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- 86%Nightlife Lovers
- 63%Art & Design Lovers
- 63%Adventure Travelers
- 63%Family Travelers
- 51%Luxury Travelers
- 51%Business Travelers
Member Reviews (12)
- Doraku Sushi
- Doraku SushiMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsFoodies+ 5Aug 20, 2013
To find this place, look up! We happened to be looking up at the Christmas tree at the Royal Hawaiian Center when we noticed the sushi restaurant and decided to go check out the menu. Doraku is located on the 3rd floor so it's a bit easy to miss. Fortunately there's a escalator that leads right to their entrance off of Kalakaua Ave.
We walked into a fairly empty restaurant and were greeted by the friendly host and were led to the corner table by the window, which had a great view of the lit palm trees and Christmas tree below. The place eventually filled up later on, so we were lucky to score the private booth. The trendy spot playing deep house and chill out beats is reminiscent of Blowfish Sushi in SF and Santana Row, but much more spacious with a sexier vibe.
Our server was really cool and gave us several great recommendations off the menu. We started with the Hamachi Carpaccio in sweet miso sauce and Crispy Chilean Seabass in yuzu chili ponzu, and had the Emperor Roll (tuna, salmon, crab, shrimp, scallop and avocado crusted in panko and topped with spicy garlic aioli and sweet chili soy) and Volcano Roll (CA roll topped with spicy baked scallops). The Emperor Roll is a must order, and if you're a fan of rolls, they have a huge selection of unique combinations. Their cocktail and sake menu is pretty extensive as well, and I really enjoyed my watermelon lychee martini. The prices were extremely reasonable with almost everything averaging about $11 and only two entrees over $20.
While we were dining, Kevin Aoki the owner came around to chat with us, which I always find is a nice personal touch. He even invited us to check out their club upstairs called Level 4. We later discovered that Kevin is the son of Rocky Aoki, the man behind Benihana, as we were waiting for the restrooms and saw all the magazine covers and articles lining the wall. It's always great to see owners with that kind of status still coming out and making rounds with the patrons.
- Doraku SushiMember ofOutdoor EnthusiastsFoodiesBackpackers+ 1Jan 26, 2013
Doraku sushi was excellently modern in their decor and provided a great ambiance to dine in. My hubby and I sat at the bar where Tony mixed up delicious lychee martinis for us. We couldn't help ourselves and ended up ordering the following happy hour foods:
*Clams - in the sake broth. Spicy kick at the end, salty briney broth. Wasn't my favorite of the night but definitely a decent dish.
*California roll - standard roll, but they definitely pack in the imitation crab!
*Doraku tuna tataki - slighty seared tuna with mayo dressing on some kind of slaw. Delcious! I could have eaten 3 or 4 more plates of this by myself!
*Deluxe spicy tuna roll - sprouts and tuna in a roll. yum.
*Poke - Good tuna. Could definitely tell the freshness of the fish. Kind of small portions, but I feel its standard for happy hour poke anywhere.
*Eggplant miso - Tony suggested this, but definitely wasn't my favorite. Nice plating though?
*Sweet and spicy miso edemame - sirracha miso coated edemame. delicious. Couldn't stop licking my fingers
Definitely a new favorite place to hit up happy hour sushi.
- Doraku SushiCommunity ManagerMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 8Jan 08, 2013
Doraku is cool! A fellow friend and I had a some good grinds and a drink here. We were greeted by friendly waitstaff and got seated at the lanai. It was a wonderful Friday night to be out in Waikiki, the Royal Hawaiian Center had performers downstairs playing traditional music, the air was crisp and clean after the early day's rain, and there was a light breeze as it was just getting dark. We ordered the Peruvian Seafood Ceviche, Toro Avocado Tartar, and Dragon Roll with spicy unagi. The ceviche and dragon roll was ono, portions were good and tasty! The ceviche had just enough tang and good amounts of seafood. The dragon roll definitely had a light spicy kick to it. The toro avocado tartar was swimming in too much shoyu and the avocados were shoved at the bottom of the glass. Maybe it would have been better served on a plate than a bowl/cup. The waitstaff was friendly and came by to check on us often. Doraku is definitely a good place to return to again and again, the ambiance, the friendly staff, and the good grinds.
