I headed out to 185 Orchard Street to attend the opening of the HaChi Japanese/French fusion restaurant immediately after reading a New York Times article about Marshall McLuhan’s centennial birthday. I bet that I was the only person waiting for admittance while standing on a red carpet who was thinking about the year 1911. In 1911, my grandparents were Lower East Side inhabiting immigrants who could have walked over the very red carpet covered Orchard Street spot where I stood. What would they have thought of new Japanese/French fusion restaurant located in a spanking new postmodern building which also houses a German bakery?
On second thought, maybe that is not a good question; 1911 lower east side Jewish immigrants didn’t know sushi. But moi–their descendant who understands the juxtaposition of tenements which were built in my grandparents’ day, fanciful postmodern architecture, German bread, and Japanese/French fused food in terms of McLuhan’s term “global village”—absolutely loves sushi. I loved my evening at HaChi Restaurant!
Various kinds of wine were flowing. Different sushi rolls to die for were passed around throughout the event. Delicious appetizers such as sea bass balls and succulent eggplant was served on white ceramic spoons. I especially enjoyed the big cone shaped seaweed, fish, and rice concoctions which were made to order for guests. The food simply could not have been better. The only problem was that the event ended. I mean I could happily spend my entire life in HaChi Restaurant eating sushi and great appetizers. Although I fully realize that this thought is pushing it, I wished that I could have used a circa 1911 lower eat side Jewish immigrant pushcart to bring some sushi home.
I appreciated the restaurant’s creative design. An exaggeratedly large white leather love seat was placed in the middle of a square room surrounded by gray metallic walls emblazoned with protruding lights. The space was enlarged by a loft-like open second floor area whose border was accented by purple neon lights. Purple and aqua illuminated hanging fixtures placed above the bar area nicely evoked the neon border. The open kitchen worked well with the open bar area separated by moveable glass partitions adorned with painted roses. The space, in summary, exudes creative post-modernity and proclaims that HaChi Restaurant radically departs from the Orchard Street that my grandparents called home.
Let me linguistically sum up in terms of the whole global village conglomeration which marks the new presence of HaChi Restaurant on Orchard Street. My grandparents would have said mazel tov; the owners of the German bakery would say alles gut; the French members of the French/Japanese fusion would say bonne chance. I have no idea how to say congratulations or good luck in Japanese. Sayonara is the only Japanese word I know; I was sad when the sayonara time end of the event was at hand. I left HaChi Restaurant at once appreciating the wonderful evening I enjoyed and simply in plain English wishing the new restaurant well.
– Marleen Barr
185 Orchard Street
New York, NY
Photos via AMP3 PR