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The Dish: Haru Ichiban

· Open since: May 2000

· Location: Haru Ichiban is in the Mall Corners shopping center at the corner of Pleasant Hill Road and Satellite Boulevard

· Hours: Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and dinner is served from 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

· Owners: Sergio Park and Yong Hahn

· Atmosphere: Haru Ichiban prides itself on being a family friendly restaurant. It offers a casual restaurant with table seating, as well as a sushi bar where diners can watch the sushi chefs in action. The restaurant doesn't offer hibachi, which manager Michelle Tan described as a gimmick, and instead focuses on food.

The restaurant seats about 80 with a party room for up to 30 people.

· Menu: Haru Ichiban features food at any price point, with appetizers from $3 to $15. Dinners start at about $15.

Native Japanese chefs prepare sushi in many ways, including offering the Final Weapon roll, which has a spicy inside with tempura crunch and chopped shrimp, topped with smoked salmon and wasabi smelt roe, with a chili sauce on top.

Along with daily lunch and dinner specials, the restaurant is known for its ramen, served in a half-dozen ways.

Another favorite is the personal size Hot Pot, which is sukiyaki - beef and vegetables in a sweet mirin soy sauce - cooked before diners in a small fire urn.

"It's very good in the winter time," Tan said.

· Things you might not know: Haru Ichiban, which was named "spring harold" for its May opening, was launched to serve the growing Japanese community in Gwinnett.

It's well-known in the Asian community for its authentic cuisine, and the menu is written in both English and Japanese.

Tan said Japanese families often come from other states during the holidays to eat the ramen and enjoy the nearby shopping at Gwinnett Place Mall.

It's a favorite of Ryuji Imada, a Japanese golfer on the PGA Tour. Imada won the 2008 AT&T Classic at the Sugarloaf Country Club, and afterward he held his victory celebration at Haru Ichiban.