Erika Engle

Jimbo’s Japanese
food restaurant will
get a baby sister

JIMBO Restaurant has been busily serving Japanese udon, tempura and curry rice for 10 years at 1936 S. King St. in McCully.

It's about to get a baby sister, as in, sister-restaurant.

Jimbo's Kitchen will open at the site of the former Taniguchi Store at 2065-A S. Beretania St., about a five-minute walk away.

The business expansion will allow chef-owner Naoki Motojima to satisfy a craving to serve a different menu without cramping the kitchen of the dream eatery he and his wife opened after arriving in Hawaii from Japan 11 years ago.

Merely expanding the menu at Jimbo Restaurant was not an option. "Kind of a challenging thing," he said.

Different equipment was required as the new restaurant will serve ramen, fish, beef and chicken dishes, some sushi, "kind of a pupu menu. Also, we serve beer and wine," Motojima said. That includes sake, by the way.

Jimbo's Kitchen will be open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and for dinner from 5 to 10:30 p.m., but it will be closed on Tuesdays. Motojima is planning a "soft opening" and declined to commit to a specific date. Hiring of 30 employees is underway for the 76-seat restaurant.

The slightly smaller, 50-seat Jimbo Restaurant will retain its current seven-day schedule, serving lunch from 11 to 3 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. -- except for Fridays and Saturdays when it's open until 10:30 p.m. It has 25 employees.

The neighboring Cowabunga! Computers crew is looking forward to the new opening, but may have to split its time between Motojima's nearby victuals venues.

The Cowabunga! staff makes regular visits to the first restaurant for its authentic Japanese flavors, according to co-owner Tom Ogawa.

"It really is as close as you can get to Japanese food without having to go there," he said.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at:


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