One word: WOW!
Wow, as in, "Wow, I can't believe this considered one of the best sushi restaurants in Denver". I've dined at sushi restaurants around the country, with some of the better ones being furthest from the coasts, so I was optimistic after reading reviews here about Sushi Sasa. While not the worst sushi I've ever had, it certainly doesn't deserve the raves I've read about. Sushi Den was much better, albeit way too large and noisy.
I started with sashimi of Razorback Scallops. The scallops were ice-cold (a no-no) and had clearly been in the low-boy for a couple of days. The delicate sweetness of a scallop was lost amongst the slightly fishy/stale taste of the accumulated absorption that had taken place during storage.
Next were several pieces of nigiri: Salmon, Uni, and whitefish, and line-caught Aji. The salmon, I was told, was farm-raised (though Sasa claims all their fish is flown in from Japan - seems odd that you'd buy farm-raised fish from 12,000 miles away), and it tasted like it; bland and firm. At least it wasn't half frozen. The whitefish was passable and the Aji was good. The uni was quite bad, borderline nauseating.
I let my chef (Jesus......yes, Jesus) talk me into a roll of some variety which was mostly krab topped with tuna tataki. It was a good enough roll, if I was at happy hour at a sports bar.
The menu showed no innovation or creativity (seriously, do we need another miso black cod?). The staff was friendly and service was very good. the atmosphere was a bit contrived for me, given the location.
Maybe Denver has no good sushi? There's nothing wrong with that. New York city has lousy barbecue. If anyone can point me in a different direction in Denver, I'll give it a whirl.