Healthy and Sane

Birthday celebration at Haru in Boston

March 12th, 2010 · 16 Comments · Boston, restaurant reviews

As you already know, it was my mom’s birthday yesterday and we decided to go out and celebrate it in style. 😉 My mom is not really a foodie. I mean I’m going to assume that most people can enjoy a delicious meal but not all of us think and breathe everything-food 100% of their waking hours (and possibly even in our dreams). Notwithstanding, we let my mom choose the type of restaurant she wanted to go to and I was shocked when she said she wanted to do Japanese. I’ve been craving sushi for ages so I was beyond excited to suggest a few restaurants we could go to. Douzo is one of our favorites in Boston but they don’t take reservations for less than 5 people – scratch that, we’re not taking chances on a birthday night. Haru is a close second in our books and it just happens to be across the street from our place (and of course we were able to reserve a table). Perfect! :)

To start things off, here are a few pictures of the restaurant. The decor is very modern – we all loved that!




All four of us were pretty hungry and could not wait to get our hands, err chopsticks, on some deliciousness. The menu is very extensive, however, and with so many great sounding options it took us a while to make our final choices.

I started with a glass of red zinfandel while everyone else picked fancy cocktails.


I enjoyed my glass of red but everyone else seemed not very impressed with their first round of drinks. Adam and my dad switched to beer after that and my mom got a fantastic pomegranate cosmo.

Adam and I have been to Haru on several occasions (one of which you can read about here) so I had a few favorites I knew I wanted but this was also a great opportunity to try a lot more things and not worry so much about the price (it was a special occasion after all, not just a random Friday night dinner!). After much deliberation, we ordered 4 appetizers to share.

First up: tuna tataki – seared tuna with avocado salad and spicy soy vinaigrette


and grilled spicy garlic shrimp marinated in hot chili sauce


Both dishes were fantastic! The tuna was super tender and flavorful and the ponzu sauce and a lovely salad complemented it quite well. My shrimp was actually really burnt but I enjoyed the sauce and the warm salad it came with. Everyone else really loved the shrimp as well (I think I got a super-charred piece – no biggie).

Next up: miso black cod with grilled asparagus


The miso cod was really incredible. The glaze was really great and it was definitely melt-in-your mouth tender. The sauce it came with was the biggest surprise – I think it had a peanut or tahini base – definitely much thicker and nuttier than I was expecting (I’ve had a few miso cods in my days 😉 ). An excellent dish loved by all!

Lastly, my dad really wanted to get the ceviche – citrus-marinated tuna, salmon and whitefish with grape tomatoes, red onion, avocado and green apples


I have never had ceviche because it always has onions so I was not planning on tasting this one, but due to a misunderstanding, ours came without onions. My dad was disappointed but I was really happy, of course! It appears that the grape tomatoes were missing as well but the green apple slices were still part of the dish and added a really fun sweet element to this dish. In fact the whole dish tasted a bit sweet with a strong orange flavor. I’ve never had ceviche and would expect it to be more lemony but I still really enjoyed this version of it (I’m guessing it was different because they had to make it fresh for us to accommodate the no-onions request so it probably tasted different than it normally does).

Appetizers down – lots of sushi to go! Yeah!!! Btw, how gorgeous is the presentation of all the dishes?!! I love love love how beautiful everything looked (and tasted of course!).

We each ordered our own sushi but also tasted a bit of each others’. I went overboard (as I typically do with sushi) and did not regret my decision for one second! 😀

Strawberry fin – crunchy spicy yellowtail, jalapeno peppers and mango topped with scallops, wasabi tobiko and fresh strawberries

Golden passion roll – charred super white tuna wrapped around asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, cucumber and carrots, topped with yuzu tobiko

+ 1 salmon sushi and 1 tuna sushi


Yes it appears that I have a bottomless stomach when it comes to sushi (and dessert) 😀 Now let’s see a few close-ups…




I’ve tried the strawberry fin maki before and it remained to be the highlight of the sushi portion of our meal for me this time as well. Fruit in sushi is something I have become obsessed with over the past year, and strawberries paired with jalapeno peppers is a combination I never thought would work but is one that I think I can’t live without now. The golden passion roll was also delicious but to be honest because it was dark in the room, I couldn’t see all the ingredients and couldn’t taste them all either. The super white tuna seemed very mellow and disappeared in taste and texture when paired with the crunchy carrots and much stronger flavored shiitake mushrooms. Everything was of the highest quality, however, and if you could believe it I could easily have continued to eat more. Here are some pics of everyone else’s sushi. All four of us were very happy with our meals! 😀 My mom proclaimed at some point that this was comfort food for her. I guess that makes for a successful birthday dinner?