- Doraku SushiJan 01, 2013
"uni and ikura donburi" If you are on a budget, this is the place you would want to avoid. Unless of course you are here for their happy hour. Where's Rachel Ray when I need her? Lol! $40 dollars a day will not cut it for this place.
Although it's not bad for happy hour here, many to choose from the menu. Love the oyster mushroom, tatake, sakamushi and many more.
- Doraku SushiJul 05, 2012
Doraku gets high grades in pretty much every area for an over all Sushi Dining experience.
I am and always have been a huge sushi lover and ever since first stepping into Doraku three years ago I have been coming here religiously at least twice a month. I wish it was every week but being at such a high level, from the high grade of sushi to spot on service I just can't afford it. Happy Hour is different and I could do that every day but I am just not in the area during happy hours. As for overall price this is the only problem I have, just a tad too much. The Sushi, 5 stars...The overall service, 5 stars...The staff, 5 stars...The ambience and atmosphere, 5 stars and love the live music on Weds...The Management team, 5 stars. This last time we went we had the pleasure of being served by Sheldon. He was spot on with his service and knew everything about the menu we didn't know and his suggestions made our overall experience that much better. It's worth a try to request him or be seated in his section if he is working. We don't often go off the sushi menu but we did this time and we enjoyed these items just as much as the sushi so I would take any suggestions your server would offer you. From all my visits here I have never felt the the staff wasn't knowledgeable of the menu. If I asked them a question or what they suggested I have trusted that they would make the best choice on new items I have never tried. Staff always comes through with great choices. I would highly recommend Doraku for anyone who has a passion for high quality sushi and top of the line service. If you plan on having sushi for the first time this is the place to try it. This is my number one stop for sushi on the island of Oahu.
HOWEVER...WHEN IT COMES TO LUNCH...IT'S DIFFERENT!
So I went for Lunch for a change, first time here at this time and I must admit, it's changed my view of Doraku some...Naturally the Sushi was TOP NOTCH as always but I was surprised to find out LUNCH STAFF doesn't know the SAKE or MENU in general...I asked my questions to make sure I was right and was surprised that staff working almost a year there didn't know the Sake list and didn't even know what a SPIDER ROLL was.....Is this possible at a TOP NOTCH Sushi Rest???? NO WAY should that be possible. Manager Todd and Owner Kevin should start to look into training Lunch staff like they do the Dinner crew...NO EXCUSE FOR THIS...I brought people here, I talked this place up to high hell and I get staff that don't know the menu...AT ALL? This isn't the staffs fault...it's management...These staff members should have already tasted EVERY SAKE on this menu, they should give recommendations to those who are new to sake. They should also know that Soft Shell Crab is found in a Spider roll...They should also know what..."IS OFF MENU, aka, Chefs specials, etc"
Because of this disappointing experience with my Sales Rep of Wayde's World Hawaii I have no choice down my review down a star from 5 for dinner service to over all 4 stars for lunch. Also I will make sure I don't bring guests here except at night.
For me personally I will be back here for lunch myself in a month to see if things remain the same and if staff continues to be illiterate on the menu at a high end place like this during lunch.
- Doraku SushiJul 04, 2012
Doraku Sushi is one of Waikiki's most popular places to enjoy this unique Japanese delicacy thanks in part to their comfortable and scenic raised dining area, and an expertly crafted menu. Visitors here will find just about every kind of sushi the ocean's bounty can allow for. One of my favorite aspects of this establishment is the ability to sit outside at the previously mentioned open air dining platform that provides great views of the hustle and bustle of the Waikiki strip. The quality, attention to detail, and interesting style of this classy restaurant can be understood simply by checking out their exceptionally interactive website. It can be a bit of a pain if you are trying to visit this restaurant without already being in Waikiki, since parking can be tough to find. They do offer validation, which makes it a bit easier, but regardless, if you are a fan of sushi, Doraku is a great place to check out no matter where you are staying on the island.