Sunday, July 28, 2013

Discovery Weekends: Celebrating 12 years with my Hubby at Sasa

My husband and I recently celebrated our 12th anniversary dinner. We usually either go out of town or select a good restaurant to enjoy an evening out. This year, we opted to do the latter. We revisited one of our favorite restaurants: Sasa in Walnut Creek, California.

We’ve probably have been to Sasa numerous times.  We love the classy Asian-inspired decor.  We were there on a Monday, so a lot of people were taking advantage of their extended Happy Hour, Getsuyobi Monday’s. I found the happy hour name somewhat funny since "Getsuyobi" literally is Monday (so it’s Monday Monday’s). A lot of people were taking advantage of the $5 and $10 sushi rolls and special priced appetizers. Sasa also offers an extensive sake menu and a good selection of wine and cocktails, which makes it a great happy hour choice.

We never had a bad experience at Sasa. This evening was no different. We arrived a bit early, so we sat at the bar while we waited for our table.  The bartender was very attentive, in spite of the crowd that evening. I tried one of their non-alcoholic pomegranate mojito since I was designated driver (actually refreshing and hydrating especially in a hot summer day), and we shared an order of root chips and aioli. We’re not sure what roots were included, but it was delicious. The chips were very savory, and not too salty. To be honest, it was quite addicting.

Sasa specializes on small plates: Asian tapas-style. For dinner, instead of our usual share an appetizer, entree, and dessert strategy, we decided to share a few small plates... and dessert, of course.

The pork belly skewers were a good start. It reminded me of a Filipino Lechon Kawali (Deep Fried Pork Belly) on a stick. The only thing missing was the crispy skin (and lechon sauce) – the way it is traditionally served. Maybe if it was served the Filipino way, it will exceed the cholesterol limits of the dish. This went way too fast to photograph (My fault, lechon kawali is one of my favorites).

Duck Confit on Steamed Buns

My duck confit on steamed buns had more a Chinese inspiration – like a duck confit bao. It reminded me of dimsum lunches, but elevated to a different level. Using a duck confit gave a good crispiness and the hoisin sauce and plum wine vinaigrette reminded me of its Asian roots.

Lamb Chops with Pistachio Sauce

The roasted spiced lamb chops was equally delicious. It was perfectly cooked and spiced and quite succulent.  The green pistachio sauce on it was different than what we expected, but had a refreshing twist.

Banana Macadamia Tart
We ended dinner with a Banana and Macadamia Cream Tart. I usually end an evening like this with a light sorbet, but I am a bit sorbet-ed out. The tart had the right combination of creaminess yet freshness. It was the perfect way to end the meal.
The food was plated and presented beautifully, it was inviting and you just want to dive into it. We had excellent service all through the evening. We’ve been there for lunch on a weekend and had the same experience. We love Sasa and will most likely return... soon. Hope you will also enjoy this Walnut Creek find.

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