Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sushi Omakase at Sasaki, San Francisco USA

Chefs Masaki Sasaki and Takanori Wada. Photograph by @foodbunker
Uni and Ikura over rice in a glass. Photograph by @foodbunker
Sasaki is one of the highest rated sushi restaurants in the Bay Area. Their ingredients have excellent quality and their courses are beautifully and creatively made. Not only I learn more about Japanese cooking and recipes, there are combinations of flavors and texture that I was surprised to try for the first time.  


Interior
In January, I finally get to try out Sasaki with 10+ other friends (reserved the entire restaurant) but never get a chance to write about it until now. Just opened in 2016 by sushi chefs Masaki Sasaki and Takanori Wada, Sasaki became one of the most exciting and high rated sushi restaurants in the Bay Area. Many media describes Sasaki as a Michelin-quality omakase restaurant, and often getting compared with Michelin-starred Yoshizumi in San Mateo. 

Throughout the meal, you will find beautiful tableware that were all custom made by Jin Yamanaka, who has also created delicate serving vessels for local 3-Michelin-starred restaurants such as Saison, Manresa, and Benu.



Tako (octopus) + spice and herbs in a tiny box. Photograph by @foodbunker


Table Set with Menu
Zuke Maguro - lean part of tuna marinated with soy sauce. Photograph by @foodbunker
Aburi Saba (mackerel). Photograph by @foodbunker
Semi cooked mackerel with crispy edges. The wasabi helps with the fishy taste of the silver fish
鯵のたたきAji no tataki. Photograph by @foodbunker
Finely chopped horse mackerel sashimi marinated with ginger juice and scallions. Serve with soy sauce. The dish is cool and has a nice balance of fresh scallion and ginger taste to cancel out the mackerel's fishiness. The chopped fish pieces still retain the good firm texture. This is one of my favorite courses, I wished I can enjoy it with rice. 
鰆の西京味噌漬け焼き Sawara no saikyo miso tsuke yaki. Photograph by @foodbunker
Grilled Spanish mackerel (that was marinated with saikyo miso, a luxurious sweet miso paste originated from Kyoto) Serve with pickled daikon slices (dark pink color)
The texture of sawara fish is actually quite dry, but it is very tasty and addicting. It has a nice miso savory flavor to it. Pair it with the moist daikon pickles makes it more appetizing. The balance of hydrated fish and juicy pickle is such a ideal and creative combination. (My second favorite!)
蒸しあわび Mushi awabi - steamed abalone, serving with Liver paste. Photograph by @foodbunker
abalone is light and chewy. However, adding liver paste has very minimal impact for the flavor.
中とろchu-toro - semi fatty part of tuna. Photograph by @foodbunker
Other than a good piece of chu-toro, I love the rice too. It's flavorful. The grain has the right texture, not too soft not too firm.
鰯 Iwashi - sardine topped with grated ginger. Photograph by @foodbunker
金目鯛 Kimedai (Splendid alfonsino) Photograph by @foodbunker
Kimedai from Chiba, topped with mustard
鯛 Tai - Sea bream marinated in eggyolk and seaweed. Photograph by @foodbunker
Very interesting flavor with the creamy yolk. Overall it is a little bit sweet and spicy (from the wasabi) 
Chef Sasaki preparing clam soup
うに Uni and イクラ Ikura - very generous amount of sea urchin and salmon roe over rice. Photograph by @foodbunker
At this point, I am actually starting to feel a bit stuffed. As you can see, the uni is pretty fresh (not mushy) It is creamy and mildly rich, but the portion they give here is huge comparing to other quality omakase places. If you are a big eater, I bet you will love this! 
平目 Hirame - flat fish. Photograph by @foodbunker
Sayori with ginger. Photograph by @foodbunker
Sayori is probably pretty rare here, only high quality sushi restaurant will prepare this fish, it is called "Japanese Half Beak", or "Needle Fish" in English.
Sumi-ika (squid) topped with yuzu paste and wasabi. Photograph by @foodbunker
Hogai (Pen Shell) with actual shell in the back. Photograph by @foodbunker
Monkfish liver (left) and squash marinated with miso and sake (right) Photograph by @foodbunker
Look at the size of those monkfish livers... They are gigantic. If you had intestine type of food before, you know that you shouldn't be eating these in huge portions like this. If you are watching your cholesterol level like me, it's okay to just take a small bite and try out the flavors. Of course, don't waste your food by giving your extra piece to a friend who doesn't mind getting an extra.

