Restaurant: Haruki East
Location: 176 Wayland Ave, Providence, RI 02906
Would I eat there again: Yes
Haruki East is one of the most popular sushi restaurants in the state. It is tastefully decorated, well-staffed, and able to dependably turn out good Japanese cuisine. It has never blown me away, but considering the very reasonable prices (not much more expensive than say Tokyo) it is well worth visiting.
The Haruki group of restaurants has three locations- the original in Cranston, Haruki East in Wayland Square, and Haruki Express just off Thayer Street. Haruki East has a great curved sushi bar that seats ~15, as well as a front room with the ever popular TV/bar setup.
Service is polite if not effusive, waters are kept refilled, and they do have a fun sake list. We dined on an assortment of maki rolls (yellowtail and scallion were particularly tasty) and an udon soup with tempura shrimp and veggies served on the side. Everything was quite good, but a bit less seasoned than I normally prefer. Perhaps Haruki East is just trying to encourage us to appreciate the more subtle flavors in the dishes, which would be a nice change from the usual technique that restaurants take of hitting you over the head with salty, spicy, sweet, and my personal favorite taste, umami.
All in all, Haruki East is a perfectly fine place to eat. Consistently well-prepared food combined with a thoughtful drink list, attractive decor, and a well-trained staff gives Haruki East a pretty high score. Certainly not my favorite, but a restaurant that will stay a part of my dependable eating-out rotation and one that I would certainly recommend to others.