Romancing the Bone
Red Meat Takes Center Stage at ‘D.K.’
By Kevin McQuarrie
Oahu Island News
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
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
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.
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
· 2552 Kalakaua Avenue
· Dinner nightly 5:30 to 10 p.m.
· For reservations, call 931-6280.