After a stunningly delicious first meal at Hachi, a restaurant that opened last fall in the Mountain View Plaza on Jones just off Spring Mountain, I was full of questions.
How is it possible that tremendous and interesting Japanese restaurants keep opening up all the time? Who would have imagined Raku would be only one of several brilliant izakaya-style eateries along the Chinatown drag? And how is it possible two newish yakitori spots, Hachi and Haza, can coexist just across the street from each other? And most importantly, can we now admit out loud that the larger, more diverse Mountain View Plaza is the true Asian-restaurant-strip-mall champion, beating out the smaller Seoul Plaza on Spring Mountain?
Too many great Asian restaurants is a great problem to have. Along with Asian BBQ & Noodle, Chada Thai & Wine, China Mama, District One and HK Star, Hachi will keep us coming back to Mountain View Plaza for its terrific yakitori meat and vegetable skewers cooked over binchotan charcoal and sublime sashimi and carpaccio plates.
You can find much of this menu at other local Japanese restaurants, but few Chinatown-area dining destinations offer Hachi’s sleek, refined decor, an impressive renovation of a building that used to be a divey sushi bar and, before that, a Vietnamese joint. Hachi’s owners also operate Sushi Twister on Boulder Highway and Ramen Sora on Spring Mountain, but this new project feels like a hidden gem with its cozy booths, natural finishes, handsome sushi bar and glass-encased private dining room.
A nicer restaurant stands out around here, but it wouldn’t matter if the food weren’t great. Hachi’s is. Start cold with the sashimi sampler ($26), comprising thick tiles of fresh fish, and the scallop carpaccio ($10) topped with masago, cherry tomato and micro cilantro with olive oil, white soy and yuzu miso. There’s also a special nigiri “all-star” plate—maybe that’s just what I call it—with fatty otoro, halibut, scallop and uni, definitely worth four bites.
Hachi has a big, broad menu that includes most of your Japanese favorites, ramen to yellowtail collar, menchi katsu (deep fried ground pork) to sukiyaki hot pot. But consider a bottle of cold beer or sake and many smoky grilled skewers of chicken thigh, pork cheek, Wagyu beef and tender duck ($2-$5 per skewer). These addictive meat morsels are imbued with smooth, delicate flavor from that special charcoal, seasoned lightly and served with various dipping sauces that aren’t really necessary because the meats are so good. These skewers, and other smaller dishes like karaage fried chicken thigh ($5.50) and grilled whole squid ($6.75), are the most popular plates here, along with sashimi favorites like jalapeño yellowtail ($10).
I’m still not sure how Las Vegas lucked into so many great Japanese restaurants, but I’m certain Hachi has earned a solid spot in my personal rotation.
Hachi 3410 S. Jones Blvd., 702-227-9300. Daily, 5:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m.