Hana Japanese Eatery - Sushi and Homestyle Japanese

2013 list of restaurants that have captured our love and admiration
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Christina
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6 years ago

Pristine seafood and high-quality ingredients, caring chef/owners who are proud and passionate about their craft, and a friendly, casual atmosphere that makes me happy the moment I walk in. Hana has this magical combination. And did I mention they also have BYOB without a corkage fee? Anybody who has visited has seen the Hashimoto family in action. Stepdad Chef Kazuto “Kaz” Kishino and mom Kinue Hashimoto, both formally trained in Japan, helm the kitchen with the cooked dishes, and son ​Chef Rick “Koji” Hashimoto and sister Lori Hashimoto turn out gorgeous sushi.

Although there are extensive options - a printed menu and 30-40 Kitchen Specials and Sushi Specials on whiteboards - I tend to do the same thing. Order some gyoza (I've been told mom has made 800 of these in one week), move on to sashimi, and then anything that Lori suggests. Fresh fish is flown in daily, and I always ask about specials not on the boards. This might include tempura uni showcasing the finesse of Chef Kaz’s fine dining background. Each amazing bite on one visit featured tongues of custard-like uni sandwiched between shiso leaves in a delicate tempura shell. Or tai ishi-yaki served as translucent slices of raw tai with daikon and shiso layered on a cooking grate set over a bowl filled with hot river stones. Chef Kaz poured sake over the stones, covered the bowl for a few seconds so the fragrant steam lightly cooked the fish, and then it was wrapped in shiso leaves and dipped in tataki sauce (I'll have to try to find a picture of one of these).

Gyoza

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Sashimi

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(and don't forget the crunchy bones!)

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They're also happy to do special orders with advance notice. Such as live uni flown in from Japan:

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and mirugai/geoduck, which we were served raw and cooked:

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And check out Dom's picture of hanasaki crab in this thread. http://www.phxfoodnerds.com/viewtopic.p ... hana#p3393

Or maybe I'll order ankimo

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Okonomiyaki

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Uni shooters

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or ebi with the crispy heads.

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I want it all, and all of the above is why I nominate Hana.

Hana Japanese Eatery Discussion Threads:
Hana Japanese Eatery
Favorite Sushi!

Hana Japanese Eatery
www.hanajapaneseeatery.com
5524 N. 7th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85013
602-973-1238
Last edited by Christina 6 years ago, edited 8 times in total.
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andrewknoc
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Location: 85020

6 years ago

While I haven't fully explored the plethora of options at Hana, I appreciate and have enjoyed what I have had there. Great nomination, Christina!
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BarbaraToombs
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Location: Chandler/Tempe, Arizona

6 years ago

Oh, this sounds just like my type of place...and one that I'm KICKING myself for not getting to yet!

I vow to get here before the discussion period is over to see for myself, but Hana certainly sounds like a fine candidate for an FNA!
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Dapuma
Posts: 567
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Location: Scottsdale

6 years ago

+1 after many trips to Hana and hiro we rate Hana the victor for sushi, I do like hiro akinomo better
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The Cosmic Jester
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6 years ago

A darn fine choice. Anymore, I just go in and ask Lori to feed us. I've had some wonderful surprises this way. Last time, it was chawanmushi. A time before that, kare udon. And it's always lovely.
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chrislee
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6 years ago

For me, another no brainer for the FNAs.

Took us far too long to get over to Hana for our first visit but since then, we go back whenever we are near. It's a destination spot for us. The kids even ask for it for their birthday dinners. Lori and the family are always wonderful and our meals are always lovely from start to finish. Beautiful sushi and wonderful cooked dishes. It's always a good choice to put yourself in Lori's hands. For us, Hana and Shinbay (a very different animal) are head and shoulders above other AZ Japanese options.
M_L
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6 years ago

Again I feel the need to hop off the train on this one. I know most everyone here loves this place but I have not been wowed by what I have had here. Everyone I know loves the place and goes there regularly and I think that what they do and how the do it is awesome but I have just not tasted the Kool-aid they are mixing yet.

On a recommendation we ordered the Okonomiyaki when we went. I had never had it before and had no expectations set for it. Everyone at that table tried a little and it did not go over well. I ate more just out of stubbornness but I was not too happy about it. I was leery about the dish in general and then I went to Posh's Ramen night and was blown away by how amazing Josh's version of the dish was. Did I just get a bad one? Do they do something different that perhaps did not sit right with my palate? I would say it tasted way too bbq saucey but what do I know? The other items we had were good but not really better than anywhere else I have been.

I do really like that they are BYOB I rather enjoy that at places as you can kind of roll in with what you want and focus you money on getting food instead of running your bill up with pricey drinks so they get a win there but until I have a better experience they would not be on my list. By all means convince me otherwise and I will be back there. A lot of the stuff in the threads and here look amazing. Perhaps I just need to be better educated when ordering.
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Skillet Doux
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6 years ago

I'll fight you on this one, M_L, though I do concede that you've hit upon a (sometimes) weak point. The Japanese comfort foods chunk of the menu, in my experience, isn't as consistently excellent as the sushi/sashimi/refined fish chunk of the menu, but even setting aside that some of the former are great, you could erase that portion of the menu and I'd still enthusiastically endorse Hana for an FNA. Sourcing, care, creativity, existing somewhere between hardcore Edo-style purity and Americanized mayo-maki joints, to me Hana is the perfect blend of fabulous food and a warm, welcoming neighborhood environment.

Hana, FNA, yes!
Dominic Armato
Dining Critic
Arizona Republic | azcentral.com
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BillBuitenhuys
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6 years ago

One of the best meals I've had in PHX was at Hana.

I fully support this FNA nomination.
themis
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6 years ago

I'm a huge Hana supporter, it's tops on my list when people ask me about sushi/Japanese. I also love the BYO/affordability. But I can see why people might not be wowed right off the bat; this is a place where if you're ordering off the folded menu they bring you, or if you immediately start checking off standards on the sushi list, it's not going to seem to shine as brightly. It was only after I started leaving the menu on the table and asking about the whiteboard specials that I started to get really excited here. And Lori doesn't know me from a can of paint, which is just fine by me, but she keeps her ears open in the kitchen and when she sees you asking about and ordering those kinds of things, she'll make recommendations or even send things to the table. Hana is best when you put yourself in their hands. It's not a secret menu or knowing the one or two right dishes to order, but you do kind of have to go in feeling frisky or with someone who knows their way around Japanese styles.
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azhotdish
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
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6 years ago

The first place I think of when considering sushi and/or bento lunch. Those uni shooters are really something, too. Wholeheartedly support this.
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Joel
@azhotdish
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Skillet Doux
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6 years ago

Hana Japanese Eatery has been named to the 2013 Food Nerd Approved list.
Dominic Armato
Dining Critic
Arizona Republic | azcentral.com
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