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Kaneohe Eats: Masa and Joyce Revisited

With fellow food blogger Nate, the “HWN Pake in Okinawa” recently posting all these super-oishii lookin’ Okinawan grindz before he makes his epic move back home (to Oahu), this sounds like an ideal time to visit an Okazuya again. As you know, most Okazuyas in the islands are owned and operated by local Okinawans, with Masa and Joyce in Kaneohe being up there with the best of the best.

On my most recent visit, they gave me permission to take photos of the okazuya selections behind the display case available on that day. Mahalo! This was on a Friday around 10:30am when there was quite a few things still in stock.

Let’s see what they got…

You probably immediately noticed that void space on the second shelf in the center. Yup, you guessed it. The item that already sold out was their ever-popular Teriyaki Ahi Patty. Damned it!

No worries, get plenny odda’ stuffs, starting with the cone sushi…

Ginger Maki…

SPAM Musubi…

Fried Rice Musubi…

Furikake Musubi…

Hot Dog Maki…

Hamburger Patties…

Teri’ Burger Patties…

Grilled Tofu…

Omelet…

SPAM…

Grilled Saba…

Ahi Tempura…

Sweet Potato Tempura…

Corned Beef Hash…

Shrimp Tempura…

Vegetable Tempura…

Chicken Katsu…

Yaki Soba…

Teriyaki Chicken Bits…

Shoyu Long Rice…

Ahi Kama (tuna collar)…

Nasubi (Shoyu Eggplant)…

Nishime…

That rounds up the (warm) Okazuya items. Under an adjacent counter are all the cold pupu items, including various styles of Poke…

Shoyu Limu Poke Poke…

Limu Poke…

Tako Poke…

Boiled Peanuts and Edamame…

Lomi Salmon…

There was too much glare for me to get the shot, but also under this cold counter were containers of Haupia, fresh Ahi Sashimi platters and a various styles of dried and smoked fish and tako.

Masa and Joyce also serves hot meals to order, including breakfast and soups…

Plate Lunches…

and Hawaiian Food…

Next time I visit Masa and Joyce, I’ll definitely give their Hawaiian Plate a try. Our good friends over at WOWGrinds.com need to do a “Best Lau Lau” challenge. So far it’s in the middle of the field in a poll they have going on there. Wow, Lau Lau!

Here’s what we ended up ordering on this particular visit, starting with Diner E’s plate…


Masa and Joyce Okazuya – clockwise from top left: Vegetable Tempura, Nasubi (in cup), Cone Sushi, Teri Beef Patty, Yakisoba and Ahi Tempura

And Diner P’s plate…


Masa & Joyce Okazuya – clockwise from top left: Corned Beef Hash, Hot Dog Maki, Nasubi, Yakisoba and Vegetable Tempura

As The Tasty Island always like to do, here’s a cross-cut view of the corned beef hash…

Seriously, this is probably the best corned beef hash I’ve had from an Okazuya. Quite unique too with the various veggies mixed in it, along with that contrasting golden panko crust. So winnahz!

Oh, what the heck, here’s my entire plate in dissected view…

I’m not much a fan of their tempura batter, finding it too glutinous and thick. I prefer the more traditional Japanese style light and crispy batter. Perhaps if it came with some kind of dipping sauce I may change my mind, but plain like this it’s a bit overboard for me. Still ono though, yet gotta’ note that.

Their Yaki Soba is solid. Seasonings are just right, yet I could do without the SPAM in it, as I have enough meats from the other dishes. As a meal in itself, great, but with the other things, no need da’ SPAM.

This is the second time I chose the Hot Dog Maki, for good reason. The hot dog that’s in it is the protocol Okazuya style that’s lightly simmered in Shoyu, which works so wonderful with the plain white rice and nori surrounding it. Simplicity at its best.

