Restaurants & Bars 2

Thumbs up to Saha...

susancinsf | Dec 23, 2004 10:39 AM

Sister Janet is in town for a few days of pre-holiday shopping and eating, and to escape the Reno doldrums for a bit, so we wanted to have dinner near Union Square last night before hitting a store or two...I've been eager to try Saha after some very positive posts here on the board, so this was the perfect excuse: I met her and her two Chowpups (ages 17 and 19)down there after work. Hubby wasn't invited since his present was at the top of the list of stuff still to buy... :-)

Union Square was hopping, but Saha was very quiet. only three tables occupied while we were there: I hope that isn't typical, as it certainly deserves to do well!

Decor is warm, lots of fairly muted reds. However, and this is my only real complaint about the place so I will get it out of the way quickly, the lighting needs work. One end was nicely lit; the other end, closer to the kitchen, was downright dark and gloomy. Unfortunately, our choices for four tops were either to sit right next to the only other large party, or on the dark end. We chose the dark end.

Wine and beer only, and I am not sure I can really comment on the wine list, because with its small print I was having trouble reading it in the dark! Janet said the beer selection looked pretty good, but I wanted wine, and since I did find a very nice and quite reasonably priced Aussie Shiraz, we were happy. My impression is that the wine list is limited, but well priced.

On to the food, which was all very good to outstanding:

apps: we shared hummus and an artichoke spread, which came with perfectly crisped pita strips (and the server brought a second bowl when we devoured them), both yummy. The artichoke disappeared particularly quickly. We also tried the kofta, Yemenese style meatballs with cilantro and other spices served with dipping sauce/salsa. Very good.

Mains: the non-chowhound pup had the grilled salmon and prawns, which he said was excellent, though I didn't try it. Chowhound pup went for one of the specials, a main-size order of a type of gumbo with some vegetable described as a cross between okra and spinach, with various seafood. Unfortunately, I didn't catch the name, and don't see it on the website menu (which is slightly different from the current). Maybe Janet can help. But oh well, he ate every bit, pronounced it delicious, and though I only got to try a little of the sauce on some pita, I concur. Very fresh and unique taste. It also came with a type of salsa on the side with quite a kick!

Janet had chicken couscous. Light, excellent couscous, lovely sauce, lovely vegetables, though I thought the chicken was slightly overcooked. I'd like to try the merguez couscous next time.

I had the Saha red curry: stuffed acorn squash, tofu, vegetables and mushrooms. Every flavor just sang, and the mushrooms were really a standout. The curry was spicy, but it didn't hide the flavors of the vegetables...delicious.

We were pretty full by this time: several of the dishes were on the rich side despite the generous use of vegetables, but couldn't resist ordering an apple baklava, freshly made (Yummm)...mostly because we wanted a foil to try with the safron ice cream that was on the menu. Baklava was excellent. As for the ice cream: well, we tried it. An interesting, pronounced saffron flavor, not very sweet, but not captivating either.

Janet insisted on paying the bill and wouldn't let me look at it, but the website below should give an idea of the prices.

The one server handled the room with no trouble at all: service was well-timed, efficient, professional and friendly.

We left happy. There is lots more on the menu I'd like to try, I definitely would like some more red curry, and I will be back soon.


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