Izakaya Shiono Kona

Izakaya Shiono - A Sushi and Japanese Restaurant Known for Its Ingredients, Preparation, and Authenticity
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Izakaya Shiono is an authentic Japanese restaurant that imports its premium fish from Japan, and rounds out the rest of the menu with all the best that Hawaii has to offer. Known for its authenticity and extensive menu, it's the perfect place to go if you're craving sushi, ramen, or tempura.  

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Izakaya Shiono is a Japanese restaurant that manages to highlight some of the best the country has to offer in its dishes. People who come here, often from metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, rave about the quality of the sushi — despite having some very high expectations. (Even Japanese tourists adore this place for its authenticity.) The emphasis here is not just on the quality of ingredients, but also the details of the preparation and presentation.  

Izakaya Shiono is one of several restaurants under the Sushi Shiono umbrella. While this particular restaurant doesn’t offer omakase-style (where the chef chooses your meal based on your preference), you can see that concept trickle in a little with its extensive menu. Whether you’re vegetarian, gluten-free, or allergic to shellfish, the chefs at Izakaya Shiono have dishes that fit your tastes. Sit at the counter to watch these culinary masters do what they do best or sit with your friends and enjoy the lively atmosphere. 

What people seem to love most about this place is that it has a big enough selection to satisfy nearly every taste. While sushi may be a popular choice, it’s certainly not the only option. People come for curry rice, miso ramen, grilled mackerel, beef filets: there’s plenty to try, no matter what you’re craving.

All of Sushi Shiono’s restaurants use only the freshest seafood from Kona, like ono, butterfish, abalone, and ahi. Premium fish also arrives every week straight from Japan, and the beef and produce is sourced from the Hawaiian islands. Finally, the restaurant insists on Tamaki Gold Koshihikari, which is considered the best super-premium short-grain rice in the world. The fragrance, consistency, and taste ensure that you’ll enjoy some of the best possible seafood on the planet. 

When you’re at Izakaya Shiono, look out for the following dishes:

Shio Ramen 
This dish starts off with a sea-salt based broth, before char siu is added to it. This barbequed pork is a flavorful addition to the savory waters, and then complemented with bamboo shoots, green scallions and, of course, fresh noodles. 

The Heart Attack 
With a name like this, it’s difficult not to be tempted. This dish takes a (very) spicy jalapeno and combines it with spicy tuna and cream cheese, before deep frying the whole thing. It’s a bit of a gastronomic spin on a standard popper. 

Dragon Roll 
This piece of sushi heaven is a California roll wrapped in freshwater eel and avocado. The imitation crab and cucumber make for a nice contrast with the eel and avocado, giving you rich and fresh flavors in every bite. 

Ara Jiru 
If you’ve ever wanted to see a fish head in your soup, this dish is the one for you. While the description, which includes fish bones in a miso broth, might initially turn you off, consider just how much flavor is packed into the often discarded parts of a fish. If you can’t get enough of the ocean, this soup puts it all on the line for you. 

Matcha Shiratama Zenzai 
This dessert is green tea ice cream, mochi balls, kinako powder, kuromitsu, and whipped cream. It’s an absolute sight to behold and a tantalizing blend of flavors. If you’re not known for your matcha tea habits, this one is a definite must. 

Whether your tastes range more toward the exotic or the traditional, this restaurant ends up being an experience. Coming here, even if you only order the chicken cutlet or house salad, is an exploration into the finer flavors of the islands (whether Japanese or Hawaiian) and a true treat for the senses. 

Insider Tips:
-This place boasts authentic sushi and ramen, but also offers seafood salads, chicken dishes, and rice bowls. 
-The restaurant does feature a counter where you can watch the chefs work their magic.