Romancing the Bone

Red Meat Takes Center Stage at ‘D.K.’



By Kevin McQuarrie

Oahu Island News


For Valentine’s Day, we wanted someplace dark, romantic, classy and sensual. No tofu for this holiday — we’re talking rich food, like steak and seafood. So we ventured into D.K. Steakhouse, a new offering from D.K. Kodama, who made his name with Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar at Restaurant Row. Sansei has been moved into Waikiki and now resides at the Waikiki Beach Mariott Resort & Spa. Adjacent to it, Kodama has also opened his steakhouse, homage to all things carnivorous.

Yes, it’s in a hotel, which isn’t always an easy sell for residents, many of whom want to avoid the hubbub of Waikiki entirely. On the plus side, you get to have that “lucky-you-live-in-Hawaii” feeling when you stroll past all the tourists in the lobby, their bathing suits dripping, ABC bags in tow. The visitors’ happy-vacation vibe can’t help but rub off on you a little. “Yeah, I live here,” you think to yourself smugly, strutting into the D.K Steakhouse lobby. It features a cool series of paintings of yellowfin tuna—at the edge of the paintings, a plastic, three-dimensional fish creates the illusion that it is leaping off the canvas and into the next frame. The restaurant lobby also features an alarming number of chairs for people waiting for tables, so, word to the wise: Make reservations.

The menu is designed to be an American-style steakhouse, specializing in high USDA-grade, well-aged steaks. In the kitchen, a double-broiler grilling process offers high temperatures, to seal in the meat’s juices. Kodama obviously takes steak seriously: There is even a dry-aging room for the beef.

The restaurant’s décor is classy and unfussy: white tablecloths, dark woods and austere lighting. The proportions are large and masculine. Giant steak knives glitter ominously on the table. The shrimp in the shrimp cocktail are big. The wineglasses are oversized. Go big or go home, right?

Our server offered enthusiastic, polished treatment. She started us off with some nice, crisp French bread with tarragon butter, and we also ordered the rather unromantic sounding, but quite delicious, Black & Blue Ahi ($12.95) appetizer. As Kodama says, ahi is the “other red meat” in the Islands. It was spicy and gorgeous, served with tiny, diced tomatoes. We had heard good things about the Sansei Style Crab Cakes ($10.95), so we also tried those and were not disappointed. The cakes were meaty, with far more crab than stuffing, and were served over an enormous pile of crispy noodles with a ginger-lime-chili butter sauce.

As with many other steak houses, the entrées at D.K. Steakhouse are usually served without side dishes, so we ordered a side plate of wonderfully rich creamed spinach ($6.95). Other options include an Asparagus Milanese ($7.95), crispy onion rings, baked potatoes, garlic mushrooms or steamed asparagus.

For our entrées, we tucked into a Filet Mignon and Crab Oscar ($29.95), a tender filet of beef served with small crab cakes and asparagus, topped with a house-made béarnaise sauce. Seductive. We also fell in love with the fresh catch of the day, a Chinese-style opaka-paka ($22.95), with a soy and ginger sauce, Shiitake mushrooms and Maui onions—very good. Next time, we’ll have to try the ribeye or New York strip, too.

The wine list is another reason the restaurant works so well. Master Sommelier Chuck Furuya has put together extensive options, including 16 different wines by the glass nightly. Vegetarians will not starve; there are soups, salads, and vegetables that they can enjoy. But overall, the restaurant really caters to meat lovers.

Speaking of lovers, if great wine, classy service and dripping steaks don’t conjure up a little romance for you … well, just bring a friend instead.

·        D.K. Steakhouse

·        Third floor, Waikiki Beach
Marriott Resort & Spa

·        2552 Kalakaua Avenue

·        Dinner nightly 5:30 to 10 p.m.

·        For reservations, call 931-6280.