Sushi House has been winning local polls of favorite sushi places lately – And Saso’s hasn’t. I used to be a real Sushi House lemming for a while. Actually, Sushi House used to be an amazing restaurant with great quality and staff. But once they became popular, it seems they executed some less than beneficial changes. Atleast that’s my perspective.
I used to buy about $30 a week of sushi from Sushi House every week for, oh, about 6 months. I’ll be the first to admit I’m a sushi addict. I am, I admit it. But the reason their sushi was so addicitive was because it was GOOD. Lately it’s become very MEH. And sushi should never be MEH.
Saso’s, on the other hand, has been nothing but inductive of oral orgasms. Yes, their sushi is that good. Albany John and I went to Saso’s for dinner last week. We were initally going to get take out, but I changed my mind and wanted to eat in. The service was slow (I think we waited about 15 minutes to place our order) but there was only 1 waitress and about 5 tables. Been there – 5 tables and 1 waitress sucks for the waitress. But she was really nice, and that’s what really matters. I’d take the slower paced, but relaxed vibe of Saso’s over the rushed and sometimes rude atmosphere at Ichiban any day.
I’d also like to mention that when you step into Saso’s, you’ll usually find Chef Saso either talking to Andre (who seemed to be his sushi assistant), or singing oldies tunes (Feelings is one of the ones I heard) while making sushi. They’re really, really genuine people there, and I cannot express how rare it is to see that in the restaurant industry now.
So what did we order? We started off with miso soup. It was good, and the tofu was nice and firm. Albany John and I prefer to have miso soup with the sushi, but we got these first like you would any other appetizer. But I was starving, so I ate it. Albany John saved his for later, but the waitress thought he was done with it. Thankfully we saved the soup before it was too late! We ended up ordering conch clam sushi, salmon sashimi, Saso’s Favorite Roll, Philadelphia Roll, Salmon Skin Roll, and one roll whose name I don’t remember, but it was avocado and squash with a nice creamy/tangy sauce.
They were all amazing. Especially Saso’s Favorite Roll. It had tuna (I think), radish and wasabi, and was sprinkled with dried seaweed. This was a really light roll. But very tasty. The conch clam sushi was really tough, moderately sweet, and had a daub of wasabi underneath it. I wasn’t crazy about this, but I’m not a fan of clam anyway. Albany John almost peed his pants. The salmon skin roll was delishious as usual. Crispy, slightly charred, and still salmon-y. I’m pretty sure I was drooling when I smelled the skin being cooked in the kitchen. I would definately reccomend trying the Philadelphia roll! This wasn’t your average roll! It had salmon, cream cheese, and AVOCADO! I think the textures were amazing in this. I couldn’t describe it enough to do it justice, but let’s say that having the avocado in there really blended the creamyness, and just enhanced the flavor as a whole. And oh, the specialty roll was fantastic as well. It had a creamy/tangy sauce in there with the avocado and squash, and it was just a pleasure to eat. I ate the salmon sashimi last, but I should have eaten it first. My mouth was still dancing from all the other rolls I had eaten.
For dessert I talked Albany John into splitting a fried ice cream with me. We got coconut ice cream. I was half expecting it tempura style with whipped cream and a cherry. I was pleasantly surprised with a thick breading and just a bit of chocolate sauce and coconut shreds as a garnish. I don’t think I need to explain how amazing this was. The breading managed to stay light and airy even as the ice cream melted into it.
And then the other night Albany Jane had a few [name alcoholic beverage here]s and Woah, the craving for Saba (mackerel) hit like a mother. Sushi House was right there, so we got some take out. What a huge mistake. I should have just gone without.
I got mackerel sashimi, a philadelphia roll, 2 salmon rolls, and a lobster roll. It cost about $24, and was a huge waste of my money. After ordering we were told ‘YOU CAN SIT DOWN OVER THERE!’ since they didn’t want us just standing in the restaurant… ooookay. After waiting about 20 minutes for our take out, I paid and left. We got home, and jeezus! Just look at that pathetic Philadelphia roll! The salmon is a DIFFERENT COLOR than the salmon roll right beside it. Um, what gives here? Are you saving old salmon to put into rolls with a bunch of stuff in it? If we had eaten in, I think I would have sent it back. But by the time we got home they had closed. All I know is that this philadelphia roll is what will make me NEVER EAT AT SUSHI HOUSE again. I know there’s different quality at different places, but I would expect my sushi to atleast look fresh. The taste was alright, but I felt like there was too much cream cheese and it overwhelmed the salmon so you couldn’t taste the salmon.
The Lobster Roll was $8 and a huge waste of money as well. There were 5 (odd, no?) oversized pieces slathered in sauce. I was just expecting a roll with a lobster tail in it. The lobster tail was fried/tempura’d as well. I just wasn’t expecting such a busy roll, since the menu just said ‘lobster tail roll’, not ‘we put a little bit of lobster in this roll, but you won’t really be able to taste it, since there’s so much stuff in it Roll’. I love lobster and I wanted to actually taste the lobster.
The salmon rolls were nothing to write home about either. They were vibrantly colored, but tasted kind of fishy. I’ve never had fishy salmon before.
The mackerel was the only thing I should have ordered. It was good and fishy, but it’s mackerel. Duh.
Also, I’ve never noticed how important the sushi rice is. After eating the stuff from Sushi House last night, I just kept feeling let down, and I realized the huge factor the rice plays into your tastebuds. Mix that with the fact that at Saso’s, I didn’t need any condiments on my sushi to enjoy it. Meanwhile, loading the rolls down with wasabi and soy sauce were the only way to make Sushi House’s sushi taste good.
It’s pretty obvious that I’m sticking withthe amazing quality at Saso’s over eating food that continues to go downhill at Sushi House. Seriously, don’t eat at Sushi House.
Saso’s as the best sushi in Albany!!!