Hana Japanese Eatery

For a one-day event, Devour Phoenix takes up an extraordinary amount of Lori Hashimoto’s time. She’s the driving force behind Hana Japanese Eatery, a wallet-friendly BYOB that’s one of the Valley’s premier Japanese restaurants. How seriously does she take Devour Phoenix? “We think about what to serve all year.”

That won’t surprise Hana’s Devour Phoenix fans. The word has gotten out about the restaurant’s spectacular festival fare. It’s never hard to find Hana’s booth – it’s the one with the longest lines.

Hana is a family affair: stepfather Kaz, mother Kay and brother Rick run the kitchen, while partner Lynn makes sure the whole operation functions smoothly. What does Lori do? “Everything,” she says with a smile.

This year, to mark Hana’s 10-year anniversary in April, the Hashimotos are altering their usual Devour formula. On Saturday, March 4, they’ll set up in the VIP lounge. Lori says they’ll close the restaurant early the day before and work all night on what she promises will be dishes that are “especially memorable.”

She and the family won’t have much time to recuperate. This April, Hana will be expanding into an adjacent storefront. They’re building a new, larger kitchen, and planning a more extensive menu which will eventually feature yakitori, noodles, shabu-shabu and teppanyaki.

Hana Japanese Eatery, 5524 N. Seventh Ave., Phoenix, 602-973- 1238. www.hanajapaneserestaurant.com