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Oct 14, 2007 02:01 AM

Sansei Kapalua Maui gone bad

Ate at Sansei about a year ago and it offered perhaps the best sushi experience I've every had. Just returned (Oct 07) and things have changed, They have moved to a much smaller and noisier place. The sake selection seems far smaller, But most disappointingly the service and food where not nearly as good as before the move. Now it's just another Asian fusion place desperately trying to be innovative. Do yourself a favor and go for one of the less desperate-to-be-different sushi restaurants run by the many talented chefs who inhabit this lovely island.

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  1. I was planning on going here next week...where would you recommend if you think this place is going downhill? thanks

    2 Replies
    1. re: jennycooks

      Hard to say for sushi. My second and third choices are no longer in business. That said, I had a great meal at Hula Grill--I know, kitchy name--in Kaanapali. Great service. Great Pacific Rim food. Relaxed atmosphere. I also love Hali'imaile General Store.

      I should say that I've been to a dozen or so Guide Michelin Star restaurants but generally prefer less fussy places with great service and food that is both subtle and surprising, if that's any help.

      1. re: chowhunde

        Just discovered that one of my favorites, Princess Sushi, run by the Seguchis has moved from Maui to Hilo and is now called Hime, "princess" in Japanese.

    2. So what do you suggest from the other talents?

      1. Awful news. Had one of my top three sushi experiences ever at that place (and I eat a lot of sushi!), and thought it was unrivaled wrt novel twists and spins on presentation and flavorings. Actually, rereading your post, is it possible that what I perceived as a strength you perceived as a weakness?

        1 Reply
        1. re: alias wade

          A good point. I too like inventive food, but, and perhaps familiarity breeds contempt, found the offerings to be much less so this time. Also, I found the new space to be confining and loud.

        2. I don't know what the west side sansei is like, but the one in Kihei is consistently good. It's featured the same menu at the same level of quality for as long as I can remember (I've lived here for 7 years).

          It's got fun innovative asian dishes and an unrivaled 50% off on Sun + Mon 5-6PM (come early and stand on line... it get's long) and Thu, Fri, Sat late night after 10.

          For the best and lesser known sushi place, go to the authentic Suchi Bar Koiso in Kihei. But be prepared to LOVE Japanese food and behold the artistry of Hiro-san. If you love authentic food and appreciate its preparation, then this place is for you. If you're just into a basic California Roll, then this is not the place for you.

          Anyway, Sansei in Kihei is a good stand-by.

          1. Sorry to hear this. I went three times over the Christmas holidays almost a year ago and quite enjoyed it. I didn't find the new location much louder but did find it had more energy. I had a chef's choice sashimi boat that was to die for one night as was the hamachi collar. Will be back this Christmas, hopefully, your bad experience was a one time thing. Service at Sansei can vary but around the holidays is usually good because the experienced servers seem to work - they know that the tips will be good. My favorite sakes were still on the list when I last went.