Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar - WAIKIKI, Oahu

4.4
969 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary Asian
Sansei, meaning third generation, is a locally owned contemporary Japanese Restaurant offering new wave sushi. The force behind the food is Chef/Owner Dave "DK" Kodama. An Oahu native, he is fearless when it comes to flavors and one of the most adventurous chefs you will meet. At Sansei, he has combined his Japanese heritage with Hawai'i's incredible ethnic mix and the flavors he experienced in his travels to create a New Wave Sushi, Japanese-inspired Pacific Rim, Contemporary Japanese type of cuisine. Call it whatever you like. What you will taste are unique combinations of flavors and textures.
What 969 People Are Saying
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Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.1
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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GR
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 1food 2service 4ambience 1

Not where you want to be if you like Japanese food. Highly overpriced and even more overrated. I’m very used to high end sushi/ Japanese dining experiences and there was nothing at sansei that made it worth what we paid for. Nigiri specifically was so grotesquely expensive it hurt to even purchase it. It was only slightly better than what you’d find for 1-2 dollars at any other sushi place. The only benefit I can find to sansei is that their menu was large enough to have approximately the same diversity of specials you’d find between two separate but sill average quality sushi restaurants. Yet it would still likely be cheaper to eat at two different sushi places. I can’t fathom what you’re paying extra for at sansei, the skill of the chefs seems, again, on parr with other restaurants. The traditional sushi dishes somehow lack what makes them good to begin with and their more contemporary, “innovative” dishes were only so maybe 20 years ago. The menu absolutely needs a rework, most of the dishes that aren’t traditional sushi need to be scrapped or simplified and improved, and the traditional sushi dishes need to be improved and have more thought put into them, they need to be brought up to the quality their price point would in any other circumstance demand of them and then slashing the price of everything on the menu by at least a quarter of their current price is necessary for me to even consider eating there again. The server was nice and I enjoyed their demeanour but they seemed unknowledgeable when it came to some of the simpler menu items which made their outward enthusiasm seem inappropriate. Please improve sansei, you’re in a place i’d like no Japanese restaurant to ever be, and there’s so much more you could do differently to change that. Also get rid of the plastic dinnerware and get some higher quality chopsticks. I can’t imagine you can’t afford that with the prices you’re charging.

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TR
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Perhaps our expectations were too high given all the awards displayed, but the place was really just ordinary. The selection was wide and we could definitely find something to order, but there was nothing exceptional for us to recommend this restaurant to someone who wants a special night.

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CL
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server I think his name was Ben? Was truly outstanding! Great service, made great recommendations, truly made us feel welcomed!

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OT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time here and everything was amazing. The service was great and had some of the best sushi we have ever had. We are in Hawaii for our honeymoon and we heard great things about this place. Recommend for everyone

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RC
Anchorage
1 review
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

When we come to Honolulu, Sansei is automatically our 1st choice for sushi. The Best!

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PI
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

we have been a few times to Sansei sitting at the bar, this time however we were at a table. Bar is much more fun. We had a couple of dishes which i felt were overpowered by the sauce. We finished with a mixed plate of sashimi which was very fresh and delicious. The waitress only did her job, nothing more, nothing less (I think she picked us as Australians and figured we're all bad tippers, don't waste too much time with them. She was much more interactive with other tables) If you do visit, i would recommend asking for the sushi bar seating when making a reservation.

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N
Hawaii
79 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

On my short list of restaurants. Service is great and the food is excellent.

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First weekend as husband and wife

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R
Dallas
13 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Nothing outstanding! Came highly recommended. Served by head chef at sushi bar. No personality. No conversation. Nothing special

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OT
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service that made our celebration of our anniversary a great dinner experience.

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OT
Hawaii
3 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent! Ask to be seated on the outside lanai for an amazing view with your dinner! The sushi was so good! A little pricey but worth it! My husband loved the sashimi and I could eat their spider roll everyday. Definitely a must try!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was excellent and the services was awesome.

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OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was great!!

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Dinner was delicious! We had two orders of the DYNAMITE SHRIMP appetizer because it was so delicious. The GINGER HOISIN SMOKED DUCK BREAST was pretty good, too. I had a Love Affair cocktail and the Patron Cafe one also (I can’t remember the name but it was really good). We’ll be back!

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SL
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sat at the bar. Both strak house and sushi available to order from. Always fun to watch Ryan and his partner mix up the drinks but they’re also great to converse with. Food is always great. Even better when you come during happy hour since they have select happy hour menu available for cheap.

