Kochi attracts mature crowd


POSTED: Friday, June 04, 2010

When I was growing up, a visit to 1936 S. King St. meant just one thing: a short stack of pancakes or an order of Spam and eggs from King's Bakery.

Yes, that's the original location of the landmark eatery that only exists now in the memories of those who ate there. That “;King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread”; stuff? It's a purely California-based product now.

Now that I'm all grown up, a visit to the same spot means happy-hour drinks and pupu at Kochi Restaurant and Lounge, owned by the same family as Gulick Delicatessen located next door. There's no mistaking the space Kochi resides in as a coffee shop anymore, either, since it was completely redone when the establishment first opened in 2007.






        1936 S. King St.




Happy hour:
        » 5 to 7 p.m. daily
        » $3.50 Heineken bottles (regular, light, dark)
        » $3 domestic bottles
        » $4 import bottles, well cocktails and house wine ($20 for bottle)
        » $15 soju pitchers


Pupu picks:
        » Chicken Katsu ($5)
        » Popcorn Tako ($5)
        » Chicharon ($5)




About a dozen bar stools surround the square-shaped bar in Kochi's lounge, with a handful of small tables designed to seat two or three customers and another pair of longer tables that can accommodate larger groups. Couches round out the seating options, which are designed to provide a clear view of the flat screens that hang in the lounge.

While no draft beers are available here, Kochi does offer a full complement of both imported and domestic bottles along with a variety of wine, soju and sake. Unfortunately, most of that stuff, along with my favorite Japanese import lager, Echigo Koshihikari, isn't discounted during pau hana.

Food options are plentiful, with a variety of Japanese and local-style pupu plus a couple of surprises. You can't go wrong with the Chicken Katsu ($5) or Spicy Teri Edamame ($3.95), but also consider the Popcorn Tako ($5) and the Corned Beef Hash Balls ($5). The former is a nice substitute for popcorn shrimp, while the latter goes surprisingly well with beer (guess you really can deep-fry anything and serve it in a bar).

Pau hana regulars at Kochi tend to skew a bit older, so don't expect the same type of people who might also visit bars like Tsunami's or Uncle Bo's. Still, if you're looking for a quiet spot to finish the day with drinks and food, Kochi is a worthy pick.

Pau Hana Patrol is a weekly look at Honolulu bar and restaurant happy hours. E-mail happy hour tips to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).