Sometimes I walk by a place and think “I should go there,” and so I do. Nice to have friends who are so accomodating I’ve heard of Haru a number of times, including from FeistySis, who’s said she’d gone to the opening of a midtown location (a friend of her had a hand in designing the space), and enjoyed the food. So why not?
We started off with an appetizer of red and white tuna tartare with miso lemon sauce ($9.50). The sauce itself was really, really delicious – I immediately started trying to figure out how to make it at home – while the tunas were both very silky smooth. I love white tuna, so no surprise there, but the regular tuna surprised me – I liked this dish a lot and had to try to prevent myself from inhaling it all.
One of the special rolls…
There was mango and I want to say spicy-ish crawfish inside it; I think this was the Mama Jamma roll? What I do remember is that it was really good. The mango wasn’t as overwhelmingly present as I’d have thought, but played nicely against the creemy-sauced crawfish, and the texture overall was just right: crunchy, creamy, with the sticky vinegary rice playing background to everything. Yum!
Tangerine duck salad ($9.50) looked a little shy on duck, but digging through the top layers of greens and sliced almonds revealed plenty of duck, plenty of taste. The tangerines weren’t as juicy and sweet as I’d have liked, but everything combined made for a yummy salad. I deferred most of this to my dining companion, because I was busy eating…
…black cod miso with grilled asparagus ($12.75) is a weakness of mine, even knowing how to make my own very yummy version. Haru’s version is great – grilled so that the outside boasts crisp/burnt edges with a boost of flavor, and the sauce is on the side for your own dipping application. Again, very happy with the sauce here; luckily, my dining companion was all too happy to focus on the duck salad while I concentrated on eating the black cod. NOM.
Then, just to round out the meal, we ordered two pieces each of three different ‘sushi menu’ items: super white tuna (the big rectangles on the left of the plate; I was confused, too), inari (fried tofu pockets that are soaked in a sweet mixture, then stuffed with sushi rice) and eel nigiri. This was all super FAIL. The tuna was, oddly, cut into very thin long sheets, which changed the taste drastically and not in a good way. The inari was fairly standard – didn’t stand out as awful but wasn’t the deliciousness I’m used to, either… and the eel was even slightly overcooked, crunchy and dry in areas, which no amount of sauce could save. Unfortunate, because up to this point, every dish had been yummy.
Yvo says: I was really surprised by how good everything before the last dish was; I didn’t realize I was harboring some sort of negative impression of what the place might be. I really enjoyed all the food (minus the sushi menu bit at the end)… and the prices were really quite reasonable for how much food we got, and the quality. I would definitely go back, and avoid ordering sushi next time… (yes, I know, the roll is technically sushi, but from a different part of the menu!)
recommended for appetizers and non-sushi items