Photo by Arlene Hittle.
Originally Published: June 16, 2016 6:44 p.m.
Who: Kiyoshi Ramen N’ More
Where: 1042 Willow Creek Road,
Unit 115 (Safeway Parking Lot)
Love noodles? How about Spam? (The canned meat, not the junk email.)
Then you’ll want to say aloha to Kiyoshi Ramen ‘N’ More.
The restaurant, owned by Celeste and Guy Agena, opened March 18 in the Willow Creek Village shopping center, next to Safeway. It serves up a variety of classic Hawaiian cuisine, including ramen bowls, bento lunches, poké and rice bowls, salads, Hawaiian shave ice and, yes, Spam.
Celeste is from Hawaii, where ramen is popular. She and Guy came to Prescott in 2012, when their son started school at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and fell in love with the area. A former airline attendant, she noticed the lack of ramen restaurants and decided to start one.
Kiyoshi, the restaurant, is named for Guy’s father, James Kiyoshi Agena, who died March 18, 2008, after a battle with cancer.
Customers ordering ramen choose their broth – pork, chicken or vegetable – and their flavoring – miso, shoyu (soy, slightly salty), shio (traditional salty), pork or vegetarian. They also choose between thin and straight noodles or thick and wavy ones. The latter are more popular, Celeste said.
Poké bowls are another island specialty – raw ahi tuna prepared with various mix-ins and served on rice.
Not into raw tuna? Check out the menu’s local favorites section, where you’ll find teriyaki chicken, Korean Garlic Chicken, Chicken Katsu (thighs breaded Japanese style and then deep-fried), Kiyoshi Chicken (tossed in a special roasted sesame sauce created by Guy and his brother) and Teriyaki Beef. All are served with two scoops of rice and one scoop of Kiyoshi’s special Hawaiian macaroni salad.
If you’re in it for the Spam, there are plenty of dishes to get your fix. All the bento lunch boxes include rice, scrambled egg, Spam and hot dog.
Or check out the Deep-Fried Spam Musubi. Spam musubi is a popular snack/lunch food composed of Spam, rice and nori. Kiyoshi’s version is then coated with Japanese breading, deep-fried and topped with Unagi sauce.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with Hawaiian Shave Ice. It comes in a mind-bending number of flavors: banana, blue Hawaii, bubble gum, coconut, Dreamsicle, grape, lemon-lime, li-hing mui (salty dried plum), raspberry, strawberry, colada and vanilla.
In Hawaii, condensed milk is a popular topping for shave ice. Another choice, popular in Japan, is azuki beans.
“For the gutsy people,” Celeste said.
Every Friday starting at noon, Kiyoshi offers Aloha Friday specials. Each plate comes with rice, Hawaiian salad, lomi salmon (a side dish of salmon mixed with fresh tomato, salt, green and white onions) and haupia, a Hawaiian coconut pudding. The kalua pork plate is a favorite.
“Fridays are our busy day,” Celeste said, adding that they sometimes have live music.
The Agenas plan to introduce shabu shabu in the next couple of weeks. It’s similar to fondue in that diners cook their choice of meat and vegetables right at the table, over a burner, she explained. Folks will choose their broth, their shabu shabu set (meat with vegetables and noodles), noodles and dessert.
Kiyoshi is a BYOB restaurant. Patrons can bring in their own favorite beer, wine or spirits for a $4 corkage fee.