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1011011438720210151Escape to the Verde Valley in the comfort of our luxurious eight passenger excursion limo. Visit tasting rooms, sample wine and explore local vineyards.Reserve a tour today at 480.528.2834 or visit for additional information. Private tours also available throughout Arizona's wine country.Ask about our evening wine bar excursions in Phoenix and Scottsdale!?our. ?aste. ?ravel in ?tyle. $19.95Subscribe TODAY!Never miss an issue ofARIZONA VINES &

use, with more reasonable prices found at Hana. Looking for something special? With advance notice, Hana will strive to make sure your favorites are available when you come in (as they kindly did with our requests for uni, miru-gai, and ankimo). Don't eat raw fish? There is a color-coded menu to direct you to cooked seafood dishes. Not a fan of seafood? Order the Hana Katsu, a golden breaded chicken cutlet stuffed with mom's Koso garlic-herb butter, or the juicy Hana Gyuniku, a generous 8-oz grade ribeye topped with sautéed onions and served with Japanese vegetables; a perfect excuse to bring an Arizona red. Hana is also open weekdays 11 am to 2:30 and lunch is the perfect opportunity to perhaps try one of the nine Bento Box selections in addition to the lunch menu.Christina Barrueta is an avid Chowhound, passionate about food, wine and spirits. A transplant from Boston, she loves finding new locations to whet her appetite. You may follow her as Rubee on or @Rubee100 on Twitter.texture with the custard-like uni encased in a delicate tempura shell. Ankimo (monkfish liver) was steamed into creamy tenderness, sliced into rounds, and garnished with togarashi daikon relish, scallions, and black sesame seeds - another colorful plate. Fat scallops unadorned and sautéed simply in butter were perfectly cooked, plump and juicy. "Melts in your mouth" we agreed when we savored quick-seared slices of toro tataki attractively shingled on a glass plate with garlic chips and tataki sauce. With tai ishi-yaki, translucent slices of raw tai (red snapper) with daikon and shiso were set over a cooking grate in a bowl filled with hot river stones. As Chef Kaz poured sake over the stones and quickly covered the bowl for a few brief seconds, the fragrant steam flavored and lightly cooked the fish. Wrapped in shiso leaves and dipped in tataki sauce, this was divine. Another outstanding preparation with this mellow white fish was the interactive tai miso-yaki using a tabletop grill to cook tai on a hoba (Japanese magnolia) leaf with an umami-rich salty-sweet miso glaze.After such a feast, you may want to try one of the six desserts Hana offers, including green tea, strawberry, or mango mochi (ice cream wrapped in soft sweet rice dough) or the traditional Japanese an mitsu with aloe jelly, fruit, red bean paste, and ice cream. A wonderful bonus is that Hana is BYOB with no corkage fee. While sake or Japanese beer is an obvious choice, I've enjoyed pairing wines to see which ones are pleasant partners with the variety of dishes in Japanese cuisine, and our refreshing and well-balanced Arizona whites are especially nice. I loved Canelo Hills Sparkling Chardonnay with the clean pure flavors of sashimi, and whites such as Arizona Stronghold's Tazi, Kief-Joshua Chenin Blanc, and Javelina Leap Sauvignon Blanc paired nicely with a variety of cooked and fried dishes. On my last visit, a lighter non-Arizona pinot noir was a lovely surprise with richer dishes such as ankimo and toro tataki.With a large selection of fresh seafood, sushi rolls, soups, grilled dishes, and daily specials, Hana has something that will appeal to all. The super-friendly and knowledgeable staff will answer any questions you may have and make suggestions. As Chef Koji has been training since he was 17, over the years he has fostered a close relationship with the same fresh seafood purveyors that high-end sushi restaurants Hana Japanese Eatery5524 North 7th AvenuePhoenix, AZ 85013 602.973.1238www.HanaJapaneseEatery.comThere is a gift to preparing food in ways that best capture the texture and flavor of each ingredient, and the Hana family surely has it. Using a combination of ingredients that harmonize and complement each other, this warm and friendly spot showcases the hallmarks of Japanese cuisine: simplicity and purity, freshness and quality. Hana easily puts to rest the myth that spectacularly fresh seafood can't be found in the desert, and I'm happy to return again and again to this well-loved "flower".Live UniTai Miso-Yaki