In this little stretch of Rogers Park
, losing the Mandarin Chinese restaurant that once occupied this space was a bit of a blow. Residents eagerly awaited Hana once word got out that a sushi restaurant was headed for the spot. The Japanese eatery does not disappoint.
Owned by a group of siblings with several lifetimes worth of experience operating restaurants around the country, Hana features a fairly bare-bones menu. Luckily for us, this allows them to focus on what they do offer. The distractions and frills here are replaced by quality and low prices. If you're the type of sushi fanatic who dreams of an endless table with multiple plates spread out before them without also going broke, this is your place.
A generous portion of Hana's most expensive roll, the Avocado Touch, with some very fresh crab, avocado and cucumber topped with tempura flakes, is $11. The vast majority of the rolls on the menu hover around $6. The Santa Fe, influenced by one of the siblings' experiences in California, is particularly tasty, with shrimp tempura, masago and avocado doused in a spicy mayo that's somehow cool and hot at the same time.
Sushi is the star here, though there are a few entrees on offer. A salmon teriyaki is great without being too fishy, an accomplishment considering the fish, and costs $16. Each of the other entrees are less expensive, the beef teriyaki also an excellent choice at $13.
Unfortunately, Hana has no plans to offer beer, liquor or wine, and is not BYOB at this time. Nonetheless, this excellent, affordable sushi is a more than welcome addition.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Bill Burman