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“Good food, questionable service”
Review of Gokoku Restaurant

Gokoku Restaurant
Ranked #594 of 2,564 Restaurants in Honolulu
Cuisines: Japanese
Restaurant details
Reviewed 30 March 2018

During my last trip to Hawaii, I ate here three times so anyone who read this must think I like the place. And I do to a point but their best food, tempura oysters, is not my favorite. Their food is pretty good, service was bit questionable during my three visits from good to some what lazy. Their food is well presented but I am bit dismay by how they offer. For example, I ordered unagi over white rice. It cost about $21 and unagi was well cooked and presented. By the way, unagi is BBQ eel, very tasty but I was totally taken back by the small portion of white race the eel came with. Really, playing it that cheap with white rice??? Good unagi ruined by small portion of white rice. In my second meal, I had their tonkatsu (fried pork for simpler term) and it was pretty tasty although the white rice that came with it was small once more. See the pattern here, they are cheap on rice!!! And in a Japanese restaurant, rice is one element there should be abundant of. On the more positive side, the restrooms are clean, the restaurant is located in Koko Marina Shopping Center so there are plenty of parking although the stalls are bit on the narrow side.

    • Value
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1  Thank SirHoot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 March 2018 via mobile

Overall, with the abundance of options for Japanese food on the island, just go somewhere else. They brought my food out 15 minutes before my partner’s food, so I had to sit there awkwardly and wait while my miso soup went cold. The presentation was lovely, however the food itself was mediocre at best. The fish did not taste fresh and was slightly slimy. The waiter told us that they are trying to revamp the bar and make it more “full service. I requested a Moscow mule (pretty commonly ordered drink) and he said they had no ginger beer and could make it with regular beer instead (sounds disgusting). I opted instead for a Mojito but it was 90% sugared syrup, way too sweet and barely had any alcohol. Had to send it back. Waiter was inattentive, I had to flag down another employee just to pay my bill. The desert tasted like dirt. I was very disappointed.

Thank Tara B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2018 via mobile

The food is great ambience is updated presentation is flawless. Service is very bad meal came out in randomly. 15 minutes and I got a portion of my meal. 20 more minutes I got the rest. 20 more minutes 2 more meals came out, then it was 15 minutes until 4th meal came. We tried to wait but had been there an hour and a half and still 1 meal missing. The staff explained they were behind on the tempura station however we had tempura on 2 other meals. They need to get it together and serve the table together. Do they not watch Hell's kitchen on tv?

Thank marksY5773WH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2018

Presentation/taste/value/atmosphere - a winner.

Ruined by absolutely inattentive and horrible service. Tall thin Caucasian waitress told us she would be our server for the evening and asked us what we wanted for beverage. We asked for tea and water but after 20 minutes she failed to come back with either and she never came back to take our order. I think the male manager came by our table, noticing that we still had our menus and no food or water and he took our order. Within 5 minutes we had water, tea, and our food. The female server who initially presented herself to us never, ever came back to our table. And it wasn't because she left work. We saw her there the whole time. After we finished our meal I had to go up to the register to ask for my bill because our wait staff never came back to check on how we were doing after we received our food. I have no idea why this female waitress ignored us, We were not obnoxious, overdressed, underdressed, too loud etc. This was the worst service I had received in any restaurant in Hawaii - EVER!! It totally overshadowed the quality and value of the food we received. This restaurant failed the first time it opened. If they keep us this type of service it will fail again.

    • Value
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Thank jonfujita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2017

Gokoku opened in 2015 and quickly closed due to terrible service and expensive pricing. They closed for over a year and reopened in the same spot in 2017 under the same name but new management.

Since their 2017 reopening, I have been back twice; once for dinner service and once for lunch service.

For dinner service our party of 3 went in during peak dinner time. The staff notified us that we would have to wait about 20 minutes. We asked if we could sit by the bar and we were seated. After looking at the menu we noticed that Gokoku shifted their focus from sushi to more teishoku sets (complete meals) with a plethora of ramen, katsu, and okonomiyaki options. I had a ramen and katsu set which was decent. Price ranges between $15-25 for sets which isn't cheap but not bad either. You also need to consider that there are not any other Japanese restaurant options nearby except for Gyotaku which has around the same pricing. The food was excellent and if anything the waiters were overly attentive to us. This was a great change to the stories I heard about the previous Gokoku experience.

After our dinner we recommended that our family take my grandmother to lunch there. We had a party of 7 and were seated on the extended tables towards the front of the store. This was an odd seating setup as one side had back support while the other side did not. Our waitress that we had was simply put, not a good fit for the restaurant. She mispronounced many Japanese dishes and when my wife wanted to order the Katsu, she did not know what we were talking about. She corrected us to say "cutlet". Our waitress neglected our table and seemed to disappear to other tables resulting in us having to flag down other waitstaff. The food was of the same quality that we had in our previous dinner service which meant the lunch wasn't a total waste. After we paid I asked to speak to the manager who came out of the kitchen. Our party expressed our disappointment in our waitress and we were shocked to find out that she was not new which meant others have been getting the same sub-par service. If we do return to Gokoku, we will be sure to avoid this server.

    • Value
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    • Food
Thank madcapsules
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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