My husband and I have been eating sushi since we were kids (we grew up in LA) and will not support a restaurant that serves questionable fish, has less than excellent service or charges too much for good food and the saki we like (which is not the most expensive by the way). We never go anywhere but Hanabi and we eat there AT LEAST once a week. It is a family owned and run restaurant and they truly want every customer to leave happy. Unfortunately, in the beginning, they were taken advantage of by a sushi chef who has worked in every single sushi restaurant in town. If you didn't buy him saki he would give you bad fish. As soon as that was discovered he was fired. So, to the person who wrote the first review, I would encourage you to go back and talk to Jason and tell him what happened. He will make it right. We really love this place. The prices are surprisingly reasonable for the quality of fish they have access to. Also, our favorite saki (cold) is $7 there and almost double at Yanagi. The same saki is $16 in Santa Barbara. My parents owned a restaurant for many years so I am especially offended by being overcharged for anything for no good reason. By the way, I have ordered a party tray for my Mom's birthday for the last 4 years and she is always delighted. These are few of the reasons we rate Hanabi as our favorite restaurant:
1. Excellent fresh fish. Mr. Cui has some amazing connection in spite of being a small restaurant.
2. Service beyond compare. They remember what you like or don't like or are allergic to (VERY important!). We go there so often that when we pull up (into their ON-SITE parking), by the time we walk in our favorite seats are set with water, edamame and a saki. Nice.
3. They have a "party" room for college students / karaoke, with a door they close so the other diners are not disturbed.
4. They only buy Uni if it's good. Otherwise it's "not available". This is VERY important to my husband!
5. Everyone who works there genuinely cares. If you are sick Mrs. Cui will make you something magical that will make you feel better.
6. I actually can't think of a time I have not left feeling better than when I arrived.
7. We take all out-of-town visitors there and they have all loved it.
8. Their homemade sauces are the best we have EVER had. The salad dressing is incredible and I wish they sold it by the bottle.
If you are ever in San Luis it would be a tragedy to miss this restaurant. What the heck, tell them Sheree and Tobias sent you. You will be treated like gold. Promise.
P.S. If they have sweet shrimp order it with a hand roll. It's not on the menu but it it the best thing I have ever eaten in my life.
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