Hana Zen: Japanese, San Francisco Style
Given that the Japanese are known for their exotic cuisine, it may be a challenge to see a restaurant that successfully fuses it with American comforts. However, in San Francisco, you will find not only one, but two branches of a restaurant that keep a beautiful balance between fascinating Japanese fare and the casual dining experience Americans are used to. You may be hard pressed to find a restaurant that combines Japanese food and a great ambiance for a romantic dinner, but Hana Zen delivers just that, and more. Letâ€™s first look at the two locations of the restaurant that could very well be startling opposite of each other. One branch is in Union Square, and caters to the mainstream crowd of office workers, locals, and tourists who would like to dine and have business lunches. The other location is on Pier 39, a picturesque setting for a dinner by the bay or a dinner at the water front. Both locations give the visitor the authentic feel very much like a place you might find in a Japanese capital, yet thereâ€™s something very familiar and comfortable about the place for anyone, even first time visitors. Pull back the door and the quiet elegance of lacquered wood and high, varnished walls. A bar runs the length of the room, and the
quaint atmosphere in both locations make Hana Zen possibly the most discreet and cozy yet public dining space in San Francisco. The choices in the menu are diverse, with the sushi and special rolls emerging as bestsellers. The variety of the selections are a welcome treat, especially to visitors who think that Japanese cuisine is only limited to raw fish. For salads, the crowd pleaser is the kaiso salad, made of seaweed with sesame oil dressing. Foie gras is also served, but with a twist â€“ in Japanese nigiri style, with sweet soy and wine sauce. Of course, sushi is in the menu, but people who are just getting into Japanese cuisine would be surprised to be presented with so many options, from maguro (tuna), saba (mackerel), ebi (shrimp), ika (squid), and a lot more sushi nigiri varieties. Sushi rolls include California roll, spicy tuna roll, the locallyinspired San Francisco roll (made of boiled shrimp, asparagus, and flavored with Japanese mayonnaise), and the bestseller kamikaze roll (where customers can choose between tuna or yellowtail with tobiko, scallions, and a refreshing ingredient - avocado). Japanese staples, including sashimi, tempura, yakitori, ramen, and rice dishes are present in the menu as well. A must-try for people who want to have a good time are the sake-infused cocktails. The staff at both locations are cheerful, eager, accommodating, and particularly knowledgeable about the restaurantsâ€™ offerings, whether the food or the exquisite sake recommendations. The cost of everything, from the cozy but comfortable ambience to the special drinks and the sumptuous menu, is quite reasonable. For a broad exposure to the joys of Japanese food in a relaxed setting, going to Hana Zen is definitely worth a visit. Article Source: http://hanazenrestaurantblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/hana-zen-japanese-san-franciscostyle.html
Published on Aug 13, 2012
Given that the Japanese are known for their exotic cuisine, it may be a challenge to see a restaurant that successfully fuses it with Americ...