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Restaurants & Bars 4

peppers that tasted like shishito at SASAYA

the delicious life | Jun 16, 200512:51 PM

back when i first went to try TERRIED SAKE HOUSE at the suggestion of a david, we passed SASAYA, which recently set up shop in the space that used to be...tenjin? i think? well, we didn't want to abandon terried, so we said we'd just come back to try sasaya. we did. descriptions below, and if your imagination doesn't kick in, pix on the link :)

it's dark, and somewhat more upscale than TERRIED, similar to NANBANKAN in the atmosphere. there's a big communal table up front, somewhat like a low bar, which would prbably be good to seat two, maybe three people around one of the corners, but otherwise,the center is blocked off with shelves of sake bottles.

the food was just *eh*

the name of the GROUND CHICKEN dish with mushrooms and hard boiled quail egg we ordered first escapes me. i couldn’t figure out how to eat the soupy ground chicken with chopsticks, so i asked for a spoon. that was a mistake because the chicken and the sweet and heavily soy-flavored sauce was way TOO SALTY to be scooped up with a spoon. *gulp asahi* and i don't even like beer.

sasaya must have been trying to cover something up with the afro of bonito flakes on the SHISHITO peppers, but they didn’t fool me. they were burnt to a wretched, bitter crisp and tasted like shishit-o.

thank goodness for the next two dishes: SABA SHIOYAKI, which was deliciously oily, salty and flaky, and DEEP-FRIED CHEESE and ROE WONTONS (the actual name escapes me). the cheese was a Japanese cheese, but bore a strange resemblance to cream cheese. Japanese, my ash. they were the favorite of the evening, but then again, they didn’t have much competition against the salty ground chicken and bitterly burnt shishito

sasaya’s CHICKEN KARAAGE was tender inside. the coating outside was crisp. but something about it tasted a touch off. I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s something like...the colonel.

we were fairly full after the karaage, so I have no idea what possessed us to order one more dish, the UNAGI KABAYASHI. it was good, but we couldn’t finish it all.

so, sasaya didn’t impress me much with their food, but the service was quick and respectful. as far as how it compares with other similar Japanese restaurants in the immediate vicinity (like Terried Sake House and Nanbankan), it’s still early yet - i don't think they've quite gotten into their groove.


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