Friday, August 27, 2010

Sasa: More of the Fusion Invasion in Walnut Creek

In the past year, at least five restaurants serving Fusion cuisine have opened in Walnut Creek. My description of Fusion cuisine is that it is a combination of Asian and American foods and preparations.

While I think that the large number of Fusion restaurants in Walnut Creek might be a bit too much of a good thing, this is not stopping me from trying them. In June I wrote about Vanessa's Bistro 2, where the Fusion dishes have a Vietnamese slant.

Today, Melia and I tried out Sasa, where the Asian emphasis is Japanese. Sasa describes itself as a "Japanese Izakaya." Japanese Isakayas are tradional small plate restaurants where people go to unwind and visit all day long, sort of a Japanese version of a Dim Sum restaurant.

So far of the newer Fusion places I've tried, Sasa is my favorite.

For lunch today, we shared four dishes from the "To Share or Not" part of the menu. These dishes are Small Plates and priced at Lunch at $6 for one, $11 for two, and $15 for three.

We started with a selection of three:

* The Farmer's Veggie Roll, a serving of 5 pieces of a seasonal vegetable Maki Roll
* Tempura Prawns Lettuce Wraps, a serving of 2 large prawns, each on on a pile of butter lettuce leaves
* Spicy Grilled Baby Back Riblets, 4 sauced riblets with a side purple cabbage salad

The presentation of our selections was beautiful and all were very tasty. The Prawn dish was my favorite. The sauce on the Ribs was a bit too sweet for my taste, but all dishes were outstanding.

Wanting just a little something more to complete our meal, we ordered the Sweet Corn Fritters, which were freshly fried and bursting with the flavor of the fresh sweet corn which is at the height of its season right now.

We each enjoyed a pot of flowering tea with our relaxing lunch.

Sasa's lunch menu also offers larger plates such as Three Mini Chicken Teriyaki Burgers, a Soft Shell Crab Club Sandwich, Soba Noodles, and lots of Sushi.

The dinner menu features a similar mix of Small and Large Plates and dedicates an entire section of the menu to what's fresh from the local Farmer's Markets. Much of Sosa's fresh seafood is delivered daily from Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market (the largest fish market in the world) and Oahu's Auction Block.

Sasa's emphasis on fresh and seasonal food was showcased in each dish that we enjoyed today.

There are two dining rooms. The front room has a mix of booths and high tables. The back dining room is all tables. And, there is also seating on an outdoor patio.

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