HaChi Restaurant & Lounge
185 Orchard Street
(Between Houston and Stanton Sts.)
Quite apropos to the history of its location in the heart of the Lower East Side comes a new addition of fusion concept and fare in the form of HaChi Restaurant & Lounge, the latest establishment to embrace the gentrification of Orchard Street. Meatpacking-meets-LES in this double-decker Asian-fusion sushi-serving (of course) â€œmodern lounge scene.â€
HaChiâ€™s dÃ©cor is perhaps best described as â€œasian-chic,â€ with careful lighting (more lounge than restaurant) and upstairs seating (more restaurant than lounge). Moreover, a few recognizable Asian florals present upon entry to the venue itself, as well as to the bathrooms.
Beneath a burst of neon-blue â€œrainâ€ exists a fully stocked bar, which promises unique cocktail offerings such as a prized Calamari Martini (apparently involving a 72-hour marinade and spicy aioli) among a more traditional selection of saki, shochu cocktails, beer and wine. Unfortunately this reviewer was not aware of said martini during her visit, but perhaps as it was just the opening, a full 72-hours had not yet passed for sufficient marination.
Food offerings additionally carry out the fusion theme and more than the expected traditional sushi offerings are listed on the menu, as evidenced by special rolls including the â€œScottish Goat,â€ â€œFisherman Wharfâ€ and â€œMama Buddha,â€ which include less-than-expected ingredients such as Jalapeno Salsa (yes, thatâ€™s in the Scottish Goat), rice cracker pine nut and kirin beer dressing (in the Fisherman Wharf), and sun dried tomatoes (Mama Buddha).
If ever there were a neighborhood for taking risks and fusing cultures, the LES is certainly it. With an ambitious menu and promising location, HaChi may just have us returning to the static rain if for no other reason than to at least order the ominous Calamari Martini.