Floating in Neptune’s nirvanaEat This!, Section 4A Thursday, September 3rd, 2015
I haven’t had sushi since Christmas (issue #163) and my youthful assistant Lestat, fresh from a visit to the barber shop and sporting a sharp clean fade, quickly agreed to plumb the depths of oceanic delicacies. We reserved a table at Hane Sushi one sultry summer night and were quickly seated in the medium-sized room. A casual space defined by clean simple lines and good use of color – cool reds, light grays and blue neon, with exposed HVAC conduits overhead and accent lights hanging low over the long sushi bar. The dark woods of the communal counter completed the intimate industrial vibe.
Our plunge into delights from the sea began with Hamachi Kama ($12) and Tuna Tartar ($16). The grilled yellowtail collar, which is cut along the clavicle just behind the gills, has a satisfying crackle and sear, and is fall-off-the-bone tender and juicy. The tartar, a lively blend of delicate dark red tuna and elastic squid spears, is tossed in a smoky, slightly sweet sesame oil dressing and topped by a quail egg. Lestat said the tartar was “sensational” and “fresh.”
We then swam through a school of specialty rolls, including Salmon Skin ($11), Spicy Yellowtail ($13), and Diego ($15). The trio provided a contrast of flavor and texture, from the surprising salty crunch of the salmon skin’s cucumber, bonito flakes, gobo (burdock root) and green onion, to the velvety smoothness of yellowtail blended with piquant mayonnaise, to the rich tuna melded with cilantro and topped by mild chopped serrano chiles. My handsome table mate said the rolls were “refreshing” and “pure,” and I couldn’t have agreed more.
Next, we dove into the pool of sashimi and ordered Salmon Belly ($18) and Uni ($32). The belly had a fatty chew and not much flavor, but the Uni – oh, the Uni! The sea urchin roe was so fresh, so sublime, so earthy and creamy! For a brief moment, my taste buds were floating in Neptune’s nirvana. I also treated myself to the Honeymoon Special ($12). Served in a half shell atop a bed of ice, I greedily slurped down the firm oyster topped by Tan Uni, orange-red Masago (Capelin roe) and yellow quail egg. A simple and divine pleasure.
Misa, our gracious and attentive server, bowed slightly as she presented the check and thanked us for our patronage. We left sated and happy, and strolled into the balmy evening.
Hane Sushi, located in Bankers Hill at the corner of Olive Street and Fifth Avenue, uses only the freshest seafood and ingredients in preparing their exquisite traditional and fusion-style dishes. They’re a little pricey, but the experience is worth every dollar. The restaurant is open for lunch Tuesday through Friday, and dinner Tuesday to Sunday. Hours vary. Eat this, hungry readers. You’ll be glad you did.
2760 Fifth Ave., #105 in Bankers Hill
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