Chopsticks and cardamom

A new to-go Asian restaurant scores points; Indian grocery settles on Nord

There are so many new restaurants in town, it’s hard to decide which ones to try first. So, when a friend of mine offered me a few fliers for freebie meals at the new Hashi, that made my most recent decision much easier.

Hashi (Japanese for “chopsticks”) is brought to us by Jon and Christina Meyer, who run Italian eatery Forcella out of the same space at 1600 Mangrove Ave. Hashi is only open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday (“for now,” according to the menu) and it’s billed as “Asian to go.” I couldn’t wait.

I was immediately greeted by the friendly Courtney, who explained the menu, which is very simple: a few soups, salads, sandwiches and bowls, all offered with your choice of meat (or tofu) and all with a focus on fresh.

I ordered the tori ramen, sans meat (house-made chicken broth, soft-boiled egg, green onions, bean sprouts, sesami seeds, nori and chili shards). For my boyfriend, I ordered the teriyaki chicken bowl, which is exactly what one would expect (both cost $7.95). Sadly, when I got home, my ramen was there, but in lieu of Chuck’s teriyaki chicken bowl were three Vietnamese spring rolls. They looked delicious (and were), but a lunch they do not make.

When I returned, Courtney immediately had the kitchen whip me up a new bowl. On top of that, though, Jon Meyer called me up and offered to buy our next two meals. Considering I was already craving that ramen, and Chuck raved about the teriyaki and the freshness of the veggies, we’ll most certainly be back. Mad props for great food and great customer service.

Curry, anyone? While driving down Nord Avenue recently, I noticed a sign for H.A. Indian Grocery where Boards on Nord used to be. With a recipe for chicken biryani saved on my phone, I decided to pop in. The grocery is impressively stocked with everything from mango lassis in the cold case to all the spices one might need for a decadent Indian feast. Next door is a fashion shoe store, and they open into each other, which is a little odd. But whatever.

The owner, who introduced himself simply as P.B., was friendly and helpful. When I struggled to decide between green and black cardamom pods, for example, he explained that the green are for sweeter things, like chai, and the black are for salty dishes. He also gave me a few tips on prepping the biryani. I’ll keep you posted on how it comes out.

Helping a brother out I was saddened recently to hear that everybody’s favorite sign-spinner, Maldeep Singh (the Little Caesars guy who is always on the corner of Eighth and Pine streets), had had a stroke. Good-hearted Chicoans reacted quickly, though, and raised over $5,000 via GoFundMe in one day to help him in his recovery. Let’s all keep Singh in our thoughts—that corner is just not the same without him.