Being a bit out of the way for tourists in Newburyport is good news for locals, because if Hana Japan were downtown it would be mobbed. I've been in several times to get takeout, and even with just the locals frequenting Hana Japan, it seems busier and busier every time I go.
The sushi is the best around. The spicy scallop roll in particular is my favorite. Also don't miss out on the Hana Japan Ribs -- they are unbelievable. All of the entrees we've tried have also been excellent (if a bit small on the portion size). The restaurant is on the smaller size, but is tastefully decorated with traditional Japanese items reflecting the owners' heritage (the insignia from the famous sushi school in Japan that the chef trained at is even stenciled onto the sushi bar), and has a warm inviting vibe.
The sushi chef/owner really knows his stuff here, and puts great care and skill into the sushi and the presentation (even for takeout). Watching him work he seems like a cross between a chef, skilled craftsman, and artist, as everything is done in a certain way, and has to be done perfectly. It always takes a little longer than they tell you to get takeout orders ready because of this, but the very nice waitresses (all dressed in authentic kimonos) will guide you over to a sushi bar seat and bring you tea while you wait. I can't wait to actually dine in this place someday, as they have Hot Pot on the menu (dine in only) which I've always wanted to try.
For very high quality and expertly prepared sushi and Japanese cuisine, I can't think of any place on the North Shore that's better. There's something special happening in this little shopping plaza on the outskirts of Newburyport...don't miss it!
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