Example A: For Dish Gal's first "date" with Z, we started out at Starbucks, closed down the place, and then walked over to the Coolidge Corner Clubhouse and split a sandwich. I think it was turkey?? I can't remember the food, but I can remember the butterflies in my stomach and the text I sent to my roommate when he went to the bathroom. For our second date, we went to Casablanca in Cambridge. What a great spot chosen by my SO, but my nerves were going crazy, so all I remember was picking at my food and pushing it around the plate.
Example B was a Christmas lunch at Haru with coworkers. I hadn't worked at my current job for too long, and I was still in that initial phase where I was focused on keeping up appearances. The one thing I remember was that I put an entire dumpling into my mouth, and it was so hot that it made my eyes water and burnt my whole mouth. I finally had to spit it out into my napkin. Real nice, right!? Sooo awkward!
In any case, Dish Gal headed back to this sushi chain with Z for a Friday night early dinner, and this time, I was paying attention (and waiting for the dumplings to cool down!).
It was empty when we arrived, but I was surprised how this serene restaurant was quite romantic at night. Very low lighting set the mood.We decided to venture out from our ordinary sushi picks by choosing edamame dumplings with mushrooms to start. This was...interesting. Pretty weird mushy texture, and the flavors did not mesh well together. I guess sometimes strange flavor combinations just turn out to be, well, strange..
Next we split their house salad-- which was huge and had nice, dark, leafy lettuce, a change from the usual, glaringly-white iceberg in most Japanese restaurants.
We also shared three sushi rolls. The super dynamite roll ($13), which had tempura-style tuna, freshwater eel, and asparagus with sriracha, spicy mayo and eel sauces, was very flavorful. I had wished it would have been spicier, but it tasted good nonetheless, and was my favorite of the evening.
The Philadelphia roll was your standard, slightly-boring philly roll-- no tricks up Haru's sleeves there. And the spicy crunchy salmon roll was not really all that crunchy-- or spicy.
All in all, its clear that at Haru, you're definitely paying for the atmosphere. If you want decent sushi, you could head to your neighborhood joint. But if you want decent sushi in a sleek and stylish, romantic setting, Haru could be for you.