There are no strangers at Waxahachie’s newest restaurant, only family. Three weeks into its operations, the staff at Ohana works to create a memorable experience for guests with its food, service, and atmosphere.
Remy Le, co-owner, stated the restaurant had been a long-time dream and to see it come together is exciting.
“We just opened this up, and it has been a work in progress. We have been under construction and remodeling since mid-January,” Remy said. “We see that Waxahachie is a growing area and the Japanese cuisine is underserved in this area. We thought that it would be a good location.”
The US Air Force veteran stated Ohana is a Hawaiian word that means "family."
Ohana's menu centers on fresh seafood but has various dishes that have a Japanese and eastern flair. It offers guest the chance to enjoy favorites such as sushi rolls and sashimi but also affords the opportunity to expand their palate.
“We try to make everything fresh. We have fresh fish and produce that we order in all the time. We try to do everything fresh and personalized,” Remy said. “If you see something that you want to add to it or you don’t like this or that we can take it out and personalize it to your taste.”
Guests are often greeted by co-owner Danny Le, who serves as the restaurant's manager. They are then taken to their table to start the culinary experience.
Remy stated one of the unique dishes at the restaurant is the crab-fried rice. The dish has eggs, carrots, peas, rice, and soft-shelled crab. The crab is deep-fried to provide a crunchy taste. Ohana also serves a Hawaiian dish know as Poke. It is a bowl of rice that features, fish, avocados, lettuce, and greens.
He noted that his favorite item on the menu is the ramen, which is made from pork bellies and the broth made from scratch.
Ohana’s atmosphere complements the food with attractive lighting, an enclosed waterfall, comfortable seating, and tables made out of butcher's block. It creates a space that is personal and familiar.
“The idea is that we want to keep everything simple and classic, but have a modern twist to it,” Remy explained.
People who don’t want to come in for a meal can stop by to have a drink at the bar. Ohana prides itself on having a wide selection of Japanese whiskeys, such as sake readily available for customers to enjoy.
“The demand for the Japanese whiskeys is really high in the United States. It has a distinctive flavor,” Le said. "There is a lot of stuff from Japan that is unique. When they do something, they put their heart into it. That is what we do as a whole here is to put out heart into our food and customer service.”
Ohana is open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Sunday. Reservations are recommended on Friday and Saturday nights.
The restaurant is located at 1101 U.S. Highway 287 Bypass in Waxahachie. For more information, the staff can be reached at 972-937-8810 or Ohana Waxahachie on Facebook.