SUSHI HANA MORPHS INTO ‘AMAZE’ ASIAN FUSION

New owners have taken over Sushi Hana at 466 Amsterdam Avenue (82nd) and have turned the restaurant into a fusion spot called Amaze, serving Chinese and Thai food as well as Japanese cuisine like sushi. The restaurant opened today.

Sushi Hana closed a little over a week ago, telling customers in a note on the gate that they were doing “some cleaning in the kitchen.” (photos below) They said they’d be closed from Monday to Wednesday, but clearly the new owners had bigger plans.

Sushi Hana has a mixed reputation, but it was a staple midpriced sushi spot for many Upper West Siders. New York magazine found its quirks appealing: “This moderately sized Japanese spot livens up the vibe with a fluorescent-lit bar serving froufrou drinks and sake bottles employed as decorative accents…The eggplant sandwich is even more inventive, with soft crab between two carpaccio-thin slices of fried eggplant, topped off with salmon, spicy tuna, and creamy Dijon mustard.”

Multiple restaurants that once focused on a single Asian cuisine have become “fusion” spots in the past couple of months, including Ivy’s Chinese Restaurant (now Amcook Fusion) on 72nd, and Hiro @ Ollie’s on 68th, a new concept from Chinese chain Ollie’s. Owners seem to think that Upper West Siders simply can’t choose one Asian cuisine when they go out for dinner. And here we thought the whole fusion craze died out in the 1990’s.

If you prefer “fusion” restaurants to Chinese or Japanese ones, please let us know why in the comments below.

Thanks to Rebecca Frey for the Amaze photo and tip.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 4 comments | permalink
    1. Liz says:

      Sometimes fusion works really well such as La Caridad on Broadway and 78th St. Other times — not so much.

      Fusion can be like multitasking. Instead of doing one thing really well you just wind up doing several things poorly.

      Let’s see what happens. Meantime let’s save Big Nick’s – a real tradition on the Upper West Side.

      • Cato says:

        Hear, hear on Big Nick’s!

        As for La Caridad, Flor de Mayo and other places once perhaps-inaccurately known as “Cuban Chinese”: They are “fusion” only because the operators are people of one heritage (Chinese) who grew up in another culture (Cuban or Peruvian), and therefore are versed in the cuisines of both.

        Unlike these new Chinese/Japanese/Thai/”Asian” places, they don’t operate on the assumption that we locals can’t tell the difference between the types of cuisine they offer.

        Besides, I’ll bet that the people who operate La Caridad or Flor de Mayo would *never* refer to their offerings as “fusion”.

    2. jen says:

      Sushi Hana used to be good, but had gone way downhill. Is it definitely new owners? I much prefer single cuisine to fusion – we don’t have enough good, reasonably priced japanese restaurants on UWS.

    3. Anna says:

      Weird – ordered delivery from them tonight – same menu, same sushi (2008 roll lives on!). They even just plastered the “AMAZE” decal on to of the old “Sushi Hana” logo on the windows. Are they just trying to distance themselves from old DOH violations?