hey all....been meaning to check out Sunrise Restaurant forever, and finally went for lunch today, mostly bc there an open parking spot in front - how could i pass up such a rare moment? carpe diem. anyway, not knowing what sets Okinawan cuisine apart from other Japanese fare, I asked our waitress/hostess. She told me, "Pig". Sold. The menu, thankfully, is small, and they seem to specialize in a handful of different soups: oxtail, "special" miso, pig's feet, nakame (pig intestines), pork spare rib....there's also a soba and a yakisoba dish. besides a modest sushi selection i can't remember what else was on the menu. was torn between the oxtail (which i love) soup and the pig's feet soup, but they were out of oxtails so it was 'all in' on the pigs feet soup/sushi combo for $13. And DAMN, i'm glad that happened. Nice sized bowl of soup, perfect amount of food with the sushi. The soup was a deeply porky flavored broth, ever so slight smoke flavor, swimming greens, tender daikon chunks (i think they were daikon), and 2 nice sized knuckley hunks of pig's feet -- served with grated ginger to toss in the bowl to your liking. the meat and skin and tendon and cartilage was beautifully tender...as i dug into the soup, the meat started shredding off the bones and floating around the broth, leading to a really nice distribution of meat and greens in my bowl. The bulk of the feet stay intact....I tried, unceremoniously, to use my chopsticks and spoon to dig some meat and cartilage out....but any time i have a chance to get my hands dirty at the table, I'm on it. Just pulled the bones apart, removed the remaining chunks of meat, sucked off the melting cartilage. awesome. While a different creature entirely, I may have enjoyed this more than any bowl of pho I've had of late (yes, including pho to-chau on river st). The sushi set was pretty standard, and while not amazing, it was adequate and a refreshing counter to the comforting soup. Maguro, tako, hamachi, tamago, cooked ebi, and 4 pieces of maguro-cucumber maki. The folks running the joint were impressed/pleased that i tried and enjoyed their pig's feet (i am haoli, afterall) and very gracious. sweet folks.
My SO tried the special miso/sushi combo. The miso was unlike any i've had before with some spicy greens (mizuna?), pork of some kind (i was too distracted by my own soup to properly identify), some daikon and tofu floating around in there. It was good, saltier than your avg miso soup with a different flavor profile - less sweet though there was certainly a good bit of white miso mixed in. tasty, but not enough to draw me away from my pig's feet.
i kinda wanna go back for dinner. check it out, good stuff....off kapahulu, right behind waiola shave ice