Hana Japanese Restaurant
Seattle WA 98102
Super Cheap Japanese on the Hill
By: Steve G
In the Japanese language, Hana can mean one of two things: nose or flower. When applied to the Hana restaurant on Broadway, both meanings are applicable. Being one of the few authentic Japanese restaurants on Capitol Hill, it provides the needed aroma of the Japanese Cuisine. Its value prices are also some of the cheapest you will find in the neighborhood, amidst all the new swanky, modern joints opening up in the area, but don't let the low prices deter you though. This place is truly a gem.
Ambiance is not the highlight of Hana. If you're looking for luxurious decor and fine dining try somewhere else. Hana aims for a more homey appearance and the place seems to cater to locals. Hana offers a decent number of tables, although the actual space is pretty small. Because it is very popular, don't be surprised if there is a little wait before getting seated. The worn floors and rocking chairs might turn away some of people, but the look creates a more unique, lived-in feel. The walls are decorated with a multitude of flyers and posters advertising everything from bands to plays to movies-- if you're lucky you might find something interesting to check out after eating.
We came for lunch and ordered the Curry Katsu-Don and the Tempura Combo . Each meal came with a bowl of miso soup and a small plate of sunomono (Japanese cucumber salad). The miso didn't seem too watered down and it had some real seaweed and tofu in it. The sunomono came with some cucumber and daikon and seemed decent though not too impressive. The tempura was very flaky and tasted good. The combo plate consisted of a couple pieces of fish with an assortment of vegetables and rice. Tempura is deep-fried and it was pleasantly surprising that it wasn't too oily. The curry katsu-don was served with a pork cutlet with rice topped with a very thick curry sauce. The curry by itself was not too spicy, but when mixed with the pork made a fine combination. The only gripe we had was the small serving of pork.
The meals came out to about $6-7 each, which is a great deal for Japanese food. Sure, you can probably find a cheaper deal for teriyaki, but this is the best bang for your buck for sushi and other dishes like Katsu-Don and Chirashi. The sushi is not the cerme de la cerme, but for those prices, it's a great place for cheap eats on Broadway. If you don't believe me, check out the line to Hana. The people have spoken.