I have a thing for sushi. A pretty big thing. Probably big enough to qualify as an obsession. And if I had unlimited money, I’d probably eat at Hatsuhana every single night for at least six months straight.
Among the things I love about sushi (and trust me, there are many) is the fact that I’m usually not allergic to it. I don’t tend to order much in the way of cooked food, but raw fish has proven pretty safe—for the last 10 years or so, at least.
Usually, in looking for a good place to get some sushi, I’ll read through a bunch of menus and try to find a place that doesn’t have any nuts on the menu. No easy feat. Hatsuhana’s menu does have nuts on it, but only, as far as I know, in one of the desserts. This doesn’t worry me too much, since I don’t order much from the kitchen anyway—and like I said, I haven’t had any trouble with their raw fish in the years I’ve been eating there.
Now, I eat a lot of inconsistent, low-quality sushi. By now, I’m used to it, as I’ve accepted that it’ll (sort of) do the trick in a dire situation. Whole Foods, M2M, random restaurants that insist cream cheese is a legitimate addition to a roll, various (terrifying) all-you-can-eat joints…you name it, I choke their food down on a semi-regular basis. But Hatsuhana is different. Hatsuhana is sacred. Hatsuhana is my consistent, reliable, high-quality treat.
Their sushi is great. Truly, it is. So great, in fact, that there’s hardly anything else I can say. Every single thing I’ve ever eaten at Hatsuhana has been downright delicious—most to the point of provoking an audible “wow,” even. The fish is always fresh and it’s never the slightest bit cold (that sounds like a Wendy’s ad; I’m sorry), and the only near-complaint I’ve ever had is “huh, this is great, but I preferred the way they prepared it last time.” (Seriously. It’s never bad—it only ranges from “very good” to “overwhelmingly delicious.”)
Honestly, I dream about huge plates of Hatsuhana sushi, and on those occasions that I’m fortunate enough to get some, I spend the whole day looking forward to what’s become my favorite meal. What’s more, the service is wonderful. Every time my boyfriend and I walk in, we’re greeted with genuine warmth—and it isn’t just because we’re regulars. Honestly, Hatsuhana is just staffed with lovely people. The only problem is that it’s pricey—but I find it’s worth the money, if only once in a while.
You can read about Hatsuhana’s mission and see photos of the restaurant itself here. (I used one of their photos at the top of this post. For some reason, I never want to whip out a camera at such a quiet restaurant, two feet from another of table of people trying to enjoy their meal.)
I suppose I can’t rave like I just have without any sort of visual aid, though, so…here are some shitty iPhone photos of wonderful things Sam and I have shared at Hatsuhana:
They’re open Monday through Saturday for lunch, dinner, and carry-out, and they’re located at 17 East 48th Street, between 5th and Madison. (Of course, since Hatsuhana is not a nut-free establishment, you should use your own discretion, speak with your server, and only eat there if you’re comfortable. For what it’s worth, though, I do feel safe there—and I highly recommend giving them a try.)