Our local Burke Mountain Sushi place named Hiraku opened not too long ago. We like to think of ourselves as “foodies” and Sushi is one of those cuisines that we respect and hold high expectations to deliver fresh, quality ingredients. We have never enjoyed the "all you can eat” sushi restaurants or the low-priced, low-quality, “you get what you pay for” sushi joints, although we have tried them.
We were little skeptical to try this new restaurant as we were very happy with our previous sushi place, but given the fact that Hiraku is walking distance to our home, we decided to give it a try. The first thing we noticed, was the traditional welcome that we expect from a true Japanese sushi restaurant, the minute we walked through the door we were loudly and happily greeted by all the staff. The staff is always super friendly and makes sure you are greeted and given and amazing farewell every time. They understand that customer service is one of the traditions of a good Sushi restaurant and they deliver every time.
We love everything we have tried on the menu and it has quickly become our go to Sushi place. One of my favorite things about the menu, is the fact that they charge you extra for real crab, let me explain this to you. In order to make sushi more affordable, most sushi restaurants have substituted real crab for “surimi”. Surimi is the lean meat from white fleshed fish such as Pollock that is pulverized into a thick paste. The gelatinous paste can then be combined with various additives to become fake crab. I love the fact that they are letting you know that if you order a California roll, you will not be eating nice fresh crab unless you substitute it with the real thing. That is the beauty; I do not know any other restaurant that does that….disclosure and awareness. The message: We will give you what you think is a California roll at a reasonable price but we can also give you the most delicious, real, traditional California roll. Love it! They also offer a substitution for black rice. Black rice was proclaimed as a 'superfood' worldwide largely thanks to an important piece of research by Dr. Zhimin Xu, titled "Black rice rivals pricey blueberries as source of healthful antioxidants".
The food here is amazing, fresh, good quality ingredients and we keep coming back for more. However, the food is not the reason why I am blogging about Hiraku, it’s the people. As a local realtor, who lives and works in Burke Mountain, we come across many small business owners that make our community that much better, and the people at Hiraku Sushi are just those type of people.
Even though I am a loyal customer, we do not go in there enough yet, for them to know us. Last week, we ordered take out from there. I got there a little earlier than expected and well before my order was ready. I decided to sit by the sushi bar and check some e-mails on my phone. I was greeted by the 2 sushi chefs and one of them asked me what I had ordered. I assumed he wanted to know which order was mine. He then proceeded to ask me if I liked California roll, which I thought was strange but I replied with a positive yes. As I looked down at my phone to look at an email from a client, I was suddenly greeted by a California cone “on the house” by the sushi chefs. He smiled and said to me “while you wait for your order”……..wow! A random act of kindness! At a time that could not have been better, since I was starving and could not wait to get home and get my sushi on, lol.
I was blown away by the kindness and the little personal touch. What was even more shocking is the fact that a few weeks ago, this place was broken into and the vandals broke the front door, creating not only stress but an added cost to this new business at a time when they are highly leveraged and have spent plenty of money on all their equipment and set up costs. At a time when this business is trying to recover the costs of fixing the damage the vandals did, you would think that giving away food would be at the bottom of their priority and yet that is exactly what they did for me. Needless to say, they have now made a huge fan out of me and have taught me a valuable lesson not only in business but as a member of our community. Talk about good Karma. I wish them all the best and I will continue to support a restaurant that not only serves amazing food but delivers that personal touch to make and expand their fan base.