Monday, April 14, 2014

Sensei, Kihei

[This review pertains to Sensai in Kihei during the 10pm-1am Happy Hour w/ Karaoke.]

I’d heard that for some really good, half-price sushi, Sensai is the way to go. I also heard that you have to line up outside Sensai’s doors around 9:30pm for the 10pm Happy Hour discount. Fair enough, but I was also there for some karaoke which is held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, so I made sure I was in line on time so we could get good seats. 

Oddly enough, even though my friends and I were one of the first ones in the door, the hostesses sat us in the very back despite the fact that we told them we were there for karaoke. Um, okay. But we asked another waitress what our options were and we wound up taking a seat at the sushi bar, which is much better for karaoke viewing. That’s when we noticed that the main dining room was filled with locals/non-haoles while haoles like us were regulated to the peripherals. I don’t really have a problem with that but it is something interesting to know going in. 
Sitting at the sushi bar does have an advantage in that you seem to get served faster there. However, the sushi is, how shall we say this, standard? It’s good insofar that it’s hard to do sushi wrong unless it’s served warm or simply not fresh. Whether regular ol’ sushi, sashimi, or tempura styled, all of the sushi was good. Good. Meanwhile, my friend’s crab-something was neither here nor there while my wife’s Maui style ribs were of a poor cut of meat (too fatty) and the sauce on it was way too salty. Okay, so it looks like sushi is their main thing. Also good to know going in. 

That aside, as I said we were also there for karaoke. Problem was is that apparently no one else was. I’ve been to a few karaoke nights in my time and this was by far the lamest. Perhaps we were there on an off night? While I know karaoke isn’t as popular as it used to be, still, doesn’t anyone know how to have fun anymore? What a letdown. 

Sensai is a perfectly respectable and cleanly, if uninterestingly, decored  restaurant – hard to find outside of a resort – and the food sushi is decent enough. It just lacks a certain…something. Would I go back? Sure, but only for the half-price sushi and nothing else. 

Directions: On South Kihei Road in the Foodland supermarket plaza across from Kalama Park. Big “Sensai” sign on the street; can’t miss it if you’re looking for it.