A second Sushi Hana (6080 Falls Road, 410-377-4228) opened two weeks ago in Lake Falls Village where the Panda Gourmet was for years. It's a branch of the popular sushi place in Towson, with basically the same menu of sushi, tempura, teriyaki and noodle dishes.
"Lots of our customers live in this area," says the owner, Po Chan, explaining why he thinks his restaurant will succeed in this hidden location. Of course, it won't hurt to get a liquor license, and he says he has his lawyer working on it.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; noon to 11 p.m. Saturday; 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
What's old is new again --The Brass Elephant (924 N. Charles St., 410-547-8480) in Mount Vernon has a new executive chef, Andrew Maggitti, as of last month. He worked at the now-closed Hampton's and at Manor Tavern in Monkton before he left 12 years ago for more schooling at the Culinary Institute of America and jobs in several different cities.
Now that Maggitti is back in Baltimore, major changes are in the works at the Brass Elephant. His new menu of Italian dishes will be introduced at the beginning of March. The restaurant was known for its northern Italian cuisine in its early years, but the menu gradually changed to New American and fusion dishes.
"I always say fusion is kind of confusion if it's not done right," says Maggitti.
His signature dish is risotto, such as the one he makes with cremini mushrooms and white truffle oil. He also mentions osso buco and a bone-in veal strip steak with oven-dried tomatoes and gorgonzola. The one deviation from Italian will be the mandatory crab cake, but even it will come with a sun-dried-tomato risotto.
Entrees will be in the $27-to-$40 range.
Two other changes: The restaurant will be closed Monday, and Sunday brunch will be offered for the first time.
Vote early and often --Don't miss the window (until Feb. 24) to rate local restaurants for the 2009 Zagat survey of Baltimore restaurants. You can do it online at www.zagat.com/survey. You review places you've eaten at based on food, service and decor. In return, you'll get the $14 guide free when it comes out.
"Maryland dining is changing, growing and improving," says Maryland editor Marty Katz. "To keep our ratings current, we need fresh scores and comments - and they don't need to be nice."
Update on Frigerio --If you became a fan of chef Stefano Frigerio in his short stay at Cinghiale in Harbor East, you'll be glad to know that he's landed at Mio Restaurant in Washington. He was never going to go straight to another Baltimore restaurant, as some folks hoped, because of a noncompete agreement.
Send restaurant news, trends, questions of general interest or observations to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax me at 410-783-2519. Snail mail works, too: Elizabeth Large, The Sun, P.O. Box 1377, Baltimore 21278.