International Cuisine on a Budget

By Alheli Garcia
David is the owner of Hana Sushi Chinese and Thai restaurant located on 1311 W. Taylor street. It is a small cozy restaurant that serves a fusion menu consisting of Thai, Japanese, and Chinese cuisine. I went in on a Saturday afternoon around 4p.m to interview David.

photo by Alheli Garcia

I greeted him and thanked him for taking some time from his busy day to answer a few questions. So we sat and began the interview.

Me: David, I see that Hana serves not only sushi but Chinese and Thai food. How did you learn the food culture of these Asian countries?

David: I know a lot about food. When I migrated from China I made friends from different countries and I learned their methods.

Me: Is this your first restaurant?

David: (laughing) No. The first couple times I tried maintaining a restaurant business I wasn’t so lucky. This is most definitely not my first try. Most businesses fail and well that was true in my case.

Me: Interesting. So how long has this restaurant been running?

David: 15 years

Me: Wow that is a long time. This location is so close to UIC. Is it popular amongst UIC student?

David: UIC? my daughter graduated from UIC now she works at Rush hospital. I would say that it is popular. Especially because we have BYOB. Students can eat and bring their own alcoholic bevarages.

Me: So students are able to save money on alcohol that way?

David: I would say so. If I sold liquor I would price them so that a couple drinks would definitely be more expensive than a couple beers from the liquor store. I think clients do save money by buying their own liquor rather than at restaurants or bars.

Me: That’s actually not bad. They are consuming from your business and at the same time saving money on their drinks,

David: Yes I like to look at it that way. As long as they are eating here, what do I have to lose.

Me: What are your specialties, what is this restaurant known for?
David: Well we serve fresh fruit smoothies. They are very healthy because we use real fruit and not fruit extract which is full of sugar.

Me: That’s great . I think I will be having one of those.

So he actually thought I was serious and he went to make a mango and coconut smoothie. Besides a cook, he was the only one working the restaurant. He had to take a couple phone calls and excused himself. I paid for my drink and left.


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