After our stellar experience at another, much smaller, Japanese spot a few days earlier, Doraku  couldn’t live up to our expectations. Located in a large mall full of high end shops and tourists around every corner, this is the kind of trendy, style-first restaurant that most people will either love or hate. It was created by the son of the guy who created Benihana. Not Steve Aoki, but his brother. With it’s chic atmosphere and popular location they don’t need to rely on high quality food.

The sashimi deluxe platter was a mixed bag of silken textured fish, like the yellowtail, and others that displayed poor quality with a tough and almost rubbery finish, like the maguro and chu toro. The hamachi carpaccio was the highlight of the night. Beautifully presented, with light and crisp flavors and subtle hints of sesame oil and yuzu. The God of Fire ended our meal on a down note. Mushy textures and muddled flavors made up this lackluster dish.

Service was a letdown, too. Our server Lorina seemed overwhelmed and was more concerned with getting us out of there ASAP and doing her other duties than making sure everything was ok.

At first glance this place looks promising, but lacks the polish that their prices would have you assume are there. Plates were chipped, glasses dirty, and the food was mediocre, guaranteeing that I won’t be a return customer.

2.5 Stars

2233 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 922-3323

Doraku Sushi on Urbanspoon

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