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OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 3

Although we were seated very late (I think they forgot about us!) with an Open Table reservation, they made up for it with a free first round of drinks. We really appreciated the thoughtfulness. It was the perfect last evening place to eat before heading back to Houston.

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F
Las Vegas
12 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Celebrated a birthday. Wonderful food and service.

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H
Birmingham
28 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best sushi on Waikiki. I love Sensei.

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OT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on May 22, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

Service was great and food was average for sushi. The pricing was astronomical. Two of us had only water, appetizer and a couple rolls and we ended up paying $70. We left hungry and went to McDonald’s. not worth the price.

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JS
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of our favourite restaurants to visit on our trips to WAIKIKI. Crab and lobster ravioli is amazing, as is the shrimp dynamite. The salmon sashimi melted in my mouth!!! Awesome service for a busy restaurant. Highly recommended.

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ES
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent as usual

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KO
1 review
Dined on May 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Otoro was like eating butter, overall excellent experience.

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m
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We spent a long time at the restaurant, picking out different flavors and tastes to try. The server was very understanding, giving us time and space but coming by to check in every 10-15 minutes. Prices were reasonable for Hawaii. The food was very excellent, helped by the server's gentle suggestions and questions. We would recommend this for anyone who wants to enjoy their sushi at leisure!

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M
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We don’t mess around when it come to sushi. This is our go-to place for sushi. Didn’t know that it’s 25% off certain items from 530pm-6pm on a Saturday.

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NO
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Waiter was very helpful with our gluten restriction. Food was delicious.

Thank you

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E
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, awesome views and friendly staff makes sansei always a great choice.

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SD
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 2

Would recommend on the food but service lacking to the point we might try a different location. We were seated by a busy door and walk way for staff. After our mains were served we appeared to be left and on waiting to get our bill gave up and went to register only to be treated rather abruptly “you should have stayed at your table”! This was our 5th visit and both commented customer service was lost.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were seated right away. The food was excellent. Jill is an excellent waitress and provided
exceptional service. She was patient and informative. Thank you

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Horrible experience at sen

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H
Las Vegas
6 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Always a good place t.o go for drinks and lots of appetizers instead of a full meal.

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OT
Hawaii
6 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The VIP duck was amazing!! So tender!

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C
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and the Best Karaoke in Oahu! The 50% off sushi after 10 pm is a great value.

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JY
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband can be stubborn when things are not the way he thinks they "should" be. Sansei didn't have a few of our favorite sushi selections and he wanted to leave. We had already received our drink order and I was going to give in to his mini tantrum but not before we at least tried something and finished our drinks. I didn't want to be rude. We had their award winning Sansei's Mango Crab Salad Hand Roll and the Kampachi sashimi. They were outstanding. So fresh and delicious. While we were enjoying those our chef Clark who witnesses my hubby's tantrum gave us some poke to try....again, fresh, a bit salty (in a good way) and delicious. Another chef, I think the head chef, let us try Ono sashimi since they did not have Aji at the time. First time having Ono raw....I will definitely have it again. I looked and my previously grumpy hubby who was now very happy with the new flavors and asked if he still wanted to leave or did he want to be open minded and try new things?? We stayed and enjoyed the Matsuhisa Style Miso Butterfish and some Ahi sashimi. The butterfish was, well buttery and the wonderful sweet and umami flavors of the miso glaze on it was fantastic. It may be a staple in Japanese house holds but I think it's a treat! So thank you Clark for being patient and kind. You saved my evening. We will be back next time we are in Waikiki.

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MM
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on April 22, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Mediocre sushi at best. Disappointing as we’re so close to Japan and everything on Hawaii seems so fresh but somehow eluded this restaurant.

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KM
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Service was very good. Staff was attentive and answered questions about the menu, in particular some food allergies we had at the table. We had an outdoor seat right on Waikiki beach and the weather was perfect. Food was good, but not great. Given all the reviews, I expected much better. Prices were typical for a nice sit-down place on Waikiki.

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AH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Hadn't been to Sansei in over 4 years. First night, service and food was as outstanding as always, however on the second night, was brought a water glass wit lipstick on the rim, then attempted to order the same special order from the night before and was told, "You're out of luck" as they would not even consider preparing a simple shrimp, quail egg and flying fish roe order.

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AS
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Family visiting

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LB
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food! Great service! They even surprised us with a free dessert to celebrate our honeymoon. Everything we wanted in a good meal in Honolulu.

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t
San Diego
1 review
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sushi Chef made the experience, would not hesitate to repeat at this restaurant.

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OT
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 1

Food was not up to par. Average

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