Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Birthday Week of Sushi

One of my favorite places to vacation in is Hawaii. The different Islands offer different things. This time I spent a week on Maui. And since it was my birthday week, I decided to spend most of my dinners at Sushi restaurants. Fish is very fresh in Hawaii, and it is very hard to find "bad" fish. I think that is why you'd never find an Urasawa in Hawaii. The competition gets the same fish. The differences are how they prepare the rice, and how creative they get.

Here is my recommendations for Sushi on Maui.

On the high end side:

Sansei Restaurant in Kapalua. Follow these instructions and you will not regret it. Call and ask when Chef Masa is working. Sit in front of him and ask for Omakase. Masa's special creations are unforgettable. If you dine between 5:30 PM, when they open, almost everything you order is 25% off until 6 PM. Without drinks, this will only cost about $35 to 40 per person with a 25% discount. Otherwise it could be $45 and up.

Koiso Restaurant in Kihei. This is a very small place consisting of just a Sushi bar and one 2 person table. Great quality and great tasting Sushi for about $50 per person. The bargain here is the Sashimi plate. It consists of maybe 5 kinds of different fish for $25, but you get the "scraps" of fish that are left over from making the pretty Sushi. Prices are a little higher than Sansei.

Medium price:

Kobe Restaurant in Lahaina. Kobe has 3 different "sides." One is the Teppan-yaki or "Benihana" side. Another is the regular restaurant side. And in between is Oku's Sushi Bar. Here the sushi is a tad bit larger, a little larger rice ball, and larger cut of fish. Even the simple Tuna roll had a thick cut of Maguro down the center. Tastes great, and fairly reasonable in price. Slightly lower than Sansei.

Ichiban the Restaurant in Kahului. A family owned Japanese restaurant in Kahului. The most reasonably priced Sushi that also tastes great in Maui. I usually order a combination plate with a Soft-shell crab roll. Other individual pieces are great, except for the raw shrimp, which was just okay.

Places to avoid.

Unisan in Wailuku. Better for the Korean food that they also serve, the Tempura is something to avoid. Also doubles as a Night Club, so it gets a little loud.

Sansei Restaurant in Kihei. Sushi here is hit-and-miss. Listen to me and miss it. I had the worst Soft-shell crab roll here, and the last time I ate here, the rice was not made correctly, it was a little on the mushy side.

Genki Sushi (Kahului and Lahaina) and Kozo Sushi (Wailuku) are both "Fast Food" chain Sushi restaurants found in Hawaii. Genki has the revolving counter. It's just okay at these places, though I haven't eaten here more than once. Prices are the cheapest here.

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