog Maki Sushi such a no-brainer? Yet I’ve never seen that on supermarket deli shelves. Would be an Okazuya fo’ find
    dis ‘kine stuff!

    If you make it, I’d suggest steeping the hot dog in shoyu and and a little sugar or mirin first. I think that’s what gives it that signature Okazuya taste. I couldn’t tell what brand of hot dog it was.

  • September 8, 2007 at 7:07 pm

    Hey guys! I can’t believe you didn’t mention the fried rice musubi!!! You gotta be lucky to get that one cause it’s usually sold out!!! If you don’t see it on display try asking. Sometimes they can put one together for you – if you’re lucky!!!

  • September 9, 2007 at 5:24 am

    That looks absolutely delicious! Thanks for the share, I’m sure I’ll be looking for it next time I’m out there. And I’m with you on the hot dog maki sushi, I’m sad that 711 doesn’t carry it anymore! :)

  • September 9, 2007 at 10:32 am

    I like their ume maki sushi too!!!! I think I also remember an eggplant that was really ono too! It’s been awhile since I went there …now you make me want to take a ride. Your photos are soooo yummy looking !!! Thanks again for your wonderful entry!

  • September 11, 2007 at 6:00 pm

    Hi Pomai–yeah, you can tell I’m from Kalihi by way of Kaneohe. That post you did on the Kam shopping center was too much. :)

    Moved to the east coast–BUT I can still make stuff. Shoyu-sugar. Sounds good. I put it on my tuna for maki sushi. (says it’s required in the Maui woman’s cookbooks, the red one, or was it the gold one?) lol, got ’em all.

    btw, I linked you into my blog…

  • September 12, 2007 at 6:54 pm

    Oh gods. So many things the doctor won’t let me eat. Soooo gooood…

  • September 14, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    I want there a couple years ago and was so disappointed in the lack of food variety. Now I know why. I went too late!!!!! Everything was gone. After looking and reading your post, I know I’ve got to go back and try their soups, noodles and fish patties. And this time, go early. Thanks Pomai


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