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Is it silly to eat at Morimoto?

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Hi chow friends. Going to Hawaii in November, staying at the modern, where morimoto is. After a long flight, thought we would be tired and not want to venture far. BUT, we are from Philly and we have been to that Morimoto several times. Is this a waste of a night's eating out because it will be too similiar.
Our other restaurants that we are already including are Gaku sushi izakaya, salt kitchen, azure, town, nicos pier 38 for lunch. We love fresh fish, upscale, modern, but not suit and tie fancy.
So, Morimoto, or something else (again, we don't want to venture far after a long flight).

On a side note, you may have seen my other posts-- I'm a bit obsessed with pancakes - any pancake recommendations on any of the islands would be appreciated! (we are doing the ncl cruise)
thanks!

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  1. When we fly from the Mainland, we try to "take care of ourselves," on the first night in Hawai`i.

    We have dined at the Philadelphia Morimoto's, and have enjoyed each visit greatly. We have NOT dined at Morimoto's in Waikiki, but have read good reviews. The only negative has been price, but we are not adverse to that, as we live in a "resort area," and travel to some expensive cities around the globe. How different are the two locations? That, I cannot tell you. I would anticipate differences, but cannot guarantee that you will find such.

    In the neighborhood, and well within walking distance, I would consider either Orchids, or La Mer, in the Halekulani, if you just do not want a repeat. Though they are totally different restaurants, we never eat at a Morton's, a Ruth's Chris, or similar, as we have to dine at the Phoenix locations all too often, as guests. I would never chose one of those, and especially in Hawai`i. I even hesitate with Roy's, as we have a really good one here, and there are so many great restaurants on O`ahu, that we almost begrudge "wasting" an evening, as you mention. Still, I cannot compare Philadelphia's Morimoto's to the Waikiki version. Maybe someone else CAN.

    Most of all, enjoy and aloha,

    Hunt

    PS - if you DO dine at the Waikiki Morimoto, please do a review, especially as you know another of his locations. I would greatly appreciate that, and others might well benefit. Travel safely.

    1. Morimoto is okay, but if I was going to choose a celebrity chef sushi spot I'd go to Nobu, just for something different.

      I'd drop Azure and go to Orchids, La Mer, Alan Wong's, Chef Mavro's and probably Roy's too before Azure.

      I don't know if any place in Honolulu actually requires a tie anymore. At Nobu or Morimoto I'd be comfortable in nice shorts and an Reyn's Spooner, although I am usually still dressed for work when I go there with my clients. (that means slacks and Reyn's Spooner).

      1 Reply
      1. re: scottca075

        Though I pack a tie, and always wear a blazer to dinner (yes, even in Hawaii), I most often go with an open-collared shirt - tropical print, or otherwise. I have never been asked to don a tie. Matter-of-fact, last time that I was asked to put on a tie was at Antoine's (New Orleans, LA) in about 1963. I had my jacket, but had forgotten to pack a tie. I had to put on a "clip-on" and then walk through the entire dining room, with shame on my young face. Now, I do often wear a tie to dinner, but usually not in Hawai`i, so there could be some places, where a gentleman IS required to wear one - but I already had mine on, so did not know.

        Hunt

      2. Only Bill Hunt wears a coat and tie while in Honolulu, I believe he obtained a permit from the Governor's office. But seriously, aside from La Mer, I don't believe anyplace either requires or expects a coat and tie. A nice aloha shirt is always acceptable anyplace else. Many places do require slacks rather than jeans or short pants.

        I agree with Scott about adding Nobu's. Azure is good, but not 'wow' good. Or perhaps we just get really spoiled with excellent fish in Honolulu. You may want to see if anyone can tell you how good Hoku's is these days. They used to be very good, but they don't show up in reviews very often, I haven't been in years.

        12 Replies
        1. re: KaimukiMan

          La Mer only requires slacks and a long sleeved shirt or slacks with a coat if you wear a short sleeved shirt (as I do, my ubiquitous Reyn's Spooners).

          I was almost disappointed when La Mer dropped the tie requirement. Almost.

          1. re: scottca075

            The requirement unless it has changed, is for a "collard" shirt.

            1. re: Joebob

              i know its a food website... but I bet its collared not collard.
              sorry jb, couldn't resist.

              1. re: KaimukiMan

                Now, I have a Deep South "tropical" shirt, with Collard Greens depicted - maybe I should wear that in Dec.? Or maybe not.

                Did not know that La Mer had dropped jackets. Guess that I have not bothered to even look, over the last 15+ years.

                Thanks everyone for the update.

                Hunt

                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  'Deep South "tropical" shirt, with Collard Greens'
                  Only you Bill would have a 'collard green' tropical shirt...classic!

              2. re: Joebob

                You have to have a long-sleeved collared shirt, with slacks or jacket if you are not wearing a long-sleeved collared shirt. In other words, no bare arms or bare legs. You can't even wear shorts in the Lewers Lounge at night.

                1. re: scottca075

                  Long sleeve aloha from Reyn are the fave for my DH..

            2. re: KaimukiMan

              'Only Bill Hunt wears a coat and tie while in Honolulu, I believe he obtained a permit from the Governor's office'

              K-man...still laughing my ass off on that one...I could see Neil signing off on that especially for our beloved Billy boy..
              ; )

              1. re: KaimukiMan

                K'man,

                Thanks for reminding me, as my permit is about to expire...

                La Mer is the only restaurant in all the Islands, that makes note of a "jacket for gentlemen," and I am not even sure of the exact wording, such as "recommended," or "required." Many other restaurants, that I frequent, DO require a jacket for gentlemen, and one is NOT permitted to enter, without one. Many do have a collection of jackets, but the ones that I have seen, scream "Hey, this guy forgot his jacket!" Like that clip-on tie, at Antoine's, decades ago, who wants to walk through the dining room with a big "sign" on their back.

                When dining at La Mer, AW's, Chef Mavro's, 3660 on the Rise, Indigo, Michel's at the Colony Surf, and most higher-end restaurants on all other Islands, I do wear a blazer, but that is just me.

                I would anticipate that even La Mer might waive the regulation (if it is beyond a simple "recommendation") so long as the gentleman is otherwise appropriately attired. However, before pushing that dress-code, I would inquire. We were in London a few years back, and for that rainy day, I did not have my blazer on, beneath my Burberry. We went to Wilton's, just off of St. James Place, but I was refused service, as I had no jacket - it was in my room, maybe 2 miles away, and it was lunch. I had not thought about jackets for gentlemen at lunch, but learned a valuable lesson. We have dined there three times, all for dinner, and of course I had my blazer, so all was copacetic. Still, a lesson learned.

                Hunt

                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  I am the same way. I still wear slacks and a coat when I fly first class.

                  I recall being turned away for breakfast for not having a jacket at the Stanhope in NYC. I had to go back to my room for my suit jacket.

                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    Jackets are how high-lifers are recognized.

                    1. re: Joebob

                      ha ha ha

                2. Cafe Kaila in the Market City shopping center apparently is known for their pancakes among some circles. Lots of tables of Japanese tourists all eating pancakes and drinking lattes at 11:30 a.m. last Thursday and more such groups waiting outside.

                  1. for pancakes try the original pancake house on dillingham. the apple pancake is a specialty and you should call ahead if you want to order it. its very sweet. the regular pancakes are very good.

                    liliha bakery has good pancakes and their waffles are outta this world. i drool like a dog when i think of them. they are closed mondays but are open around the clock on other days.