Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sushi & A Movie in Panajachel

There is really nice restaurant in Panajachel called Restaurante Hana. I went there for the first time the other night with my good friend, JL. It's a very interesting place with lots to enjoy besides just the amazing Japanese food!

First of all, the restaurant is located inside Casa Cakchiquel, one of the first hotels built on Lake Atitlan way back in 1948. On the walls of hotel are TONS of photos showing the hotel back in the old days, plus scenes from around Panajachel and the lake. So fascinating! They also have gallery areas showing local art, plus there is a radio station in the building. Cool.
The dining area showing some of the many historical pictures.
This area is open to the garden on the left with lots of flowers, birds, and greenery.
Besides the lovely ambiance, Restaurante Hana also serves awesome Japanese food, including my fave... sushi!!
Such a pretty teapot. 

Origami crane for a chopstick holder.

Mmmmm. Tempura shrimp sushi.
We were given menus in Spanish and Japanese, but were offered English ones if we wanted. We ordered the two-for-one special of tempura shrimp sushi, plus my friend ordered miso soup, salad, cucumber sushi, and some tea.
Chef Mihoko Azumi knows her stuff! I'm no sushi expert but I know when I put that sushi in my mouth, I was in heaven! Sometimes you eat sushi and your mouth is like, "hmm, I don't know if I should swallow this." Usually that's cuz of really fishy-tasting nori. I was happy to find that I loved every single bite of my meal. In fact, later on some people were eating next to me and my mouth was watering for more! (Even after the big 8-piece serving I ate.)

The second reason I went out on a Sunday night? A free movie!
Yup, we got to go into the fireplace room and watch a movie for free, and got free popcorn served halfway through as well. It was pretty good, although my butt hurt from sitting in a plastic chair. Also, I found the Spanish subtitles to be distracting. I thought it was super nice that they did that for the Spanish speakers but I found myself glancing down to read them and missing parts of the movie! However, I did learn some new Spanish words too. (Like La Fuerza! Now can you guess which movie I got to watch?)
The movie screen in the fireplace room. You can see more old photos on the walls.
Right next to where I was sitting, there was a black-and-white photo of the exact spot I was sitting in, but taken like way back in the 50s. It was pretty cool! I would have liked to have walked around and looked at more of the photos but it was pretty late and I had to work in the morning.
Their sign at night showing all the stuff found in the hotel.
Plus there's a spa with manicures and pedicures too.
A really weird feeling came over me when I stepped out onto the street after the movie. I felt like I should be walking out into a big parking lot in some city in Canada somewhere! It was trippy. Kinda like when you go to a matinee and you walk out of the theatre into daylight. Unexpected!

I will definitely go back for more sushi at Restaurante Hana in the future, Perhaps I'll see you there!

P.S. Mister Jon's Breakfasts (and lunches and dinners) are awesome as well. He really knows American food and when you're in his diner on Santander, you feel like you're back in the States enjoying a big juicy burger and fries.

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