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“Still an Excellent Venue!”
Review of Yanagi Sushi

Yanagi Sushi
Ranked #262 of 2,604 Restaurants in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$ 0 - US$ 25
Cuisines: Sushi, Asian, Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Ala Moana - Kakaako
Reviewed 1 February 2017

We had not been to this restaurant for a while, instead trying out different places recommended on Yelp! so to try out newer restaurants that have recently opened in Honolulu. We never should have stopped coming here! While not discounting less favorable reviews by others, we have seldom had a bad experience in the couple dozen+ times we've been here over the past 3 decades (sure, once or twice we may have had not-so-warm entrees or there was a mix-up in our order or the deliverer of our food took my entree to a different table instead of mine [like this visit]). But the service, food, ambiance, and overall experience continue to be impeccable! The Sunday night we had dinner, we arrived when they opened at 5:30 (reservations, even for two, are highly recommended - also parking on street is plentiful at that time, so no valet parking needed...same goes for weekdays right at 6 p.m.). Got seated right away with wait staff ready to take drink orders. Although busy right away, waitress very attentively took our order which went straight to the sushi chefs (4 of them working that night) and other chefs. The menu is quite extensive and we usually get a mix of grilled and sushi entrees. My wife had the toro and uni sushi which were fresh and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The grilled prawn was equally delightful...crunchy and not overcooked. I usually order the chicken teriyaki and a fish entree dinner combo that includes, besides appetizers, miso soup (hearty & rich with seaweed & tofu cubes), salad, and dessert. The saba (grilled mackerel) came in two sizable pieces that were perfectly grilled, juicy and meaty, with the skin well-seared. My usual order of unagi was perfect...rice stayed together in the seaweed wrapped unagi, which was not gristly like some other sushi places. Capped off with the green tea ice cream (there are several different choices), we had a comfortable and homey experience this time as usual, even though our last time here was about five years ago. We'll definitely be back the next time we visit!

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Thank Hank G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (152)
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30 - 34 of 152 reviews

Reviewed 29 January 2017

Uncorporate, untrendy, and very very cool. Unique people, unique staff, open very late. About the epitome of cool and retro sushi bars. This is the real deal, in a strip mall, dripping with some well earned age and patina. I love this place. It's just plain cool.

Thank rydercc2002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2017

I am sitting at the back sushi counter with a friend from college. We while away our evening, ordering sushi after sushi. Having come to this place for several decades, we have our standard list. We finally get to aji. This is a small, fresh mackerel. The skin of its filet is scored three times in the long direction. The sushi is assembled and put on a small plate. A tiny dab of fresh, grated ginger and a few tiny slices of green onion are delicately deposited on top. A dash of ponzu sauce is applied and the plate is served to the client. At least that’s how things are done in any decent sushi place. Yanagi Sushi is no longer such a place. Our chef scores the aji so deeply that the filet is almost sliced in half. The dab of grated ginger is not tiny but looks more like a deformed, ovesized tumor sitting on top of the fish. The green onion is not delicately sliced and there is too much of it. Finally, the chef hands us the plates without adding ponzu sauce. Throughout the evening, he spends most of his time chatting with a couple of Japanese clients sitting next to us. We can barely get his attention everytime we want to order. The aji is the disaster I remember most vividly but the rest of the sushis are disasters in their own right. When the Japanese clients order aji, the chef does remember to add ponzu sauce.

Things that were true in our youth are sometimes no longer. Time passes. I have been going to this place for about 30 years. It’s time to stop going .

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2  Thank sd122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2017

Very high-quality sushi. Make a point of trying Hawaiian fish, such as the extra-fatty tuna. Hamachi was also a standout.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2016 via mobile

We celebrated my son's ninth birthday here. This has been one of the many dinners spent here. We love the cozy Japanese theme of the private room. The food was superb and service was great. We are already planning for our next dinner here for the upcoming visit of our relatives from abroad.

Thank janelle011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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