Sasaki is a sushi restaurant from chef Masa Sasaki, formerly of Maruya, Omakase, and Delage, and chef Takanori Wada. It’s in the Mission on the corner of 20th and Harrison across from Flour + Water. It apparently was previously an American Grilled Cheese Kitchen, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at it. The windows are all smoked up and the exterior is largely unlabeled outside of a small sign on the door, and the interior is dominated by a large open sushi counter against the wall. They are counter only (seats 12) and omakase only ($175 per person). There are no add-ons or a la carte menu. We had dinner here on a weeknight, and our chef was Sasaki-san.
Upon being seated there was an appetizer waiting - slightly bitter tasting burdock covered with mentaiko (spicy salted cod roe).
Dinner started with a marinated tuna nigiri. Interesting start to the meal. Delicious, meaty and not too salty.
Spanish mackerel mixed with a soy sauce, chives, and shiso leaf.
The hirame is mixed in the tofu. Could taste a little of it in each bite. Dab of slightly spicy sauce on top, with a fried dill leaf. Little sweet peas in the broth. Kind of wished I had a spoon to scoop up the rest of the sauce.
Could smell the charcoal in the air when they were making this dish. Slices of king mackerel, with fresh wasabi leaf, chive puree, sliced kumquat, and smoked soy sauce. Smoky, with delicate fish and a kick from the wasabi leaf.
Next came a parade of nigiri. Two types of vinegared rice were used in the nigiri, starting with the dark tinted rice flavored with the stronger akazu rice vinegar.
The pickled ginger that accompanied the nigiri was unique. Thickly sliced from what looked like whole roots, and replenished over the course of the meal. It tasted a little salty and not very sweet.
Medium fatty tuna. Meaty and rich.
Sardine. Light and delicate, I don’t remember if I’ve had sardines in nigiri form before. Sure is a lot different from canned or grilled sardines.
Great, heavy on the wasabi, springy texture.
Golden eye snapper.
A shot of warm clam broth for a break from the nigiri.
The next nigiri had rice flavored with lighter tasting white rice vinegar.
Various types of uni atop a mound of sushi rice, topped with a dab of wasabi. A generous amount of uni. Sweet, fresh, and creamy.
I used to think I didn’t really like squid nigiri because it tasted like rubber, but after eating it in nicer sushi restaurants I’m beginning to think it’s because I’ve just been eating inferior squid nigiri. This was not rubbery at all. Had some citrus zest (yuzu?) grated on top.
Sea Bream. Heavy with the wasabi.
Apparently this is Japanese whiting. There was a layer of crumbled egg yolk between the fish and the rice. Sweet.
A type of large clam. Chef Sasaki showed us the shell. Sweet and slightly crisp.
Narazuke, Shiso, Daikon, Cucumber
A second small course of vegetables to break between rounds of nigiri. The narazuke pickle on top of the daikon had a little bit of something that tasted a little like a red bean paste inside it.
The next nigiri were made with the rice seasoned with the akazu vinegar again.
Fatty tuna. Very rich, one of my favorite bites.
Gizzard shad. A bit tart tasting.
Sea eel. One of the best bites of the meal. Warm and delicate.
The last of the sushi was a delicious tuna hand roll. Chunks of tuna mixed with pickled radish, with shiso leaf. He made a flap on one end of the roll out of nori to keep the filling from falling out. The nori wrapper was nice and crispy.
Two types of tamago. The one on the left was more dense, dry, and cake-like. The one on the right was fluffier and moist.
Green tea tofu(?)/cheesecake thing with kumquat slices. Served with a toasted green tea.
This was a delicious meal, one of the best sushi meals I’ve had, though I haven’t had that many high-end omakase meals. It is expensive, but high quality and quite a large quantity of food.