Mon-Fri, 11:45am-2:45pm and 5:30pm-10pm; Sat, 5pm-10pm; Sun, closed
4, 5, 6, 7, S at Grand Central-42nd St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
42nd St. to 52nd St., Third Ave. to Madison Ave.
Since 1976, Hatsuhana, or "cherry blossom," has served scrumptious sushi and sashimi at its two Midtown East locations. Both places sport blond-wood sushi bars and traditional Japanese lanterns; the bi-level 48th Street location is more upscale and clubby. The clientele, impeccably dressed Japanese and American businesspeople, look like they demand the best. If possible, sit at the bar and trust the chef's recommendations. He'll whisper when the scallops arrived from Maine, the yellowtail from Japan. He'll reveal where the tuna recently swam—perhaps off the coast of Spain or New England or the Indian Ocean, depending on the season. Local swimmers are delivered daily and at least 25 percent of the priceless stock is airlifted in twice a week from Tokyo's legendary markets. The fish, served on a long Hawaiian ti leaf, is meltingly fresh and expertly cut to effortlessly dissolve on the tongue. For those who want something cooked, grilled skewered pork slices are sinfully rich and layered with crispy fat. Tempura, featuring deftly fried shrimp, lotus and taro roots, pumpkin, broccoli and carrots, is well above average. But the epiphany seeker should stick with the phenomenal raw fish.Prix-Fixe Menu
Sushi dinner, $27.50; sashimi dinner, $29.50; tempura dinner, $26.75