From the moment you’re welcomed by a glamorous hostess, to the last hour nursing a sugar-shocked saketini, the entire dining experience at Haru seems harrowingly overwrought and constructed. It’s as if the restaurateurs of this brainchild concept headquartered in New York cracked open a formulaic insta-kit for “cool,” producing shiny and sleek in exchange for a couple human souls. Euromod, dramatic lamps dangle from above, and minimalist dark wood and frosted glass abound on walls and an orchid petting zoo in the back. Bass-thumping soulful house throbs throughout the restaurant at dinner (tuned to tame, inoffensive jazz during the day), lending an Abercrombie & Fitch meets West Elm aesthetic to the whole thing.

Haru’s servers, despite being clad in arrestingly low-cut tops, are refreshingly earnest. In contrast, the menu is cloaked in symbols dotting almost every dish — and it’s not Japanese characters. The smatterings refer to a footnote legend, hosting no less than seven disclaimers like “contains raw seafood” or “contains dairy.” One dish, the wok-seared tuna with walnut garlic sauce ($21), deserves a gold star for having three distinct scary superscripts. However, the method of dictating which food won’t offend your sensibilities or your stomach is both distracting and patronizing, especially in a setting where “raw” shouldn’t be a dirty word. I don’t wholly fault Haru for pandering to the picky population — merely a symptom of cultural food neurosis — but navigating through footnotes makes you curse the self-centered patronage who make it so.

So on to the food, which is broken up into a page of highly varied appetizers, a smattering of soups and salads, hot entrées, sushi combinatoric entrées, signature rolls and an à la carte list of sushi options. With an extensive menu spanning simple Japanese snacks such as edamame ($5) to brazenly interpretive concoctions like the Boston unCommon roll ($18), a crunchy-fish-mango gilt with gold leaf, I was curious where exactly Haru’s heart would ultimately lie.

Behind a traditional-looking sushi bar (mercifully light on styling), a cadre of chefs in navy uniforms work with professional proficiency. There’s potential for decent sushi here — delicious, at times — but ultimately the execution disappoints with flagrant excessiveness, almost to a point of cultural disrespect. It’s instantly evident in the sushi and sashimi for two ($58), a massive platter groaning under four pairs of nigiri, three maki selections and eight sashimi slices piled in a volcanic mound in the center. The cuts of fish are absurdly supersized, spanning close to five or six inches long, nearly reminiscent of thick deli coldcuts rather than succulent, bite-sized flesh. For the same reason, à la carte selections suffer from non-trivial prices per piece (savory smoked eel $3.50, buttery oh toro $10), yet with cuts so generous that each could easily accommodate two normal-sized nigiri. Special rolls with fancy names are flashy yet edible, but the strikingly fresh avocado rules as star ingredient. Altogether the fish is of decent quality and the rice reasonably seasoned, but along with semi-soggy nori and an ungainly chomping-through (instead of properly pop-in-the-mouth) process, eating sushi-on-steroids here is less delight as much as overkill.

Yet in swift and seductive comeback, the trendy-sounding fusion dishes (which tend to raise a gimmicky red flag) manages to score with moments of unexpected joy. The symphony ($15) warrants a return visit alone, a cylinder of spicy tuna, salmon tartar, king crab and caviar brilliantly encrusted with enough tobiko to resemble coarse decorating sugar. The accompanying horseradishy sauce provides a perfect nasal heat to the fresh layered fish. The tuna tartare ($9.50) renders me speechless, a small bowl filled with a pink-red mound shrouded in miso vinaigrette and topped with a single, perfect raw quail egg. The curious texture, approximating a moist paste, beautifully mingles the flavors of earthly and oceanic salt. Not all experiments succeed, though: The lobster mango ceviche ($16), potentially a tasty idea on paper with lobster, mango, and peppers wrapped in whitefish, fails in practice with unwieldy oversized bites that leave one chewing bouncy fish long after the other ingredients have crunched into oblivion. Conversely, things that seem wary by description, such as the Chilean sea bass with ume plum sauce and mei fun noodles ($21), deliver a plump, seared fillet and earthy shiitake bean thread noodles instead of a sickly sweet possibility. Humbly traditional dishes like aromatic miso soup ($2.50) and crisp, absorbent pillows of agedashi tofu ($5.50) are understated pleasures.

Because Haru manages to hit as much as it misses, assigning a tangible star rating to this restaurant requires my calculating an extensive bean counter (the abridged version going something like this): +2 for attentive and welcoming service, -1 for gratuitous skin with those smiles, +4 for inventive stabs at fusion, -3 for obscenely Americanized cuts of fish, +2 for gorgeously meticulous plate presentation, -1 for disclaiming the hell out of the menu, +2 for accessible sake, -2 for cloyingly neon cocktails. Though it pains me a bit to admit it, this ultimate corporate bastion of “cool Japanese food” shouldn’t be thrown to the lions just yet — especially when there are brief glimpses of kitchen brilliance catering to a sushi-stuffing hoi polloi.