Kentlands Market Square
    706 Center Point Way

   (301) 947-1284

   Opened Daily

 Reviewer:   Louis P. Solomon

The owner and manager of HaKuBa is Immso Lee. He bought the restaurant about 2 years ago and is always there. He manages and is also the primary sushi chef.

HaKuBa is unusual in its modern décor with only a hint of Japanese influence. They also have seating outside at small tables. Their menu is not unusual. All of the standard Japanese dishes are available. The appetizers include shrimp tempura ($6*), Gyoza (pan fried dumplings at $5*), Edamame (soy beans at $4*), and Yakitori (grilled chicken on skewers at $5*). They have lunch and dinner specials. The lunch specials include selections from the sushi bar ($9-$13*), teriyaki ($6-$7*), tempura ($7-$10*), combinations (beautiful boxes of different foods at $9-$10*), and noodles (both hot and cold at $7-$9*). The dinner specials (all teriyaki) include scallop ($15*), shrimp ($15*), chicken ($16*), shrimp and beef ($19*) and other combinations. All dinners include soup and salad. The salad was crisp and fresh with a ginger dressing that was not too sweet and which I thoroughly enjoyed. The miso soup was really excellent. The prices of HaKuBa are a little higher than other Japanese restaurants for the same types of food. But, HaKuBa provides you more food for the slightly higher prices (only a few dollars).

My wife selected the salmon teriyaki combo ($19*) that included salmon, shrimp tempura, karage (deep fried sesame flavored chicken wing), and a California roll. The karage was excellent. My daughter ordered the chicken teriyaki combo ($19*) that was essentially the same. Neither could finish the entire dish and the remainder served for lunch the next day. I ordered my favorite Japanese dish, Unagi Don (smoked eel with a special sauce served over rice). It was very good. At dinner HaKuBa also serves skiyaki (very thin sliced beef or chicken with vegetables at $17*) and if you order for two, they will cook it at your table ($36*). They also will cook Yosenabe (seafood and a special broth at $36*) and Sabu Sabu (vegetables and noodles where you dip thin sliced beef at $36*).

In addition to the food Mr. Lee has stocked the nice bar with eleven types of Sake. The whole story of sake is complex with a long history in Japan. It is served chilled (not too cold) and warm (not too hot). The alcohol content is relatively high (17%). Sake is wonderful with all types of food. It is one of my favorite drinks. There can be noticeable differences in taste between the different types of sake so try them all!

HaKuBa, under Mr. Lee, is a lovely restaurant. It is for adults, and provides a nice soothing atmosphere, very good service, and a place to enjoy the food and drink of Japan.

September 2005

*Please note! Kentlands Dot Us has no connection with any of the restaurants reviewed.  Prices and hours are listed as a convenience and are accurate as of the date of review, but may have changed at any time.  Consider the prices to be an indication of roughly what dinner might cost at the establishment.

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