Restaurant Review - Doraku, Tumon, Guam - Any good?

in TravelFeed3 years ago (edited)

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Doraku, Guam. Much ado about nothing . . .
Doraku, Guam. Much ado about nothing . . .

Let me first start off by saying, I'm not a foodie. I really don't care about food, if I didn't have to eat, I wouldn't but I do and can appreciate good ambiance, good service, and of course good company. Having said that, this restaurant, I'm told is new in Guam, Japanese cuisine, only open a couple hours around dinner time and really, really good. My buddies invited me along for the ride since the food is supposed to be "really good" and they didn't know where the restaurant is. So they picked me up from my office, told me the name of the place, Doraku, and asked "where is it, we need to hurry because we don't wanna be late for our reservation"? I looked at them and said, "No, F@%#$ clue, how'd you make a reservation to a place and not know where it is?!?! Just google it"

Five minutes later we found it on Google Maps, I looked at it and thought, what the hell?! There's nothing back there except an apartment building that used to be a hotel or something like that. Anyways, I got us to where we needed to go, our other buddies were already there, car on the side of the road waiting for us. We rolled down the windows and everybody said, in unison, "where's the place" and "where da F*&$# do we park?".

So to get to Pia Resort, in which Doraku is located, you will need to get to Tumon (Pale San Vitores Rd). At Guam's "Shibuya Crossing," you need to turn into the street/lane between T.G.I.F and DFS. At the top of the hill just past DFS's parking lot, follow the road going right. Then a bit farther, follow the road left (just past the old tour company hq). At the top of the hill is where the road ends, in the parking lot of Pia Resort, for residents only. Plenty of signage everywhere warning you not to park, if you're not authorized. No signage of the restaurant ANYWHERE! So we all parked on the street and walked up to the apartment building. I walked ahead as my buddies had their kids to attend to, strollers and car seat unbuckling etc.

The front entrance of Pia resort is where the middle arrow is pointing. See my buddy’s stroller on the right?
The front entrance of Pia resort is where the middle arrow is pointing. See my buddy's stroller on the right?

This is where Doraku is, behind those trees, down a corridor from the lobby area of Pia Resort.
This is where Doraku is, behind those trees, down a corridor from the lobby area of Pia Resort.

After walking up the street and towards the unattended "lobby area" just past a pool and deck you'll see a corridor. Down this corridor you can see a glass door with a room that's lit and I saw some people in there (wasn't wearing my glasses, so couldn't make out exactly what it was) so I went to ask if they knew where the restaurant is. 

The only place you can find the name of the restaurant is on that little lamp.
The only place you can find the name of the restaurant is on that little lamp.

Once I noticed the sign, I went to get my buddies. Who weren't happy about the parking and walk, haha. Ya, we're kinda spoiled. But hey, we got a reservation to a reputed "really good restaurant, that's only open for dinner". So we walk in and I see 2 tables able to sit 8-10 people (you can see them in the photo). That's the length of the restaurant. To the right are 4 tables for four people. One was occupied, one was used for Covid-19 protocol, sign in. The other two had reserved signs on it. Ok cool, should be for us right? Well, there are 4 adults and 2 kids in our party soooo. Can you guess what happens next? The first waitress asks the other 2 waitresses, if there were any other reservations because the two empty tables are not for us. 

The waitress then proceeds to disbelieve my friend about making the reservation two days prior. After rustling some papers by the cash register area she went to talk to the sushi chef behind the sushi bar, that sits about 9 people. 15 seconds later she goes into the back, where the others went and for the next 10 minutes, NO ONE CAME OUT! Even the people sitting down eating were looking around for the waitstaff! We looked at the sushi chef and he just looked down, haha. So we just left, utterly disappointed.

I have no idea what happened, I've been in racist establishments before where this happened but this shouldn't be the case, there was a Japanese sushi chef and filipina waitstaff and the dinners were mostly locals and I think the four seat table was occupied by Chinese. I mean a simple apology and setting up an appointment for another day would have been acceptable...but nothing....except rudeness. Unbelievable, don'tcha think?!

Unfortunately, for Doraku, my buddies are locals business owners and no matter how good their food is they'll never go back (ya, we're kinda snobby that way and won't put up with being slighted in this fashion, haha). My personal take, from a restauranteur's perspective, while I can understand and admire their position of limited hours and perhaps menu (we didn't even get a chance to see one). The ambiance, decor, and professionalism just isn't even close to being up to task. I've seen happier diners at the mall food courts! Seriously, Guam has no fresh, Japanese sushi quality, seafood. How much better can their seafood be compared to all the other "high end" Japanese establishments? They probably all get their stock from the same suppliers on island, hahaha. Maybe it's good that they are tucked away in a corner, only serving their circle of influence. 

Rant over....sorry for the picture quality, they were taken out of frustration and starvation. I hope you had a laugh at my expense, and found this post helpful. Thanks for viewing and best wishes!  

All the photos (unless otherwise noted in the post) were taken by me and are available for sale. If you're interested in buying an image or three, 😃 please don't hesitate to contact me for more details.

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