05 2013 Oct

Doraku Sushi

HawaiiTagged food, happy hour, home bar, oahu, waikiki

It was all about hitting the late night eats tonight. That’s because we did our run during the day. Something that set us up for the “I don’t give a fuck what’s for dinner” attitude. A perfect way for us to try out new places. At first we went with a suggestion from our friend in SF, Home Bar. It’s a sports bar that I’d find myself in twenty years ago. Good food, affordable prices, great portions, and plenty of alcohol. It was a mix no college grad would pass up. Not to mention the perfect place to be a bachelor. I would have been in heaven. However, after filling up, we decided to check out another place. A place that observed happy hour at a different time. That was, happy hour from 9pm – close.

The place I am talking about was Doraku. This wasn’t the place on the Waikiki strip. No. This place was a bit further out. The sister/expansion place that catered to the drinking crowd. It was big. Roomy enough to be the starting point for your night’s endeavors. A place I need to go to next time I was here. Plenty of parking in the garage adjacent to it. Enough seats for you to dine or enjoy drinks. And a good enough selection for you to enjoy any type of meal you want. I’d even risk myself to say it’s almost Izakaya style with the prices and portions. But I think the place just wants you to have a good meal with your drinks. With the sushi bar and main kitchen separated, you get the best of both worlds. Chefs and cooks catering to whatever you’re passing them and bartenders keeping your glass full. Now that’s how you run a place.

Sure you can find these places on Kapahulu, but if you want to be a little fancy, this was your McCormick & Schmick’s, Oahu style. And I mean that in all the levels running through your head. Yes, exactly.

Doraku Sushi

1009 Kapiolani Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 591-0101

Verdict: Definitely coming back here for the happy hour.

Decor @Doraku Sushi

I wanna say these are drums, taiko drums, but I maybe horribly wrong since they look wrapped up. It's over the bar so another guess would be sake barrels. Now that would be awesome.

Lanterns @Doraku Sushi

In another section of the restaurant, there was a room with lanterns. Pretty neat, but that area feels a little cut off from the rest of the place.

Masks @Doraku Sushi

I figure these are the various faces you'll have eating at the sushi bar. Not saying it's due to the food, but an outcome of the conversations you may be having getting drunk and filled up with food.

Lychee Martini @Doraku Sushi

No, not mine. I stuck with beer which looks boring. This, I hope, makes you want to go here. No? Yeah, a bit too sweet. Well, glad there was beer. $6.00USD

Ox Impressions: 

Deluxe Spicy Tuna Roll @Doraku Sushi

For the price, this was worth it. Your filler for the night. Something that will make you think, "Oh, I've got starch in me to do another round." A decision you won't regret as you stay a few more hours in this wonderful place. $5.00USD

Ox Impressions: 

Asari Clam Sakamushi @Doraku Sushi

Very light, but vibrant clam soup. Sure, you're not going to down the broth, but the clams are very tasty. The type that's somehow larger than the shell. The type that's local and not farm factory raised. A dish, I'm sure many of you will appreciate. $5.00USD

Ox Impressions: 

Tuna Tataki @Doraku Sushi

A solid izakaya dish. Not sure if it was meant to be filling, but as a small dish, it delivers. A few slices of well selected tuna in a blend of greens and condiments, and you got yourself a good dish to go with your drink. $5.00USD

Ox Impressions: 

Togarashi Spiced Chicken Wings @Home Bar

Somewhat over salty wings. Something I loved with my beer. Not sure why they serve it with ketchup, but to each their own. I could do without it. I just needed more beer. Very clever there chef. $8.00USD

Ox Impressions: 

Kim Chee Fried Rice @Home Bar

Oh, so you need to know, this was my favorite dish here. Both as a snack and a reason to drink more. This stuff was done just right. Right amount of stuff in the fried rice and the fried egg brought it over the top. Man, we need this stuff back in SF. Nothing was held back! $10.00USD

Ox Impressions: 

Negi Toro @Home Bar

So yeah, a little out of place for this establishment. Not to say it was bad, it wasn't. I just never expected this refinement here. I'll admit, it threw me off. Tuna chunks with a special mix was not what I expected at a local bar. Would I get it again, maybe not. And that because the kim chee fried rice was just that good! $16.00USD

Ox Impressions: 

The OxPosted October 5, 2013 By the hungry ox


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