I had my first postpartum sushi at Hanabi with Jenn and Baby J, and I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. It just didn't taste right. I thought perhaps all the pregnancy hormones were messing with my palate, but my disappointment was confirmed last week after I learned this little nugget of knowledge from our friend D, via Gus.
D is Chinese. D went to Hanabi and heard the employees speaking Chinese, so he began asking about their business. It turns out that Hanabi is owned by a company out of New York that goes around opening Japanese restaurants in towns of less than 100,000 people. Essentially, Hanabi is a chain restaurant. Twice a week C and D grade fish is flown into Duluth from New York and then sold at A grade prices to the unsuspecting residents of Duluth.
While I can't say that it was the worst sushi I have ever had because that statement is reserved for the place in Minneapolis that gave me food poisoning and has since closed, for what it is, it costs to much. It's a pretty slick idea on the part of this company though because people around here think it is fantastic. I'm certainly not going to boycott the place since I can't imagine that Zen House or the new Osaka has better fish (although this is purely speculation at this point since I haven't experienced either), I just wish Hanabi cost less.