101 Golf Course Drive
Rohnert Park, CA
Tel. +1 707-586-0270
BY ANTONIO GALLONI | FEBRUARY 24, 2017
Sushi Hand Rolls
A completely unassuming strip mall in Rohnert Park right off
Highway 101 might seem like an unusual place to find top-notch sushi, but
locals and well-informed visitors alike swear by Hana as one of the best spots
in all of northern California.
I had been to Hana once before and enjoyed a fabulous dinner.
Following the advice of a regular, this time we booked a seat at the sushi counter
and let Chef Taka do all the rest. What followed was a seemingly endless succession
of fabulous sashimi, sushi and hand rolls. Eating at Chef Taka’s counter is
more than a meal; it is culture and an education as well. Chef Taka presents every
course with a brief explanation that highlights the unique qualities of each
fish, where it is from, how it has been handled in the restaurant, and variety
of other details that speak to an extraordinary dedication to the craft. It’s
hardly a surprise that Hana is a regular stop for some of America’s most
successful and well-known chefs.
Chef Taka’s Sashimi
Platter for Two
The sashimi platter alone is tremendous. The various fish
taste like they were just plucked out of the ocean. I have too many favorites
to single out highlights. A series of sushi follows, served as a series of
small tastes, two to four pieces at a time. Chef Taka admonishes us rather
sternly that we are not to add soy sauce to the sushi – he will do it for us,
as each preparation warrants. I admire his passion and conviction. A platter of
Japanese Bluefin tuna served four ways is the pinnacle of the evening. Tasty
morsels from the back, cheek, center belly and collar are all sublime. Chef
Taka explains that a 380 lb. tuna gives him just six portions of collar meat. A
few hand rolls round out the dinner. Everything is utterly divine.
Chef Taka in action
In keeping with its unassuming neighborhood and location,
Hana is quite informal. Don’t be fooled by appearances. The food is superb.
Hana’s wine list is serviceable, but clearly not a focus. I prefer beer,
especially after a long day of tastings, so that is not too much of an issue
for me, but readers who want to drink something special should plan on bringing
their own bottles.
Dinner at Chef Taka’s counter is not inexpensive (our bill
was about $400 for two), but it is worth every penny. Judging by the looks from
other nearby seats and tables, I can only surmise quite a few guests would have
also very much enjoyed the experience.
Japanese Bluefin tuna,
Hana is convenient to Sonoma wine country,
making it a great place to stop by after a day of tastings. The drive is about
15 minutes from Sebastopol, 25 minutes from Healdsburg and 40 minutes from the
city of Sonoma. Readers spending time in
and around Sonoma owe themselves at least one visit.