Restaurant: Haru Sushi – 220 Park Avenue South at 18th Street, Manhattan, New York. They also have other various locations throughout Manhattan.

I’m a big fan of sushi. In fact, I could probably eat it every day if the threat of Mercury poisoning wasn’t a factor. Over the past couple of years I’ve been to some of the various Haru Sushi locations throughout New York City and each time has been a positive experience. Last week, Laura and I headed to the Gramercy Park location to grab some sushi before checking out the Plot Your Escape Concert at Gotham Hall. (Complete side note: Plot Your Escape featured P. Diddy and Mariah Carey. It was a lot of fun with free drinks, food and celebrities, but we felt like we were back in 1998.)

We headed to Haru beforehand because Laura joined the Haru Access program which emails you a $20 gift certificate during your birthday month. (Luckily, Laura’s birthday was only a couple days away and she had her printed out gift certificate in hand.) To our surprise, Haru was having a Sake Hour with discounted drinks and sushi in the bar area. After confirming that we’d still be able to use the gift certificate, we were more than happy to take advantage of this deal.

We ordered:

  • California Roll
  • Avocado Roll
  • Spicy Tuna Roll
  • Crunchy Spicy Salmon Roll
  • Spicy Chicken Teriyaki

As we expected, the rolls were very good. I particularly liked my Crunch Spicy Salmon Roll since I like the slight crunch that accompanies the salmon. The Spicy Chicken Teriyaki was a grilled chicken breast that had a fairly spicy sauce on top of it, accompanied by some steamed vegetables. The dish was nothing special but for the price ($6) we weren’t going to complain. Laura and I split this and it was a nice change from another sushi roll.

Now the disappointing part, when Laura printed out her gift certificate, the bar code did not print. Due to this, they said the gift certificate could not be used and she would have to return at a later date with a print out that included the bar code. We were able to pull up the bar code on her phone but were told that wouldn’t work either. Laura and I weren’t in the mood to argue that much over $20 and I already saw the waiter previously talking with the manager at the register, so I knew any argument would most likely be a waste of time. This was disappointing. We had the gift certificate in our hands (minus the bar code which didn’t print) but were still denied. I realize that Haru probably wants to track the use of these certificates through the bar codes, but why deny someone the birthday discount when they are holding the gift certificate?

The Verdict

Like always, our meal at Haru consisted of pretty standard sushi at decent prices. Dining at the bar during Sake Hour was a nice surprise that we were more than happy to take advantage of since the prices are great. I didn’t know Haru had a happy hour but now that I do, I will most likely be back to check it out again. That being said, the customer service during this visit was terrible. Admittedly, we didn’t put up a fight, but I was amazed when our waiter denied us the use of the gift certificate just because the bar code didn’t print. I’d expect better from any restaurant, especially one with multiple locations throughout the city.

Haru on Urbanspoon