Japanese >Hana Zen Sushi & Yakitori Bar
115 Cyril Magnin St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 94102-212937.785633 -122.409005
Neighborhoods: Northeast, Tenderloin
Lively Japanese restaurant plies Union Square tourists and late-night diners with sushi, yakitori and sake cocktails. – In Short
The birds-eye view onto Cyril Magnin Street attracts a steady flow of lunch and dinner traffic to this busy second-floor spot. To the right side of the restaurant, diners enjoy quicker service at the sushi bar and a few small tables while on the left, larger parties linger around banquet tables. The menu, including lightly salted skewers of beef, chicken or salmon and, fat sushi rolls, is also offered at the bar.
Not knowing how to treat customers – I brought my family to this palce for the dinner. Everyone expected someting good and different, but the hostess "mechanically" asked us to wait until 5:00pm when the service begins. She didn't bear any smile nor eye-contact to us while moving around the narrow hallway. After waiting 20 minutes, I totally lost my appetite when she asked us to sit at the sushi bar after giving a table to a party who came later than us. She was very stingy in saying "sorry" until we turned back toward the door.
Best yakitori! – Hana Zen is unique in term of its offering of kushi (skewered foods). The eggplant, chicken, filet, and scallops are excellent. The sake list is also extensive with many good choices. The sushi, however, is just so so, and my wife and I are always amazed at how many people order the sushi as opposed to the yakitori.
Yummy Sushi – We had lunch at Hana Zen in August. For lunch on a Saturday, it wasn't at all crowded. The sushi was great; very authentic and very fresh. Service was good too. Things were a little pricey, but not surprising considering the location. Best features were the authenticity (I'm part Japanese so I think it's cool when there are actually JAPANESE people making the sushi) and the trendy decor. It's a great place for lunch.
Horrible service – This was a tough call. On one hand, the food was good. Just okay, nothing outstanding as far as sushi goes. I've had better. I received some of the worst service ever. My server did not even greet me for 20 minutes and her service is best described as hostile! I ordered a spicy tuna roll and a soft shell crab roll. Another twenty minutes. I ordered a philly roll. Another fifteen minutes and fifteen minutes more for the check to arrive. The food and drinks are way overpriced I would never go back there. I'm sure the only reason they are still in business is because they are located in a prime tourist spot.
food and service were great – Warm welcome from the host Myly and great service by Romat(waiter)great food from the sushi bar,sake was great as well.
User review by soul_machine – Prompt seating for lunch but did not even necognize that we made reservations. We ordered an assortment of sushi, sashimi, and rolls. Fish rated from average, yellowtail sashimi; to poor, toro and salmon, rainbow roll. Service was poor. We felt rushed through our meal. I would recommend going elsewhere for lunch unless you limit your choices to hot tea or miso soup, and to do some people-watching from the second-floor perch.
Great Yakitori – We visit SF once a year, and typically try to get to Hana Zen at least once. Tommaso's is our favorite but Hana Zen has great yakitori. The salmon wrapped in bacon is superb, we also enjoy the asparagus maki. It's expensive, but if you order some California rolls, miso soup and salads to go with it 2 people can eat well for under $45. Service has always been good for us, but they do have off nights. They could also use an upgrade to the decor, it's getting shabby looking.
Great sushi! Service was lacking... – The sushi here was among the best I've tasted anywhere. But the service was frustratingly slow. Our server walked past us over and over again and simply would never make eye contact -- seemed much too busy with a larger table that was ordering more sushi. When it was time to leave, it was very difficult to get her attention. We apparently weren't the only ones... the guy in the table next to us lost patience, eventually got up and walked up to her with his credit card in hand before she finally closed him out.
Fantastic sushi and atmosphere! – I came here from NYC to visit my friend and I can say that this is the best tasting sushi I have ever eaten west of the Mississippi. Sure it's a little pricey but I'm a firm believer of getting what you pay for. Actually our bill probably would have been a lot cheaper if we hadn't kept on ordering more rolls after we finished our first round. The sashimi was fresh and delicious and the rolls were just perfect. (I recommend the 49ers roll.) The service was quick and the staff was very friendly and easy on the eyes no less. Very nice atmosphere and great location, around (or in?) Union Sq.
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