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Food La La: Noodles to go at Yajima-Ya
BY LINDSEY MURAOKA / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Recently, I had a discussion with my friends on the various food trucks in Hawaii. There are so many, it’s hard to keep up with them all! I’ve been wanting one that serves udon or ramen, so when I found out that such a truck does exist I had to go check it out right away.
Located on the corner of Sheridan and South King Street, Yajima-ya specializes in udon, soba, and donburi. It’s like a miniature Shirokiya on wheels. The selection is limited, but the items that they do serve are well-prepared and of good quality. The udon and soba noodles are imported from Japan.
Tomo Ito runs the truck and cooks up the food. It’s mostly a one man show so when it is busy, there is a bit of a wait. However, there are tables under a big tent to keep customers cool and a selection of Japanese magazines to browse through. The food is worth the wait though.
Yajima-ya shares the same location and tent with Ono To Go, another popular food truck. You can read my review of them here.
On to the food! This is the Samurai Donburi ($7.50). It’s a combination of beef with shrimp and vegetable tempura over rice. The beef is tender and nicely seasoned. The tempura is crispy and filling.
They have Tempura Zaru Soba or Udon combinations ($8.50). I chose soba. The noodles are cooked just right, not too soggy or too hard.
The Spicy Cold Soba ($8.25) is one of their specials and is my favorite dish! It’s spicy yet refreshing — the perfect dish to eat on a sunny day. The spicy soup has lots of flavor and hint of sesame oil. I recommend ordering a piece of shrimp and vegetable tempura to go with it. The fried tempura dipped into the spicy soup is wonderful.
For dessert, there are waffles as well as strawberry and matcha latte’s ($2.50). It’s not a typical crispy waffle. The texture is actually similar to a doughnut because it’s soft and chewy on the inside.
Yajima-ya opens early at 7 a.m. and offers a breakfast special; for $4 you get scrambled eggs, two slices of bacon, three pieces of Portuguese sausage and rice. They’re open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Lindsey Muraoka blogs about food and drink for the Pulse. Contact her on Twitter or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.