Friday, November 18, 2016

Japanese restaurant swims against the tide in Korean-accented Leonia

The Sashimi Lunch at Hashi Sushi & BBQ, soon to be renamed Nakahara Sushi by Chef Fujio Nakahara.


I was both right and wrong when I thought "a new Japanese restaurant" in Leonia a friend mentioned was just another Korean-owned and operated storefront.

After all, that small Bergen County town has experienced the same dramatic changes seen in neighboring Palisades Park and Fort Lee, due to a large number of South Korean immigrants in the last few decades.

Well, Hashi Sushi & BBQ on Broad Avenue is Korean-owned, but the Japanese chef who prepares the wonderful sushi and sashimi, Fujio Nakahara, is poised to become the new owner in about 10 days.

He'll also be changing the name to Nakahara Sushi.

Chef Fujio Nakahara.

Yakiniku and omakase

The chef will continue to offer yakiniku -- Japanese for grilled meat -- including fatty wagyu beef, filet mignon and other prime cuts.

The intensely marbled wagyu is priced at $100 for 2 people and $200 for 4.

The menu also offers omakase, the chef's choice of five to 10 courses of fresh fish and seafood, priced from $60 to $100 a person with a minimum of two orders.

Omakase sushi starts at $40.

Of course, we were there for lunch, and I got what I wanted: 

Great shashimi (slices of raw fish) with pungent wasabi, a small bowl of miso soup, another of rice and several cups of hot tea ($15).

When we arrived after 1 on Thursday afternoon, only one other table was occupied, so we had the full attention of one of the servers.

I also liked the soundtrack of modern jazz.

My friend ordered the Sushi Mini Udon Combo from the lunch menu ($15), above and below.

From the dessert menu, my friend ordered Matcha Mousse ($6).

Some of the tables in the dining room have grills that use charcoal, above and below.

Hashi Sushi & BBQ opened last January. The name will change to Nakahara Sushi at the end of this month.


Hashi Sushi & BBQ, 299 Broad Ave., Leonia; 201-482-4358. BYO, closed Mondays, free parking on street or in a nearby municipal lot.

Open for lunch Tuesdays to Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and for dinner from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Call for weekend hours.

Hashi Sushi & BBQ also has a Facebook page.

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