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Monday, September 17, 2012

The new John Dominis: 53 By The Sea

Photos courtesy of 53 By The Sea

[The following is a preview of 53 by the Sea. See the full review at]

Now open: 53 By The Sea, on the site of the old John Dominis.

The new chef: Hiroshi Hayakawa, Tokyo-born and trained in Italy. His most recent stints were as executive chef of Il Mulino in New York and then Tokyo. He continues his Italian-style cuisine at 53 By The Sea, with pasta and risotto ($18-42) and a menu that includes surf and turf. Surf: seafood stew with opah ($34), grilled opakapaka with Okinawan sweet potato puree ($30). Turf: chicken marsala ($22), grilled veal ($40) and grilled steaks ($30-$45).

Details: The restaurant is currently in its soft opening phase and open for dinner only. Lunch service starts September 26. The bar features wine and liquor chosen by master sommelier Roberto Viernes and includes a lounge area with live piano.

Architectural details: The original John Dominis structure was torn down; while the new restaurant maintains gorgeous Waikiki and Diamond Head views, framed by floor-to-ceiling windows, the new building permits required the building be set back slightly from the water line, so the dining room no longer cantilevers out over the water. The exterior design draws inspiration from Iolani Palace, Kawaihao Church and the Alexander and Baldwin Building, among others.

53 Ahui Street, 536-5353,

Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 in Permalink

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About This Column

From five-star restaurants to hidden holes-in-the-wall, Biting Commentary will let you know what’s hot and what’s not. Find out the latest restaurant news—who’s opening, who’s closing, which chef is moving on, where the great special dinners are. Discover the best menu items, fabulous wines, stunning cocktails, hand-crafted beers. Be the first to hear about upcoming food events and festivals.

Food editor Martha Cheng graduated from Wellesley College with degrees in Computer Science and English. She's a former line cook, food truck owner, Peace Corps volunteer and Google techie. Follow her on Twitter @marthacheng.


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