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May 23, 2012 06:45 PM

best sushi in honolulu

Thinking of trying Sasabune for serious sushi. Any others that compare or are better? Not looking for a hole in the wall but nice atmosphere with great food. Something special that stands out from the rest. Also interested in trying Morimoto's for something a little different from Sasabune type places. I'm guessing Morimoto's is more like Nobu which I enjoy also. Any replies are greatly appreciated.

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  1. Sasabune for sure. East Omakase
    Gaku is great also a block away.

    8 Replies
    1. re: russkar

      Hi, russkar:

      I have recc'd Sasabune to other CHs, love it, and cannot understand why it gets so little aloha. Other than price, what's the pilikia?


      1. re: kaleokahu

        The chef is kind of like Seinfeld's Soup Nazi. We were eating there when a single woman came in. The restaurant was nearly empty, but he told her that all seats were reserved and there was no room for her.

        1. re: Joebob

          Auwe, that's not pono. Once I saw him give stinkeye to a guy who took his raw shrimp in two bites, but didn't think too much of it.

          1. re: kaleokahu

            He gave us the stink eye when I wheeled the wife in, but, once he understood reality, he gave us what we wanted, and it was the best I've ever had. Etherial!

            1. re: Joebob

              Sasebune has been described to me by very knowledgeable and experienced Japan travelers as the best sushi that a gaijin can get, there or anywhere else. A strong claim, I know, but I've never had better.

              1. re: kaleokahu

                Have you guys seen the movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi? Seems like high end sushi restaurants in Tokyo are operated in a similar way that Chef Seiji runs Sasabune. Diners are actually nervous not to disrespect the chef. When we were seated at the bar, chef made eye contact and gave us a small bow which we responded to. That night his assistants were the ones actually serving the dishes with descriptions and instructions on how to eat it. After eating one of the sushi I happen to look up and Chef Seiji was watching us. I nodded my head in approval and he smiles and gave me another small bow. We went there with the idea that it would be a one time experience because of the cost but the next time we go there we will try the Japanese menu.

                1. re: kuwegg57

                  Like I said, if you can share reality, hes OK, but when I go there, I eat whatever he wants me to eat.

                  N.B. Jiro has three Michelin stars.

                2. re: kaleokahu

                  yeah, well he's not overly fond of Gaijin. i won't be back of my own accord.

      2. We just ate there last week, and did not experience any "attitude". The chef has a point of view in what he has prepared. At home, when I have a dinner party, I hate it when guest start shaking away with the salt before even tasting the item. I imaging it might be the same for him.

        We found the entire staff at Sasabune to be gracious and polite. While we were not seat at the counter, I could see him glancing over to gauge our reaction during our service. The reactions were written all over our face. You just can't hide that kind of happiness when you have something so delicious, especially more than once in one evening. For us, it was pure magic.

        1. Sorry late to the party. Not sure when you are going, but I am not impressed by Sushi Sasabune and really not impressed by Morimoto.

          I'd look at Sushi Izakaya Gaku, Imanas Tei, Mitch's Fish Market, Kin Chan Sushi, Yanagi Sushi, Sushi ii and Yohei Sushi Restaurant.

          These stand out on their food and no attitude

          2 Replies
          1. re: scottca075

            Interestingly enough, I never had a problem at Sushi Sasabune and found the sushi to be very good. Although, my uncle was reminded to eat the sushi in one bite. I love Sushi Izakaya Gaku and would heartily recommend it, but that is one place that my uncle refuses to return to because of the horrible service he received there. I also love Mitch's, although I have seen people turned away (and quite rudely too) because they had not made reservations. Everytime I go to Imanas Tei, I am never impressed though. I always wonder what I am missing since it seems to get so many good reviews, but I find it to be good, not great. I would put it in the same category as Yohei and Kin Chan. I still have a hard time returning to Yanagi ever since I had a chirashi where the ingredients weren't very fresh, but usually they are pretty good too. Unfortunately, a bad experience tends to stick in the mind, but on average, any of these places have good sushi. For me, the best would be Sasabune, Gaku, and Mitch's.