Went with my family last night and sat at the sushi bar in front of the owner. Being New Years Eve they were going to close early at 10:00 pm and it wasn't as crowded as it would usually be, since many people were at parties, etc. Still a good crowd though, just as not packed as it would normally be.
We ordered some appetizers to start, sharing them family style; oshitashi (a cold spinach dish), kabocha tempura (deep fried pumpkin), agedashi tofu (deep fried tofu in a light, tasty broth), grilled gyutan (beef tongue) and grilled butterfish (black cod). Everything was done perfectly and was delicious, especially the grilled tongue, with a spritz of lemon and thin sliced Maui onions it was fantastic.
Sushi were in no particular order, California roll, unagi avacado roll, tamago (sweet egg), hirame (flounder), nodoguro (sp?) a type of snapper I think, saba (mackerel), hamachi (yellowtail), negi toro te maki (toro with green onions in a handroll) and ume kyuri te maki (plum and cucumber with shiso leaf in a handroll). All the sushi was nicely done, fresh and flavorful with just the right texture. Washed down with cold Sapporo beer it was a great meal that everyone enjoyed.
The sushi chefs were friendly and helpful as always. I wanted to buy them a round of drinks for New Years to show our appreciation, but they said it's against the law here in Hawaii. Too bad, I did that in LA recently with the chefs at a sushi restaurant there. Still they were grateful for the gesture.
IMO Gaku is one of the best izakaya here on Oahu, delicious food and great attention to detail. Even the restrooms are nicely done, how often do you see that here? This is a favorite of ours when in the mood for a splurge a few times a year.