Nobu Waikiki remains a magnet for visiting celebrities and local bigwigs—and lots of Japanese tourists. Part of an ever-growing global chain, this outpost serves Nobu Matsuhisa's decades-old Japanese-Peruvian signatures such as black cod lacquered with sweet den miso, along with original dishes like sous vide kurobuta pork belly with jalapeño, and ahi poke made with a sweet soy-mustard sauce, ogo (seaweed) from Molokai, and Big Island hearts of palm. The intense flavors can lead to unabandoned ordering—and the cost quickly adds up. The dramatically lit sushi bar serves some of the finest nigiri on the island. For a quick bite and cocktails, head to the lounge for happy hour, when pretty young things languish on the banquettes. Gluten-free diners can choose from a short but delicious special menu that includes an addictive pepperoncini with threads of hearts of palm standing in for the spaghetti, and wheat-free soy sauce is always available for the asking.
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