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“Breathtaking ambiance”
Review of 53 by the Sea

53 by the Sea
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Ranked #57 of 2,524 Restaurants in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Olomehani St.
Description: Designed around its breathtaking view of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head, 53 By The Sea offers you the opportunity to experience Hawaii dining like never before. Delight at Chef Thomas Ho’s artistry as he combines fresh local ingredients with succulent seafoods and the finest hand-cut meats. Just as exquisite are the melodic sounds of local pianists playing on the Italian made Fazioli piano in the adjacent T’s at 53 lounge, featuring wines and spirits from around the globe. 53 By The Sea is truly a celebration for all the senses!
Reviewed October 10, 2013

Had the mushroom chicken at lunch which was perfectly prepared. The amuse Bouche was a nice surprise as well as the sorbet at the end. The service was excellent and the view was fantastic. Mates had the frutti de mare with they all seemed to enjoy. Great spit for a power lunch.

Thank AdventureBoundNow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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137 - 141 of 250 reviews

Reviewed September 28, 2013

We had lunch at this lovely restaurant today. The view is spectacular, and we enjoyed watching all of the surfers giving it their all on the water. The service by Nelson, our waiter, by excellent. I had the crustacean club and my husband had the spaghetti bolognese. The meal comes with a sizable amuse bouche, and a scoop of sorbet for dessert. Enjoy!

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Thank melissamce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2013

A lovely, newly-built place right on a choice spot on the water. Designed for very (!) hi-priced Japanese weddings with a black Bentley limo and 4 photographers to take pictures of the very classy and expensively dressed couples on the grand stairway. Good-looking brides. But the main restaurant is still open to normal customers—with solid credit cards.

The location is the best, overlooking the daytime great ocean-surfing scenery with the Waikiki skyline and Diamond Head in the background. Wall-to-wall, floor to ceiling picture windows. Impressive.

Not so the rest. Not up to expectations. The luncheon menu had about 12 good choices. Prices pretty much all around $30. Everything came with a soup, cream of mushroom, still the best. End of it. Next course a big plate with small servings of goodies, some salad, a quarter of a stuffed egg, one very thin slice of some Italian sausage, one shrimp. Nice presentation but not much to eat.
For the main course I had Frutie del Mar. A big portion of several small pieces of sea creatures, served quite hot. Sign of a good restaurant, but the choice pieces were overwhelmed by some non-descript tomato (?) noodles. A let down. A friend had mushroom risotto, no presentation but good taste. For dessert a scoop of frozen yoghurt, nicely presented on a big plate with chocolate decoration.
Service left something to be desired. No refill of bread. Had to ask twice for more. No refill of butter. One waiter reached across my plate to pick up a used utensil from my other side. A no-no. The toilet: a Toto, the mostest, with a choice of 8 computer buttons to operate.

All that for $30. Not bad, but not too exciting, either.

Will wait for another invitation.

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2  Thank GCHHawaii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2013

The view of Diamond Head is stunning. 53 by the Sea is the newest restaurant operated by WDI. (Taormina in Waikiki is a sister restaurant and serves excellent Sicilian food.)

The food is very good--especially the mushroom risotto and the grilled fish. Our waiter was attentive but mumbled a lot, so it was difficult to understand what the specials were.

The prices are on the high side, but I would recommend this place. Make a reservation well before sunset so that you can enjoy the view of Diamond Head.

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Thank BigIsleFoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2013

3 1/2 stars because it is better than average, but can't quite justify the 4th star because it comes up short of "very good".

I am not sure to whom this restaurant is supposed to appeal. It is like it can not decide what it wants to be or for whom. The decor inside and out was rather odd. it was like arriving at a gaudy Jersey Shore mansion that was someone's mistaken idea of elegant.

I am not sure if they are trying to appeal to the Asian businessman, East Coasters or locals who want "something different". It did not feel like a comfortable Hawaiian restaurant and certainly does have that warm, casual feel that John Dominis (where this restaurant sits) had.

Then the food was enh. Nothing I had blew me away with creativity or flavor. The menu felt very "old", very 1990's or early 2000's, not where food is heading these days.

Foie gras & escargot in a supposed "Italian Seafood restaurant that advertises "fresh local ingredients". Are they force feeding ducks on Oahu these days?

I had a very ordinary rib eye for my main course and I doubt it was local either. Other than the "Kona" Maine Lobster (farm raised on the Big Island) I couldn't find anything on their menu that was really local.

And at what they charge, the valet parking was hardly "free", but a nice touch.

I would have loved to love this place, the setting is spectacular, but I think it is a colossal miss right now. I understand they has switched chefs already and that is never a good sign.

It might survive 2014, but unless something drastic happens to the menu, I would be surprised if it goes much beyond.

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3  Thank scottca075
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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