Honolulu, HI 96814
When was the last time a piece of blue fin tuna so fresh and flavorful that it literally melts in your mouth?
The key to the art of traditional Japanese sushi is Freshness. This concept is as simple as it is perplexing to fellow Japanese restaurant owners, yet Sasabune have mastered it by serving the freshest fishes they’ve ordered weekly from half the world away. My girlfriend and I have been coming back to this original location for the past few years and it is truly an exemplary establishment that will render your Hawaiian trip incomplete if missed.
Sasabune wants you to know this right off, a sign outside the front door that unfurls a litany of negativity: children discouraged from sitting at sushi bar, no à-la-carte ordering for groups larger than four, and certainly none of those colorful sushi rolls that have migrated even into supermarket salad bars.
A sign inside reiterates that last blast of nay-saying, admonishing diners: “No California rolls. No spicy tuna rolls.” It might as well say, “No sushi dilettantes,” because that’s part of the message here.
But there’s another part as well, communicated by yet another sign inside behind the sushi chefs, this one with a gentler tone. It says: “Today’s special: trust me.” And it gets at the fuller picture, which is that Sasabune isn’t simply trying to bend you to its will. It’s trying to treat you to its vision, let you benefit from its judgment. In the world of omakase, sternness and kindness overlap, and a slap is in many senses a caress.
Sasabune also offers a comprehensive sake list that pairs magnificently with their mystery dishes. Upon service of each dish, your chef will brief you with the origin of the dish and how to consume it properly. If dipped or chewed incorrectly, patrons are advised to expect a tongue whipping from the chef they’ve just offended.
I was misled by their trendy setting. Only if Yelp have a “no star” option, this would be assigned as such.
Dishes and sushi were sub par at best. Comparable to Safeway sushi, fishes were flavorless with questionable freshness, rice on sushi were the incorrect type and put together with negligence.
I shall dismiss commenting their entrees with prejudice.
The only Recommendations:
- $2 happy hour sushi and drinks. At any higher price, you are over paying.