Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar - WAIKOLOA, Hawaii

4.2
1173 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 Hawaii's incredible ethnic mix and 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 the unique combinations of flavors and textures.
What 1173 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
3.8
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Hawaii
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

My Son’s 12th Birthday.

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T
Central Coast
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

The service here is very attentive, but they like to drown their sushi rolls in copious amounts of sauce.

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b
Pittsburgh
27 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

It was our first first time there but not our friends. My husband and I are GF and they had a nice GF menu so we decided to try it out. I ordered the fish of the day (mahi mahi) and miso soup while my husband ordered the edamame appetizer and a special GF tuna dish. We LOVED the edamame app and even ordered a second one but then our meals came out. He liked his tuna dish but it was somewhat plain even with the included sauce. The side was a steamed rice which didn't help matters any. My mahi mahi was good but the salad that came with it had quite a bit of wilted lettuce in it which was disappointing. In the middle of my meal, I realized that I had never gotten my soup. Unfortunately our friends paid for the meal and I had forgotten to say something to the waiter so I don't know if we paid for food that we never got or not. Other than the missing soup, the service was good.

They may have had an off night so I would try them again. I don't hold high hopes though because they were not busy that night. Our friends did say they had good sushi if you like that kind of food. A plus was their GF menu was nice and they also had a vegetarian one as well. Now if they can get the rest of the place to follow...

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PP
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

An absolute must eat at if you are on the Big Island and enjoy sashimi, sushi and seafood.
Also have locations in Waikiki and Maui...So is a Hawaiian treasure.
Staff is always pleasant and efficient. Food is marvelous and innovative. Always interesting specials.
The panko crusted seared ahi roll is the BEST thing I have ever eaten and we get at least one order every time we eat here!
To make thing even more incredible, there are early bird discounts at each location you need to check out!

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BG
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always good food and great service. Love going here

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was delicious and our server was wonderful! Our reservation was at 6:00pm and we arrived at 5:45, but I felt like they did not seat us until 6:00 to avoid allowing us to have the early bird special. Someone told us that was coming out to hurry up and go inside but our hostess would not seat us til 6:00pm even though there were many empty tables. I think they should have sat us to allow us the 2 for 1 before 6:00 so we arrived 15 minutes early. I may not go back because of that.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

This is a great place for families. The sushi was good, but did not live up to the hype that I’ve read online. Overall, it’s a casual average restaurant with a wide range of menu items. Not bad, but not spectacular.

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CS
Las Vegas
21 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The seafood was very good but the sushi was a disappointment.

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MT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 5ambience 3

Yes. Calif rolls, salmon skin handroll, awesome!

No, for Steak.
Ordered a ribeye, bone in cut, meat was tough, little favor, needed salt and some seasoning.

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AB
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ate at the Waikoloa Sansei two consecutive nights. The second night I reserved through OpenTable. We were situated in a much quieter area of the restaurant which was excellent. Our server Rachel was a wonderful/helpful/attentive/flexible 90 lbs of joy!
And the food? Do I have to say? The same high quality delicious food.

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MT
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Waiter was very friendly, will be back to chit chat with him, and the food was fabulous!

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DO
Portland
12 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sansei is one of my favorite restaurants for sushi. It did not disappoint!

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f
New England
5 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

have dined at sansei many times in the past 5 years: food is always good. Go for the sushi and the special crab mango roll as well as the dynamite shrimp ( a generous appetizer- which kids would love) and the special fish of the day. This is a family, resort ambiance and casual. The service was a bit too fast, with food arriving before the drinks, dessert orders requested ( heh, no) and bill on the table while we ate entrées. No matter, the Mai Tai and food was good.

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JT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

High quality fish at a very reasonable price, especially with 25% off before 6pm. Fantastic service. Would definitely come back.

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r
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went back less than in less than a week. This time, the meal went from damn good to excellent. The foie gras was seared perfectly and even the nigiri rice was better. We were seated in the back which is a bit more tranquil. There was such a noticeable elevation of the quality of the food we remarked upon it to the server. She smiled and said "The head chef is here tonight." We overindulged and left a big tip.

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GS
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I like the ambience of your Waikiki restaurant better but the food was just as great!

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D
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food present was great
Food was delicious
Service was outstanding
We will definitely be back again

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JH
Palm Springs
7 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

Very Poor Service. We sat at our pre-set table. My plate had chip taken out of the corner (it was a square plate) and a HAIR RIGHT ON IT. It took forever to get any attention from the wait staff at all. Finally, after like 10 minutes of staring at each other, we were permitted to order drinks. No one made any apology or took any accountability. Because it took so long we decided to order our dinners at the same time. Our drinks never came until we were half done with our food. I ordered sushi and it arrived without the ginger and wasabi, which should always accompany any sushi order. The caesar salad was warm. And, while Sansei promotes itself a high end dining for foodies, the food quality and presentation was was no better than at a fast food Japanese sushi/teriyaki hut.