Gold leaves!!!


I wasn’t the only one who could continue eating. My mom was also very happy to browse the dessert menu (what’s a birthday without dessert, right?) and my dad jumped on the dessert ordering wagon and got something as well.

The banana spring roll with a chocolate dipping sauce was the only warm dessert. I guess that’s as close as we could come to cake so my mom and I decided to split it.


The banana was nice and gooey inside but the shell was a little too fried for our taste (I liked it but didn’t love it, my mom didn’t care for it at all). We each had a bite (I may have had 2) and let Adam take care of the rest 😉

My dad got the red bean mochi ice cream, which was actually very nice. My mom and dad dominated it. :)



Happy birthday, mom!!! [I got permission to post this one, right?]


Great, great dinner – I LOVE sushi. I really could eat it every day of my life and be happy. Thank you mom and dad for treating us to dinner! :)

Do you like sushi? What’s your favorite combo?


For other restaurant reviews check out my Restaurant Reviews page. :)

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16 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Beth @ DiningAndDishing

    That all looks so good! I love the idea of strawberries on sushi. I’m all about unique combinations and that’s certainly one I’ve never tried before! :)

  • #2 - Lauren @ Eater not a runner

    I LOVE sushi….anything with salmon :-)

  • #3 - Eve @ nutritionbyeve

    You’re making me really miss sushi!! I mean I can have the cooked stuff, but it’s not the same. I think raw tuna will be involved in one of my first post-pregnancy meals :) Miso cod is one of my all time favorite things it Japanese restaurants, and I’ve recently tried making it several times and it’s so easy to make at home!

  • #4 - Hangry Pants

    Oh my god you look just like your mom. Happy Birthday to her. I like veggie rolls. :)

  • #5 - One Healthy Apple

    I love, love, love sushi! Everything from the presentation to the taste. I am a spicy tuna girl. Give me spicy tuna and I’m happy!

  • #6 - sarah (the SHU box)

    i love that you enjoy dining out as much as i do! strawberries + sushi sounds amazing to me as well.

    and that reminds me: i really want to make a restaurant review page!

  • #7 - sarah (the SHU box)

    oh — and it’s my mom’s bday TODAY! random :)

  • #8 - Shannon (The Daily Balance)

    YUMMMMM! i LOVE suhi. My favorite roll is called the pretty woman — salmon with cream cheese and avocado — topped with kiwi

    yummmmmm 😉

    fruit in sushi is spectacular!

  • #9 - Shannon

    wow, fabulous dinner! you look just like your mom 😉 i am going to have to try this fruit in sushi combo… weren’t we going to have a sushi making party?

  • #10 - Carly

    Sushi is AMAZING! My favorite is a roll called South Pacific – shrimp tempura, roe, and avocado inside, spicy tuna and scallions on top!!! The restaurant I go to is incredibly fresh, which with sushi makes all the difference.
    Happy birthday to your mom, and I’m glad you all had a great time!

  • #11 - Madeline - Greens and Jeans

    You look so much like your mama! It looks like you all had a wonderful birthday dinner!

  • #12 - Quisha

    i’m at a loss for words at how good that sushi looks. douzo is one of the best in the boston area for sushi but haru is pretty great. i haven’t been there in awhile. you’ve re-awakened my senses :)

    happy bday to your mom!!

  • #13 - Kelly

    Yummm that place looks amazing!!

  • #14 - Cara

    I ate there on New Year’s Eve! So good :)

  • #15 - Dominique

    I LOVE sushi. The best sushi experience I’ve ever had was at Kinki, a restaurant in Ottawa. BF and I totally ate in excess and I had the most amazing maki roll with eggplant. I normally hate eggplant (I can’t get over the texture, plus it gave me hives when I was a kid so I normally avoid it) but as soon as BF tried it, he said I HAD to have a piece. It was seriously the most delicious thing I had ever eaten. It’s been 4 years since we were there and I talk about this dinner all the time. BF is so sick of me talking about Kinki and begging him to take me back to Ottawa.

  • #16 - Elina

    Shannon (the daily balance) – the pretty woman sounds fabulous! :)

    Shannon (tri to cook) – yes, let’s have a sushi party!!! I’m going to a sushi class next weekend. Maybe I’ll be a maki rolling expert after that. haha

    Carly – mmmm 😀

    Dominique – eggplant in sushi sounds incredible. I wonder if any restaurants in the area make that. I’ll look out for it… otherwise I may have to make it myself 😆