Hana: Central PHX Sushi Review
- winedubar Apr 25, 2007 09:20 AM
So last nite went to look at some art my friend is crazy about on grand ave *some day people, grand ave will have more than the galleries and bikini lounge, it'll be shopping and restaurants but i digress..ahhh a girl can dream* and then headed to hana for sushi. we drove over almost giddy with anticipation. please please please let it be good.
we get there, and hone in a good parking spot. we walk in and half of the tables are filled. a smiling but harried server comes over and seats us. i say harried, because obviously they all were...not in an 'omg we're super stressed way' but in an 'omg its our first nite here and we've got PEOPLE' kind of way. all nite, the service was GREAT - if our server was behind, someone swooped in to help so we were never low on beverages..
which, unfortunately, hana hit one of my pet peeves. ok i know drinks in a CAN, esp under the pretense of dining out, are a quick way to rack up your total. no free refills on iced tea in a can my friends, and this ucc green tea, while good, was 2.75 a bottle. and of course for me one 12 oz can won't make it thru a meal, so i get the regular iced tea at 1.75. that makes 4.50 in ICED TEA. that seems a bit spendy to me...
we start out with big bowls of miso. big steaming bowls with nice sized chunks of tofu and extra seaweed. i mean extra. the bowl looked green at the top when they brought it out :) it was really good and made us want to try their noodle dishes.
we ordered eel, yellowtail, mackeral, salmon, and ahi, each 5 bucks. standouts were the mackeral, which was served with a delicate lemon slice and dallop of pea shoot microgreens, and the ahi was the clear winner. SUPER fresh, buttery soft, smooth, and the most beautiful ruby color. wow!!
the eel? average. the rest was good. we had the vegas rool at 8 bucks and the spicy tuna at 10.50. the vegas roll was way better. we ordered 2 spicy tuna rolls, but got 2 other rolls instead..they were just ok overall, but the shrimp in the roll? GREAT - if we could have figured out what it was we would have just stuck with the shrimp ;)
the interior was freshly painted and remodeled and had the beginnings of cuteness. the walls were completely devoid of any artwork or pictures so it was empty looking. but it was opening nite so it may be coming.
the service was great! all of the staff really wanted us to be happy and were totally on the ball. for an opening nite? holy moly, were they doing a great job - organized, efficient, quickly addressing issues.
the food? over all, pretty good. waaaaaaay better than zen 32, ichiban, or fish market. not as good as tokyo lobby. but hey, it was opening nite!!
so, there were three of us, and our total bill came up 62 dollars and change. 2 of us had eaten in the last month at tokyo lobby *48 bucks* and ichiban *41 bucks, and review coming shortly*. we felt like the prices for sushi were a bit high because barring the order snafu, we didn't order as much sushi as we had at either place.
the prices for the rest of the menu? let me put it to you this way - every other entree on the menu started at 17.95. the noodle soups et al started at 12 bucks and went up from there. the lobster tail and steak was about 40 bucks...
it just seemed expensive for a little spot in a strip mall.
i'd like to try again once they've settled....
but there you go in a nutshell!!!!
anyone else go last nite???
We just got back. We got there around noon, and we were probably the third table. So we got seated right away.
I was really pleased with my lunch. The ahi was ruby red, buttery, and just divine. The best I've had in the Valley. The tempura was a touch greasy, but the shrimp within were sweet and had a good, firm texture.
Service is still a bit off, but friendly. I got all of my dishes, and then my colleague got his when I was done.
I think the prices are lower for lunch. We each paid about $17. My tuna sushi was $5.50 and the ebi tempura $5.25. My colleague's teryaki bento box was $11.95. I did manage to score a menu. So if you'd like to compare notes, just say the word.
Does the menu indicate hours of operation? I was thinking of checking it out Mon. but wanted to make sure it was open (I have a family owned place near me closed on Mondays so they can rest). Also a phone #? I did a Google search and it brings up a Hana Sushi near 7th Ave & Union Hills, which might cause some confusion!
Finally - do you forsee limits on seating? Could a group of 8 or 10 office workers sit together, for example? Thanks.
Well, I dove in to try it tonight.
Incredible. I highly reccommend it to anyone as the fish I had compared to any other in town was just fresher!
I spoke with the sushi chef for quite a bit and the owners lori and ruth who were all quite nice. Chef explained that all of his fish comes from Japan and he is willing to pay a little more and organize himself better in order to make it balance out. He then went on to describe the sushi as "authentic Tokyo style sushi" and explained that most of the sushi in town which is the big ball of rice with a piece of fish over the top is created simply out of laziness. He used some very interesting garnishes on the whitefish *AMAZING* and the albacore which was also extremely interesting. I had the toro and ahi as well which were fantastic and I can agree with the above reviews... I've never seen or tasted ahi quite like it. He finished off my meal with a very nicely done eel, prepared in a fashion I am used to with one difference. The ball of rice was very small, as it was on all the rest of the pieces, which according to him is how it supposed to be done.
I did not try any of the entrees or rolls. As far as I am concerned, rolls are not sushi, and according to my brother who lives in Japan, they are completely an american creation. Next visit I will try an entree because according to the sushi chef, his dad (the kitchen chef) is the japanese equivelent of a Le Cordon Bleu and has done french tepanyaki at Kikkoman in Tokyo. The restaurant is owned, operated, and managed by one family. Mom and dad are the head cooks, the son is the sushi chef, and the girls manage the restaurant and do table waiting. I'm much more impressed by a family operation where they take passion in what they do rather than some corporate conglomerate (RA) or a place owned by a white restauranteur (Moto) who has no passion.
Synopsis: Incredible experience and definitely my top choice in Phoenix for sushi. I'll be back, and definitely giving it my reccommendation.