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Restaurants & Bars 1

Hanazen, Orinda

anli | Jun 8, 2006 02:55 PM

My daughter and I finally tried this relatively new Japanese restaurant, which was the former site of another Japanese place called Jun Jun. I am not at all sushi-versed and my daughter only likes certain rolls. So our dinner choices were fairly tame: California roll, spider roll, and eel with avocado roll, a shrimp tempura dinner, chicken karaage and spinach in sesame dressing. We overordered and ended up taking home several items. I am happy to say that we have found our "go to" place when we have a craving for Japanese. Everything was fresh and well executed. The standout for me was the chicken karaage, chucks of lightly breaded breast meat, juicy inside and crisp outside, an excellent rendition, and very reasonable at $7.50 for basically a whole breast. There are specials on the board that list the fresh items of the day: there were fried oyster, mussel and giant clam featured, as well as several types of fish. The menu has a variety of sashimi, 3 set dinners of tempura, salmon teriyaki and chicken teriyaki and Chirashi sushi options.

The room is peaceful, with a sushi bar that seats 5 or 6. On an early Wed. evening there were 3 young Japanese ladies at the sushi bar and a couple, who seemed to be regulars.

The bill came to $52 before tip, but what we ordered could have easily fed a 3rd person. We will definitely return to sample more.

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