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Keiseki in Honolulu & question about Sasebune

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So I've seen some posts about Sasabune being very good, and that it's best to order omasake..so first question, is it all sushi or also other things? What price range are we talking per person for omasake?

Second, we were in Tokyo last year and had a full Keiseki dinner, and well, it was fairly life changing. It was just amazing. So was curious if there is a good Keiseki place to go to in honolulu?

We only have one night where we won't be there with family (and family is picky), so trying to make the best of it. We will also be in the Big Island sans family (staying near Kona), so if there are recommendations there, please do suggest (Japanese or something else...I want to get my full fill of fresh fish).

So this post is getting longer than I had intended (and I am all over the place), but are there any shrimp trucks people can recommend in Oahu or Big Island (for Big Island, either near Kona, or somewhere between Kona and the Volcano, which we'll go to one day).

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  1. I've been to Sasabune once, and I went the omakase route.

    I spent about $130 (if I recall correctly or maybe more), but it was a lot of food--almost everything was nigiri sushi or raw fish.

    On that night, I found the flavor of the fish rather bland--I would say "subtle" if I wanted to be generous. I was disappointed. HOWEVER, everything else was perfect: definitely the best texture (from the cutting of the fish, I believe) of sashimi/sushi I've had; the rice was perfect (not too sweet or "winey"; it was even warm, which was interesting; the type of rice grains were also excellent); the sauces that accompanied the dishes (yuzu, etc.) were also very good. Had the fish flavor been good, this would have been great.

    The best tasting sashimi/nigiri I've had has been at Mitch's. I think you can pay $100 for an omakase type set. The Spanish toro there was one of the best tasting things I've ever ate; melt in your mouth fish yumminess! (At the time, if you bought that dish a la carte it was $19 for two pieces! So the $75 we paid was well worth it.)

    Hope this helps.

    1. We've been to Sasabune several times but prefer Mitch's , Gaku, Yohei , in that order,
      For serious Authentic Traditional Gaan (edo style).
      Gaku does the most serious Kaiseki.

      The best Kaiseki we've ever had is Urasawa in Beverly Hills, $350- pp Plus drinks and tip.

      4 Replies
      1. re: russkar

        Thanks! Does Mitch also do Kaiseki? Around how much is the Kaiseki at Gaku? I am so excited!

        1. re: pgwiz1

          Mitch's does a Chef's Special Tasting Menu for $105- pp (2 people min) . It's double the amount of food you would get at Sasabune and features LIVE Lobster & LIVE Abalone raw of course. It's spectacular.
          Izakaya Gaku is the place for a wide range of both Raw and Cooked Fusion Items. Cost can range from $80- 150 pp.
          Izakaya Nombei is very good but not comparable with the above choices. They are known for their Sake Slushy.

          1. re: russkar

            Speaking of the Sake Slushy:

            If you ever get to San Francisco, there is a wonderful store called True Sake that sells only sake, and gets all kinds of wonderful sake from Japan.

            They carry the Sake slushy as well.
            I keep some stocked. :-)
            You just need to stick it in the freezer and when you pour it into a glass it turns to slush.

            1. re: pauliface

              Here in Honolulu we have the SAKE SHOP on King St which is very similar to what your describing. Our Tropical Weather is perfect for the Slushy.

      2. For kaiseki, how about the Miyako restaurant at New Otani?
        I had a lovely kaiseki dinner there in about 2004.

        I'm returning to Oahu in December, so I'm eager to hear whether we should try someplace new for kaiseki, or return to Miyako. Anybody out there tried multiple places that can provide a comparison?

        We also tried Sushi Sasabune and I intend to return.

        A third place I loved was Izakaya Nonbei, which we stumbled onto randomly.

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        Sushi Sasabune
        1419 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96814

        Izakaya Nonbei
        3108 Olu St, Honolulu, HI 96816