Shirokiya Food Level, Ala Moana Shopping Center (Honolulu)

Anyone who has ever visited a department store in Japan knows that an entire floor is devoted to food. The second floor of Shirokiya (third level of the mall) extends that experience to Hawaiians. Like in Japan, there are restaurants that prepare food as well as small family-owned businesses. Most of the food is purchased for takeout, but there are some tables inside.

Some established businesses have a presence here. One of them is Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin, which has a formal restaurant in Waikiki. Others are Mikawaya, the Japanese confectionery from LA; and Yoku Moku, the famous light butter cookies from Japan. In center court is a place that makes takoyaki where you can watch the cooks make them in those ebelskiver contraptions.

But people come here for the staggering variety of Japanese food.

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