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G
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

We have dined at this restaurant many times and it’s usually quite good but this was the worst experience we have ever had there.
They were very short staffed and I think the chef was having a bad day because the service was terrible, the food was shabby in presentation and the taste was poor.
We may go again but only because it’s been good in the past

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BP
Hawaii
7 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

This was not my first time at Sansei in the Queen Shops, but it most likely was the last time I'll give them my time. We did arrive early for our reservation and we were either checked-in or not, I still don't know. We were eventually seated (before the time of our reservation). I indicated that this was date night when I made the reservation. For date night we were seated in the back room where the other four tables were occupied by families with young children; very romantic. We ordered a bottle of wine, Haart Goldtropfchen Spatlese; they brought us a Haart Goldtropfchen Kabinett. A good wine in its own right, but also half the price of the bottle that we ordered. They did correct the mistake when it was brought to their attention. The server knew or was related some the the people at one of the other tables in the room (this is not uncommon on the Big Island). This table received excellent service. Us, not so much. The food was good as it was on previous visits. I'm not a fan of being in a place where I do not feel welcome and the disinterested service and mistakes with the order certainly made me feel unwelcome. Won't be giving them my business again.

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r
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have been going to Sansei for many many many years on my annual trip to the Big Island. There have been good years and bad years. This was an excellent year. Foie gras nigiri is worth the 5 hour flight.
The foie gras sushi with a good server, a cold beer on a warm tropical night and everything is suddenly much better. Thank you, Sansei.

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BS
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

If you enjoy sushi... the selection was phenomenal as were the original options.
Food was really fantastic!

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l
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Sat at sushi counter. Waitress was ok. Area was not clean before we sat and after customers to the left left their spot it was not bussed immediately. Sushi chef was sweet and personable. Waitress was just not involved nor super attentive. Sitting at the sushi bar usually invites a friendly fun atmosphere but it wasn’t as good as it could have been.

Note we were there three nights before at a booth... the reason why we came back...and had a GREAT experience earlier in the week. Just sayin...

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OT
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had a wonderful and friendly waitress very good service and fun fusion Japanese local food
Sansei is a favorite spot for us!

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C
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous Food!! Love the selection and atmosphere!!

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S
Seattle
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Went here twice with the family with mixed results. Hubby loved the crab ramen and hamachi cheek. Soy ramen was decent but not spectacular. Seafood chowmein was super salty. Next time we tried the garlic shrimp and it was good but not my kind of food since it was fried in a gooey mayo sauce (similar to the Chinese honey walnut prawns dish). We also tried the ravioli (too rich), spider roll ( served over this sweet soy and chili sauce and it was just too much and over the top), apple tart dessert (decent but very thin and served with an overbearing amount of caramel sauce). Overall, I would say that the food here is just shy of obnoxious.

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OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Low quality sushi that fell apart and dynamite shrimp that was more breading than shrimp. Very overpriced for what we got. Disappointing as we initially ate here after eating at the one on Maui which was very good!

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GP
Hawaii
15 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We always eat here a couple times when in Waikoloa. Great food, and a good value.

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CN
1 review
Dined on April 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food, wonderful waitress, casual place with a great menu of Japanese fusion. Don't come here for an inexpensive meal - but worth the price!!

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B
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

This was a great Hawaiian experience and I would go back any time.

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LC
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 2ambience 3

Hard to say this, Sansei was a favorite for our family for years. The last couple of years it has gotten progressively worse. This year is was horrible. The sushi quality was very poor, no wasabi served, our drinks came after we received most of our food, etc. The biggest issue is how bad the sushi was...unbelievable. Sadly I think this is our last Sansei visit.

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CT
Raleigh
4 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 1

We’ve been many times but the service has really declined. We sat for 15 minutes without any acknowledgement. Then another 15 minutes before we got our drinks. We were on time for our reservation.

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MC
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

our table could have been better placed. We were very near the wait help traffic, so we had alot wait help blasting passed our table. Noise level was moderate, but still noisy enough to make normal conversation a little difficult.

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OT
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Slow, inattentive service
Staff talking with each other and not serving us
Front of house staff looked very unhappy or dissatisfied with jobs/employee

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OT
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Wished we had known some items on the food menu were not part of the discount

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TS
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

We used to enjoy Sansei Waikoloa for the unique and delicious sauces for all dishes and sushi. Now, they've downgraded to using typical sweet thai dipping sauce on everything. No creativity, taste has gone way down, and prices are still high for run-of the mill sushi. Too bad.

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M
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I love this place. We recommend our island visitors to this place all the time! Had a guest buy us dessert for the recommendation as they just so happened to be there at the same time. So blessed.

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CB
Phoenix
16 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very good experience. Food was yummy, great service. Very nice menu, lots of different choices. We would go back again for sure.

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JW
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Nice people, but food was average.

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DB
1 review
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Can I say this? The steak was better than Ruth’s C. Wasn’t expecting that since I thought their specialty was 🍣 sushi! I loved the easiness of making reservations online and showing up - bypassing the long line.

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