You all know that feeling when a sushi chef knows your name?
Ok, maybe not, but you might have a bartender (or 3) who does and, if not, then you’ve at least seen Cheers?
Well, having a sushi chef who knows your name is pretty stellar. It’s a way to get treated like family, make good conversation and eat the best of the best, away from home.
A former boyfriend and I had been going to Hana Sushi ( meaning “flower”) once a month for about 5 months when we earned our masu! Masu are those square, wooden boxes that people drink sake out of and that you sometimes see stacked above the bar (sometimes with peoples’ names scrawled all over them). Those boxes, you think, are staged. Or, “what do you have to do to get one of those?” As it turns out, all you have to do is sit up front, appreciate the fantastic luck of eating like a king, and keep coming back. I recommend that you find yourself a sushi place with your own masu- Hana or elsewhere.
Experiencing sushi as it was meant to be experienced means letting your sushi chef (in this case, the fabulously talented Yoshi) pick your meal for you (this is called “omakase” – the equivalent of “Chef’s choice”). Our first meal involved a fair amount of sake, quite a bit of conversation with Yoshi and a ton of fantastic food. That meal was the second time I had sea urchin (and certainly the 1st time I enjoyed it), the first time I enjoyed the sweet raw shrimp (and its following fried head) and the first time I’d compared two differently raised salmons (wild versus farm-raised) of the same breed (think: advanced cheese tasting in France).
I was raised on traditional, euro-influenced food. I remember the first time I had sushi (in high school) and until about 4 years ago, I was an eel-roll kind of girl. But, slowly, the wonders of nigiri (along with the “is this sustainable?” guilt) have become apparent. The escolar! the white tuna! The sea bass! Oh dear.
Hana doesn’t have a website (! I know!) but they do have a normal little location and phone number: 219 Broadway E
(between John St & Olive Way)
Seattle, WA 98102 – 206-328-1187
Visit them and you won’t be disappointed. Saunter right up to the sushi bar and ask Yoshi for whatever is good today.