Finally the Nasubi, or Shoyu Eggplant. If you ask me, the “shoyu” flavoring it’s simmered in tastes like Andamisu, that pork and miso condiment served with Okinawan Champuru. It tasted like it had fat drippings from Rafute (Okinawan Shoyu Pork). Diner E didn’t think so, but that was my detection. However it’s made, the Nasubi is excellent here. It’s veyr deep and savory thanks to the attributes mentioned above, so make sure you’ve got a musubi along side it to help buffer that intense taste. With the rice, winnah, winnah Eggplant dinnah… err, make that lunch.

With that, both Diner E and yours truly give our plates a solid 3-SPAM Musubi.

As you see (again), Masa and Joyce has all the local and Okinawan favorites at reasonable prices and most importantly, everything is fresh and tastes great. Next time you’re in Kaneohe, check ’em out.

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

Business hours:
Wed – Fri : 9:00am – 6:00pm
Saturdays: 9:00am – 4:00pm
Sundays: 9:00am – 2:00pm
Mondays & Tuesdays: CLOSED

Tasty Island rating:


8 thoughts on “Kaneohe Eats: Masa and Joyce Revisited

  • July 3, 2009 at 8:28 pm
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    Oh. My. God. I just had a foodgasm. I can just imagine standing in that line, smelling all the great okazuya smells. The cone sushi would be my first choice, followed by the grilled saba, the yaki soba, and the sweet potato tempura.

    You’re killing me! Killing me.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2009 at 7:15 am
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    Pomai, you’re making me homesick. Since no such place in San Francisco that have okazuya food like hawaii. So people in Hawaii enjoy it while in Hawaii. I am in food researched so able to cooked many typed of food but yet missed the ready made ones sold in Oahu.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2009 at 8:55 am
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    Pomai – You may find it hard to believe but there’s no okazuyas like there are in Okinawa like there is in Hawai’i. Closest thing I’ve come to one is the place – Oasisu – where I buy my musubis in the morning. Think I posted on the place, it’s mostly fried stuff. But none of the multitude of food as offered by Hawai’i okazuyas.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2009 at 1:09 pm
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    Nate, as Betty points out that San Fran’ doesn’t have Okazuya restaurants, my guess is that San Jose doesn’t have any either. Or do they?

    Betty, as you can imagine, a lot of prep cooking goes into running an Okazuya, and these folks often start cooking from 3am to have everything ready for the day ahead. Hard, hard work.

    Oki-Nate, in a way, the Okazuyas on Oahu are like the Godfather to the modern Hawaiian Regional Cuisine fusion movement. Okazuyas were doing fusion cuisine long before the likes of Roy, Alan and Sam.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2009 at 4:48 pm
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    Pomai, there a Japanese Bakery in San Jose called Clover Bakery. Got lot of unusual bake goods. Tonkasu buns, Spaghetti buns with it stuffed with spaghetti and other Japan style pastries. They do make omurice with demi glaze sauce that very good. The Japantown in San Jose is bigger than San Francisco. Most cooked food in supermarket.

    Reply
  • July 5, 2009 at 5:36 pm
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    Pomai, this post is pure torture for those of us who don’t have an okazuya nearby, but I couldn’t stop looking! That corned beef hash looks amazing.

    I prefer my tempura light and crispy, too, but I can understand how you would need to do the more glutinous batter for something that will be sitting in a pan for a while.

    Reply
  • July 13, 2009 at 5:38 pm
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    GAH! Hehe, Pomai, the fuud looks sooooo ono! Sadly enough, I live in Kaneohe and haven’t been there in forever! Plus today is MONDAY and they are closed.. dang it.. Guess I’ll be taking a drive over maybe on Wednesday! Early hopefully of course! Before they sell out of anything huh! Thank you for the review!

    Reply
  • September 9, 2009 at 8:01 pm
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    I was there one Sunday afternoon. There was nothing left! My kids complained of the fishy smell…. I can only imagine going there early in the morning for the best selection. The tofu, katsu, tempura, and the saba were all delicious! Thank you for the post

    Reply

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