Restaurants attached to suburban grocery stores are rarely considered dining destinations. While it can be argued that Hakatamon, a Japanese eatery physically connected to Asian mega-market Uwajimya, might get a pass for being contextually appropriate, that would be dismissive of the work they do there. The less-than-intimate space won’t win any interior design awards. But the pleasant and friendly staffers serve up well-represented Japanese standards such as sushi and tempura, as well as a broad selection of more obscure fare. Hakatamon’s sushi is elegantly assembled and generously portioned, the tempura airy and crisp. A big draw are the udon noodles, made fresh and cut on the premises, available hot or cold, in soup or stir-fried. Japanese curry here is a mild, beefy gravy that is lovely over rice but transcendent accompanying a breaded, deep-fried protein such as the pork or chicken katsu. Just think of the money you’ll save on groceries if you stop here first. (BP)
Signature dish: Hand-made udon noodles in hot soup with a variety of ingredients. Try the grated mountain potato and a raw quail egg for hug-from-the-inside comfort food.
Standouts: Unagi-don , grilled eel served over a layer of fried egg and rice in a bowl. Any of their salt-grilled fish dishes.
Regrets: The interior is utilitarian at best.