The Tokyo-Style Happy Hour on Kapolei Parkway

Sometimes you want the high-energy feel of a late-night bar—the music’s pumpin’, everyone’s dressed up, a big crowd at the bar…

Sometimes, though, you want to get a few close friends together and linger over good food. You want to sip your drinks, not shoot them. Instead of yelling over the crowd, you want to have a conversation.

What: Tokyo-Style Happy Hour
When: 3pm-6pm daily, 10pm-11:30pm Friday and Saturday
Where: Takumi Japanese Restaurant and Bar, in the same shopping center as Foodland [map]

Tokyo is known for having both options. It has one of the best club scenes in the world, but also has a special class of bar called an izakaya.

After the day is done, office workers flock to bustling izakaya, where they order round after round of food and drinks, staying until the last train out of town.

The main features are these:

  • Good food, served fast
  • The beer and/or sake keeps coming
  • Music at a minimum—conversation’s the priority

Takumi’s owner and head chef, Victor Jian, worked in Tokyo for more than 20 years. He knows the izakaya experience, and he’s brought it to Kapolei Parkway.

“I want people to stay three or four hours,” he says. “Just have some good pupus, some good drinks, and relax.”

Let’s start with the pupus. These are simple dishes with good ingredients, fried or grilled so they’re on your table in less than five minutes.

Furikake Chicken

takumi furikake chicken

Osaka Chicken

takumi osaka chicken

Spicy Pork Belly

takumi spicy pork belly

Garlic Asparagus

takumi garlic asparagus

As far as drinks, Takumi offers the traditional izakaya favorite—Kirin, for $8 a pitcher—plus a selection of speciality cocktails. The Takumi Blossom is fruity and refreshing, made with peach juice. The Takumi Sunset, made with rum and Sprite, has a cola-like flavor. They can make your favorite cocktail too—or try Japanese whiskey, which is some of the best in the world.

In crowded Tokyo, izakaya are confined to a building. Here in Kapolei, the party spills out onto a covered patio. They keep the doors to the patio open, so even if you aren’t sitting out there, you can enjoy the breeze.

And you really can linger out there—recently some of our family stayed late into the night—once it was time to close, the workers were happy to let them stay on the patio until they’d finished their drinks.

Afternoon Happy Hour is 3pm-6pm, everyday. The menu is small, but delicious:

  • Furikake Chicken
  • Garlic Chicken
  • Kimchee Tako Poke
  • Osaka Chicken
  • Spicy Pork Belly
  • Grilled Gyoza
  • Dynamite Chicken

Late-night Happy Hour is from 10pm-11:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays. The menu is more extensive:

  • Karaage Chicken
  • Furikake Chicken
  • Firecracker Chicken
  • Osaka Chicken
  • Fried Calamari
  • Fried Boneless Pork Chop
  • Fried Gyoza
  • Ahi Poke (Shoyu or Spicy)
  • Tako Poke
  • Kimchee Tako Poke
  • Cold Tofu
  • Spicy Fried Tofu
  • French Fries (Garlic or Plain)
  • Drunken Fries
  • House Kimchee

All photos by Howzit Kapolei