Wednesday, February 2, 2011
I'm surprised I haven't written about this place before. I have been here twice on Friday night and it's always a pretty good time. In Japanese the word sansei means “third generation” and in this case refers to the founder of the restaurant who is a third-generation Japanese-American. Sansai Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar (3rd Floor of the Waikiki Beach Marriot Resort - 2552 Kalakaua Avenue - map here) serves contemporary interpretations of sushi and Asian cuisine. In the interest of full disclosure, I don't have much experience with the menu outside of Friday night happy hour. That being said, Friday nights are great here. They have half price sushi and appetizers as well as $3 kettle one drinks, $3 beers, and free karaoke until 2pm. Now, overall this place is not as good as Doraku, but it's still really good. However, when you're able to have 4 people go out, drink and eat all night, sing free karaoke (I don't sing AT ALL, but I hear others are into it), and spend less than $100 total, sign me up. Normally (i.e. during the week at regular hours), Sansei is waayyy overpriced unless you get the Kama'aina discount, which gives 50% off everything on Sunday and Monday or 25% Tuesday-Thursday.
Anyway, their Friday night deal starts at 10pm, but I recommend getting there at 9:30 because it is first come-first served and it fills up quickly. If you get there late, or even try to go at dinner time on a regular day, the wait can be upwards of 45 minutes. It's best to make a reservation if you want to go for dinner (808-931-6286 - no reservations for Friday late-night special). The best sushi roll here is their signature "Butterfry Roll." Yes, I spelled that correctly. I guess they appreciate a good Asian joke too, which is another reason to like this place. If you're thinking that 10pm on Friday night is too late, I would remind you that you're in Hawai'i and therefore likely on vacation. Therefore, relax and go have fun.