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Amelia Islander

Hana Japanese Cuisine Sushi & Grill

Jun 11, 2015 04:25PM
Hana Sushi & Grill has been located at the Publix Shopping Center for eight years, but in April 2014, Aaron Liu from New York City purchased the restaurant from the previous owner. Bringing in his own staff and chefs from the Big Apple, Liu also brought New York’s most beloved sushi and combination rolls, treating Amelia Island to some of the best sushi in the country. I joined my friend, Jane, for a mid-afternoon sushi lunch at Hana, and Aaron made some great suggestions on some new menu items. I have a tendency to order the same sushi rolls, so it was a treat to try something new. Jimmy Liu, Hana’s sushi chef, was ready with knives sharpened to create some divine combination rolls. We began our lunch with a glass of Woodbridge Pinot Grigio, which is a good choice with sushi. But Aaron also suggested we share a bottle of Gekkeikan sake, served hot, and it was a pleasant change from what I usually drink with sushi. We started our meal with Salmon Bonsai, a spicy cucumber and crab appetizer that was wrapped in salmon and served with a spicy house special sauce. With the many wonderful and fresh flavors in this dish, and the sauce, there was no need for soy sauce or wasabi, which is always my go-to at most sushi restaurants. What I love about sushi is that all the ingredients are fresh, with clean flavors, so you can taste each one in the dish. Jane and I also tasted Tuna Tartare, which consisted of fresh, raw tuna mixed with a spicy sauce, served with avocado, tobiko, (flying fish roe) and seaweed salad. I loved that this dish was mild and savory, but again, I could taste each ingredient, and all the flavors complemented each other. Seaweed, by the way, is considered to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet, so not only was it delicious with all those fresh sea flavors, it’s also just what the doctor ordered! Our next sushi roll was called Four Seasons, and I would consider this a “main” entrée, as it was very filling and satisfying. It’s named Four Seasons because it is a combination dish that contains spicy tuna, salmon, yellow tail, and crab. The roll is also deep-fried, and each piece has a different topping, so there are different flavors in each piece. Wow! We loved this dish. Aaron next brought us a Crazy Roll, filled with tuna and avocado, with a tempura crunch, served with savory eel sauce. This dish was delicious and fairly mild, so I mixed up a bit of soy sauce and wasabi, and we enjoyed some pickled ginger in between bites to cleanse our palates. I love Hana Sushi’s sweet treats. I usually order Tempura Ice Cream, but this time, Aaron brought us Tempura Cheesecake, served with chocolate sauce, raspberry sauce, whipped cream, and of course, sprinkles. Hana’s cheesecake is cut into bite-sized pieces, and then fried in tempura batter. Two bites for each of us, and it was the perfect ending to our meal. Hana Sushi & Grill is open seven days a week. For more information, visit www.hanasushifl.com or call them at (904) 277-8838.