Anyway, flavor wise, it is actually not as rich and flavorful as I thought it would. There is no fishy taste, texture is tender. Pairing it with the specially sake-marinated squash is a great choice. The pickled squash is crunchy and alcoholic. It's like when you are drinking sake and you need some snacks to go with it. 
大トロ Otoro - fattest part of tuna. Photograph by @foodbunker
Although the slice is thin, it is very rich, savory, and tasty!
Aji (Horse Mackerel) Photograph by @foodbunker
It feels very acidic like vinegar...
Tuna Te-Maki (handroll) Photograph by @foodbunker
卵Tamago - two types of eggs! Photograph by @foodbunker
Left is the typical tamagoyaki, It has a strong soy sauce flavor to it
The right piece is a cake type that you can only find in traditional sushi omakase restaurant. It feels like a very fresh cake, which makes the brown parts more tasty and flavorful. Overall, it is spongy, moist, and can melt a little bit in your mouth.
Miso Soup with clam and mitsuba leaves. Photograph by @foodbunker
The soup taste good, however there are still sand in the soup. It is quite disappointing.
Matcha Mousse Cake with azuki red bean. Photograph by @foodbunker
The cake is very smooth! Mixing with the sweeten bean paste is perfect!
CONCLUSION

Sasaki gave me lots of surprises throughout the meal. I like it that there is always a balance in most of the courses. If one item is rich, they will pair something lighter or pickled. They show different types of cooking method, varieties of traditional Japanese seasonings and marinating, at the same time creating unique dishes with subtle manner. My favorites are: 鯵のたたきAji no tataki and 鰆の西京味噌漬け焼き Sawara no saikyo miso tsuke yaki. 

Presentation of their food is beautiful too. Food plating and vibrate colors really pop out to attract your eyes. 

Their portions are huge. I was pretty hungry before the meal, and in mid-way I was already stuffed. If you are looking for a huge high-quality sushi omakase meal, you will love Sasaki.

There was only one thing I was disappointed about: the miso soup in the end, which has a lot of sand in it. 

TIPS

  • Reservation is required/high recommended. There are only 12 counter seats, reserve your spot up to one month ahead of time. 
  • Arrive before your time, you will need to pay $150 cancellation fee if you arrive 15+ minutes late.
  • Enjoy the meal by chatting with chef, you will find out other great Japanese restaurants around the area.
  • Don't be afraid to ask the chef about what fish you are having or what is it called in Japanese. 


Sasaki


 

Phone: (415) 829-8997

Hours: 


Sunday-Monday: Closed

Tuesday-Saturday: 5:30pm-11pm

Website:

http://www.sasakisf.com/

14 comments:

  1. Such bebeautiful food pictures!

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    1. Thank you! :) Glad you enjoy them!

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  2. Replies
    1. Surly they are yummy! ^0^ Thanks for stepping by!

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  3. wow this food looks amazing i wish i could go there

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    1. They are pretty good! If you happen to be in San Francisco, give it a try! Make sure to reserve your seats in advance. Happy eating! :)

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  4. All these exotic foods look divine.

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  5. Wow, looks Great! Wish I lived closer...

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  6. Beautiful and delicious looking food

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  7. I am always amazed at the mastery it takes to perfect the art of sushi. I have wanted to go to San Francisco for years because it is such a foodie destination. Now I have one more place I need to check out. Great pics!

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  8. I love how beautiful these pictures are! I am always looking for new places to eat while in CA.

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