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sakura bana


eyedoc
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I drove by Sakura Bana yesterday and it didn't seem to be open yet.    See you at Cafe Panache, as I am taking my husband there for his birthday on Wednesday evening  :raz:

plan b. going to lorenas in maplewood instead

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We went in, sat at the sushi bar on the second night they opened. The decor is pleasant but nothing extravagant like the place 2 doors down.

Prices are way up, and I didn't think they were on par as before. One of waitresses didn't know what "MP" meant next to the toro listing. She came back and explained market price but wasn't sure what the amount was somewhere arount $13 or $14 dollars.

They gained about 14 more seats and added just one more sushi chef, not sure that will make good sense.

They also do a big take out business there, but they made it even more difficult for both the staff and the customers, not very functiona

food was so, so...chalk it up to it only being the second day

Denise

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I never went to the pre-renovations Sakura Bana, but we dropped in last night. I have to say I was pretty unimpressed. The high points were the special soft shell crab roll and the lobster sashimi. Everything else was pretty much middle-of-the-road. Regarding the lobster sashimi, it was really just the sashimi that was good. The miso soup they made with the remainder of the lobster was pretty disappointing. That miso soup was one of the things I was looking forward to having.

We ordered a mixed tempura for the kids and it showed up barely warm. Their cold soba noodles were very average.

I ordered sashimi a la carte and just was not impressed with the quality of the fish and especially not with the size of the pieces. Very stingy!

Their wasabi was awful! Hardly any actual wasabi in there... just a bunch of white horseradish.

This just makes me appreciate Koyama in Cliffside Park that much more. They always deliver on the sushi and sashimi there. Their wasabi is usually a very mild and creamy grind with (I think!) lots of the real root in there and probably not cut with much regular horseradish.

Two adults, two kids (4&7) -> $156 and I was not very full. Blah.

The service was fairly good though you could tell they were struggling to keep up. I feel bad about being critical of the place because the waitresses sang a very nice happy birthday for my daughter and gave her an ice cream on the house.

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  • 10 months later...

I'm so sad that I need to chime in on the negative side here. I'd only gone back once prior since their reopening, but I didn't order anything "interesting" as my sister wanted a bunch of rolls so I shared with her. I believe someone had ordered the una ju which was still good then.

Tonight, I thought we'd be in for a treat to munch here once more. We were all terribly disappointed. Quite frankly, it appeared as if it'd been sold off to a non-Japanese owner. The sashimi quality was like your average sushi joint around the block. I ordered the chirashi which was just horrible. I've personally never had it with cuttlefish(?) and there was a ton of it. All of it unchewable and tasteless. There was no salmon roe either!! I'd never experienced that before anywhere. They put a small spoonful of flying fish roe in its place. The fish pieces were tiny slivers of blah and a paltry amount at that. And a good quarter of the bowl was shaved radish and the biggest lump of ginger ever. It was the type of ginger I only see in the Chinese-owned sushi places too. The una ju was not deliciously fatty. Rather, it was filled with many many MANY bones. The negimaki had "lost weight" and wasn't as tasty as before either. No, I didn't eat *all* of this myself. ;)

Not having been on egullet for a while, I hadn't realized that others had noted this since their reopening. I'm incredibly disappointed. Now where will I go for excellent Japanese food? All the good places seems to be closing shop. =( Didn't Koyama close recently as well? I think this is the place in Cliffside Park that I've heard lots of folks recommend. Or it a different one in CP? Unfortunately, it's a bit of a hike for me. I wonder whether Sakura Bana's 2nd shop that opened in the Palisades Mall had anything to do with this decline in quality. I haven't gone. We didn't recognize any of the waitstaff tonight which was shocking. Not sure about the sushi chefs. Didn't look. Maybe they all left as they were too ashamed to serve this to their loyal customers. ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
We went in, sat at the sushi bar on the second night they opened.  The decor is pleasant but nothing extravagant like the place 2 doors down. 

Prices are way up, and I didn't think they were on par as before.  One of waitresses didn't know what "MP" meant next to the toro listing.  She came back and explained market price but wasn't sure what the amount was somewhere arount $13 or $14 dollars. 

They gained about 14 more seats and added just one more sushi chef, not sure that will make good sense.

They also do a big take out business there, but they made it even more difficult for both the staff and the customers, not very functiona 

food was so, so...chalk it up to it only being the second day

Denise

So, what's the place 2 doors down? Name, likes, dislikes, etc.? Thank you in advance.

Eric

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