Last night 27 of us went to Sansei in Waikoloa, Hawaii and maybe it was the anticipation and the years of my husband telling me he would take me to Sansei that just made everything wrong from the beginning.
First, the host kept emphasizing that if we were not there by 10 minutes after our reservation, they would cancel our table. We know that, we always travel in that big of a contingent. We got there early.
Second, they wouldn't do separate checks for each family. They did three checks instead of the five checks we requested. Like I said, we do this all the time and much more exclusive restaurants accommodate us with separate checks, as well as more casual restaurants.
Third, several people chose the chef special which was a sampler menu and it took way too long for all the courses to come. The kids were getting antsy and some of us started going to dairy queen across the walkway before the last courses came.
Fourth, my son took from the keiki menu. BIG mistake. Keiki menu should have an age maximum of 4 or 5 years old. He ordered the shrimp tempura plate and got no rice and 3 pieces of tempura. Hello DK, not like your're a skinny buggah like Chai. I not saying you fat, but come on, this is Hawaii, who are you trying to feed here? I had to reorder an adult meal for my boy and he ate all of both of the meals and still went to DQ for ice cream.
Fifth, I must admit, I'm kind of a SUSHI SNOB. I am picky about rice, picky about the amount of seasoning in the rice, picky about the freshness of the wasabi and the shoga, and especially, picky about the freshness of the ingredients. The sign says Restaurant and SUSHI BAR. I ordered an assortment of sushi and it was "eh" (shoulders raised, mouth folded down, "eh). I'm trying to see things from DK's point of view, you know, he's not the one working every night at Waikoloa, it's not his flagship, but brother, your sushi is nothing wow and not worth the price. Sushi Mon in Vegas, in a strip mall off the main road with like 6 tables and a small counter has better sushi for way less and they are speedy with hamachi to DIE for. And shoga, you know that pickled ginger, sliced thin and put on the side of the dish to cleanse the palate between pieces. . .no more. Even Genki has ginger.
Last - where do you get your wait help? This one guy was like standing on the side of the tables and making diagrams and charts, numbering us and redrawing his circles and x's. I saw him do it twice, but it could have been more than that.
The one positive thing: we had a waitress - local girl from Waipi'o. She actually brought the kids ice cream and suggested things on the menu that we'd like, especially since the menu is so cluttered, it's hard to make heads or tails out of anything. The menu needs to be reorganized, feng shui'd, pared down, reformatted, something. Back to this wahine - maika'i loa.
If you disagree, let me know what you liked and which one you went to. I'm not totally against trying Sansei again, who knows. Just my mana'o.