It’s been a hot minute since any of us have eaten out, so I was super excited to hear that one of my favorite boujee restaurants, 53 By the Sea was gonna start opening up for dining again! If you haven't heard of 53 By the Sea, maybe you've seen their iconic grand staircase (it even has 14.6k posts on their hashtag #53bythesea !) 

Restaurants on Oahu were given the green light to open back up for dining while following certain guidelines, on June 5th, but the management at 53 By the Sea wanted to wait a little longer to make sure that they were fully prepared to give their customers the best experience while limiting the potential spread. 

I got to try 8 sample-sized dishes of their new menu, created by their new Corporate Executive Head Chef Lance Kosaka.

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Yogurt Panna Cotta: This was SO amazing and a great way to start any meal – light, refreshing, slightly sweet, and topped with so many yummy fruits, housemade granola, and local honey.

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Salmon Tartine: This puts all other tartines to SHAME because it’s literally the definition of top quality. Their housemade citrus cured salmon sits on top of a perfectly soft bed of scrambled eggs, all on their housemade country loaf (they BAKE their OWN BREAD to give their customers only the best). 

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Warabi Seafood Salad: The crunchiness of the warabi paired well with the soft Kona Kanpachi, chewy Big Island Abalone, and tart soy lemon dressing. I literally could’ve eaten like five plates of this lol

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Seared Ahi Don: Because it wouldn’t be a meal in Hawaii if you didn’t have fish & rice! Their Tamarind Soy Glazed Big Eye Tuna was on the saltier side, which paired so well with the fragrant ginger lemongrass rice.

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Goat Cheese Bruschetta: Hands-down my favorite thing of the day. So simple, yet so sophisticated. Local goat cheese mousse with their sweet tomato jam HO I couldn't get enough of this! I know, it sounds really underwhelming but the sweet and warmly spiced tomato jam paired SO well with the semi-pungent, sharp goat cheese. I even asked the chef for the recipe after (not that I’d ever be able to make it nearly as good as this)

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Garlic Chicken Sliders: …. Okay. I lied, sorry, this one was also hands-down my favorite thing of the day. It was legit better than any burger I’ve ever had. The crispy garlic chicken was in bite-sized pieces making it super enjoyable to eat, and that FURIKAKE MAC SALAD THO just give me a whole jar of that stuff! They both go so well with the potato roll that literally just soaks up all that delicious goodness. 

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Lemon Beef Salad: Growing up with a father that was born & raised in Vietnam, this dish was super nostalgic for me – The lemon marinated Eye of Round beef gave the dish the sour-y oomph while the Waipoli greens and Ho Farms cherry tomatoes balanced out the strong Vietnamese inspired dressing.

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Sweet & Savory Braised Shortrib: Another Vietnamese-inspired dish, the soft shortrib sits on top of a creamy mushroom risotto, garnished with pickeld carrots and daikon, all in a nuoc cham caramel.

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This was my third dining experience with 53 By the Sea, and as always it was amazing. The workers are so thoughtful and you can tell that the management really cares about their staff. Lance shared stories about how his workers inspire him and his dishes (that Sweet & Savory Braised Shortrib is actually one of his workers’ dish!), and how he hopes to continue supporting local farms in any way he can while delivering amazing meals to each and every guest.

Lunch: 11am – 1:30pm

Happy Hour: 2:00pm – 5:00pm

Dinner: 5:00pm – 8:00pm

Sunday Brunch: 10:30am – 1:30pm

53 AHUI ST. HONOLULU HAWAII | 808.536.5353