Hana Sushi is back in business on the Ashland Plaza with an elegantly refurbished decor to showcase its extensive selection of sushi, along with other Japanese and Korean dishes.
The restaurant has been shuttered since March, when a homeless man allegedly set fire to a nearby stairwell, damaging Hana and several other Plaza storefronts. Wrangling between multiple insurance companies delayed Hana's reopening, initially planned for the June tourist season, says Bill Barchet, who founded Hana with his wife in 2008.
Barchet designed the sleek, spacious dining room with a vaulted ceiling, warm, bamboo accents and gleaming sushi bar. The menu, however, predates Hana's closure, offering all the raw, fried and baked sushi concoctions as before. Diners also will find an array of Korean-style, grilled-meat platters, eight bento combinations, hot and cold noodles and hearty soups.
Among more than 50 sushi rolls, some of the more unusual are the Mount Ashland hand roll — tempura shrimp, scallop, avocado and imitation crab wrapped in lettuce instead of a seaweed sheet — and the "veggie power" roll of tofu, cucumber, marinated seaweed, burdock root, pickled radish and radish sprouts with avocado on top.
Rolls can be customized by swapping fish varieties or rice or soybean papers for nori for an additional $1 per substitution. Extra sauce, avocado, cucumber or cream cheese can be had for 50 cents.
Hana also eases diners' introduction to sake with a flight of four 1-ounce samples for $4. The sake list includes a clean classic from Japan and three Oregon bottlings: a slightly sweeter, organic sake, a mild and milky, unfiltered sake and a fruity, plum option. It's a fun way to sip different types of sake, comparing how they taste on their own and paired with food.
Employees provide friendly and knowledgeable service to longtime regulars and newcomers alike.
Recommended: The Hana roll combines spicy tuna, salmon, avocado and tobiko in a perfect harmony of tastes and textures; salmon-belly nigiri boasts large slices of rich salmon draped over nicely cooked rice formed into neat ovals; house-made kimchee, a spicy melange of chopped napa cabbage, julienned daikon radish and nutty sesame seeds adds extra zip to a meal for just $3.
Alternative diets: Fifteen vegetarian sushi rolls; five vegetarian appetizers; vegetable bento, tofu entree and vegetarian noodle dishes; locally farmed, organic produce when available; organic, multigrain rice available for $1 extra.
Beverages: Domestic and imported wines by the glass and bottle; local and other domestic beers on tap; local, other domestic and imported, bottled beers; Oregon and Japanese sakes by the glass and bottle; green and herbal teas by the cup or pot; sodas, iced tea, bottled waters and organic carrot juice.
Price range: Appetizers, $5 to $12; salads, $3 to $12; sushi and sashimi, $3.50 to $29; sushi rolls, $4 to $14; entrees, $8 to $13; bento, $10 to $19; noodles, $6.50 to $8; desserts, $3 to $5.50.
Extras: Outdoor seating at a bar built around a tree along Ashland Creek; 18-percent gratuity applies to parties of six or more; use of more than two credit cards per table incurs $1 per-card service fee; no personal checks.
Serving: From 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, until midnight Friday and Saturday.
Info: 29 N. Main St., Ashland; 541-201-8898; www.hana-sushi.net.