We ate the Hamachi Carpaccio:
New Style Doraku Roll:
Kagu-tsuchi Roll "God of Fire":
South Beach Roll:
The meal was nice. A little pricey, but not too bad (and we did pay quite a bit because we ordered quite a bit). The Hamachi Carpaccio, while not my personal favorite, ended up converting my wife to the concept of fish carpaccio. She enjoyed it so much that she has since ordered it two more times at other restaurants. For me, the fish was just a little fishy, signifying that the restaurant might have used product that was a few days old (since they were serving it with a healthy amount of acidic sauce). This is not always the case with these type of preparations, but I am fairly certain it was at Doraku.
My other gripe was that the South Beach Roll (our least favorite of the day) had too much liquid. And we have had better "salsa" on sushi before too. The result was the roll was messy and the bottom of the sushi would fall out. This, coupled with the lack of punchy flavor made it a miss. We would not order that roll again. The Hotate were not the very best, but they were ok. Of the three sushi types, I would be least likely to put in another order for the scallops.
In the plus column, the Nigiri sushi's Ono was light and fresh, the Uni was creamy, and the California roll (while an industry standard) was nice. The best roll we ordered was certainly the New Style Doraku Roll, both my wife and I agreed. The God of Fire roll was what you expected, a mixture of various spicy ingredients. My wife made it through most of her half of the roll, but in the end the bit of habanero punch was just a bit too much for her and she knocked off her jalapeño. I ate the balance -one piece or so.
Overall, I think the restaurant got a bump from the solid 3.5 to 4 range based squarely off the kind and attentive wait staff, and the enjoyable open air venue. My wife loves sushi restaurants which offer a plethora of distinctive roll options, which Doraku does beautifully. I prefer sushi restaurant where you are bowled over by the freshness of the fish and daily special delicacies, while still offering a nice variety of unique signature plates. For me, Doraku was not quite what I like, but exactly what my wife enjoys. After all, Happy Wife, Happy Life...
2233 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815