Another excellent meal at San Jose's Hana
We had eight people to dine at Hana, next to Mitsuwa supermarket on Saratoga in San Jose yesterday, and it was once again excellent. This remains one of my favorite Japanese-style Chinese food restaurants. That is, it remains one of my favorite restaurants.
For sui gyooza (boiled dumplings), you have a choice of fillings: pork+cabbage+negi, pork+negi, pork+shrimp, mushrooms. For fried gyooza, you get pork+cabbage+negi. Both are good and we cleared 18 of each.
The fried rice is notable. Yesterday's special was a salty, light salmon fried rice. Not greasy, no peas (hurray!), and well flavored. If you are going to have fried rice at a restaurant, it should be as good as this.
We also had Sichuan-style noodles with sesame, which is mostly a sesame-soy dish - not dan dan mian, but more soy-flavored, simpler and lighter. At our request, the kitchen put shredded chicken on top of the dish.
From the specials, we chose a simple garlic cabbage dish, which we ordered non-spicy for the non-spicy people in our party. Just cabbage, garlic, salt, oil, and gentle cooking. This is a wonderful cabbage preparation.
And we had two more fried dishes: scallion fried dumplings, which were chewy and fresh tasting - essentially gyooza with scallions for filling. Then something listed as negi mochi on the menu, which is almost identical to cong you bing ('scallion oil pancake'), made with rice flour. We ordered seconds on this dish.
4320 Moorpark, San Jose
In the Mitsuwa / Kinokuniya center on Saratoga
I haven't been in years, but the husband/wife team (Takao-san and his wife Miki) that owns/manages the restaurant are part of the Sushi Tomi/Tomi Sushi/Sushi Maru/Maruichi umbrella, and last I spoke to Miki, she told me that they use the same imported Japanese flour that are used for making ramen at the Maruichi stores for the Chinese style noodles at Hana, and the dumpling chef is/was from somewhere near Sichuan. Definitely much better tasting dumplings than Tong Dumpling Pot and many other jiaozi places in the South Bay....but since then places like I Dumpling (Redwood City) have raised the standards a lot (literally Kingdom of Dumpling SF class).
Negi mochi is indeed cong you bing/scallion pancake, but it is deep fried, crispy, and a lot closer to some of the renditions found in the Northern style Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong that I grew up with.