My plan was to hit up Haiku this week to take advantage of 614 Restaurant Week. Unfortunately for me, Haiku chose not to participate in Restaurant Week for lunch. Neither Haiku nor 614 Magazine listed this detail on their Web sites, but I did fine paying full price anyway. I'll chalk it up to bad work by their PR staffs.
Haiku is a sushi restaurant with a decent amount of vegetarian options on the menu. The biggest warning for vegetarians dining at Haiku is that the sushi bar absolutely stinks like seafood. If you are bothered by the smell of ocean life, either eat in the part of the restaurant away from the sushi bar or choose another restaurant altogether.
The decor in Haiku is a modern take on Zen style. The art work is modern and Western, but the tables and chairs are somewhat of an Eastern throwback.
The service staff is capable if somewhat inefficient. While the waiter properly addressed my vegetarian concerns, the meal was put together at a sluggish pace. The server could have been slightly more attentive about this issue. Overall, he did a decent job but needed a little more attention to detail.
I started with tofu lettuce wraps. The Korean classic, known as ssam, consists of finely cubed tofu and rice noodles cooked with spinach, onions and cabbage in a garlicky brown sauce wrapped in large green lettuce leaves. The dish is surprisingly filling with a satisfying flavor.
My main course was called Tao tofu. It featured steamed tofu and deep fried tofu stuffed with cucumbers, carrots and cabbage. It is plated with orange segments and a mildly sweet brown sauce. The citrus fruit actually adds an extra dimension to the flavor profile. While the fried tofu was delicious, the steamed tofu was silken, so it turned out soggy and flavorless. There is an option of getting all of the tofu fried, and that would be the best way to order this dish.
Other vegetarian items on the menu include a variety of veggie sushi rolls, edamame, wok-tossed mushrooms, vegetable tempura, spring roll salad, green salad, seaweed salad, vegetarian udon noodles, curry noodles, pad Thai and stir fried vegetables.
Haiku features a large selection of cocktails, sake, beer and wine. Prices for drinks and food are somewhat high but reasonable.