Sushi Izakaya Gaku
This cozy, wood–paneled restaurant may look like scores of other places in Honolulu, but chef-owner Manabu Kikuchi’s izakaya (Japanese tapas-style cooking) and impeccably fresh sushi are unrivaled. We loved: Spicy hamachi tartare.
Tip: The restaurant doesn’t take reservations after 7 p.m., so get there by 5 to get a place at the head of the line.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.