Before we headed up to Hayashi, I checked out some reviews on urbanspoon and Yelp. Reviewers were all over the chart, so it was pretty clear there was a 50/50 shot at a good experience. But with an open mind and the hope it would be an "on" night, we walked in the door.
Monday is all night Happy Hour at Hayashi. Half priced house rolls, a couple $$ off speciality rolls and a few drink specials. We were diners #7 and #8 that evening...the main dining room was empty. Foreshadowing?
Our server was prompt and honest. Immediately told us to forgo the Beringer Chardonnay Happy Hour wine for a decent Sauv Blanc. Good call. We quickly ordered Edamame, Spicy Tuna Roll, Smoked Salmon/Cream Cheese/Avocado Roll and (at our server's suggestion) Fried Sweet Potato Roll. I saw complaints about slow food service, but not on this night. Everything was delivered within five minutes. (Which makes me think it was pre-made...but who knows.)
I tend to put sushi into three categories: Fast Food (HEB, Whole Foods, CM), Mid Grade (Imperia, Kenichi) and Premium (Uchi, Piranha). Spicy Tuna? Less than Fast Food. Smoked Salmon? Less than Fast Food. Fried Sweet Potato? Mid Grade for creative combination, but the sweet potato was raw--not fried. Edamame? Premium. Why the low grades? In a head to head competition with Whole Foods (or even HEB) sushi take out--both grocers win. And in that case, I'd rather be at home with a good bottle of wine and my take out sushi.
As we ended the evening, McJazz said "If Rice Thai & Sushi was a "2" this was a "3" because the server was so nice. But I'm not coming back." And he's not that picky. So we keep searching for a Northwest sushi spot that can beat Whole Foods takeout. Otherwise, next time I'm craving sushi, we're heading downtown to my new favorite--Piranha Killer Sushi.
If you've got suggestions, let me know!