Tuesday, April 16, 2024 Apr 16, 2024
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At Sa Sa Sushi in East Dallas, Stick to the Obvious

The rolls are fun and the sashimi is bright. Don't let the noodles tempt you.
Sa Sa Sushi Baja Roll
Kevin Marple

There wasn’t a hostess during a recent evening visit to Sa Sa Sushi. There was, however, a wait for a table. I jotted my name on a list at the podium (party of two) and sunk into a chair near the front door.

The neighborhood Japanese restaurant, which is located on Gaston Avenue between a T-Mobile store and a chiropractic clinic, was busy. My friend and I watched as sushi chefs in white hats and dark aprons wrapped sheets of nori around sticky rice. We ogled as they placed delicate hunks of raw salmon atop crushed ice in bowls. We observed–eyes wide, stomachs howling—as diners slurped noodles with chopsticks. When would it be our turn to slurp noodles? In 10 minutes? Two minutes? Now? We examined, with subtle envy, the couple seated next to us as they were plucked from the waiting nook by a woman with a ponytail and escorted across the dining room to a table. By now my stomach was preforming a rumbling rendition of Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma.”

Our wait was just under 20 minutes. Not bad for a Thursday night in Dallas.

Dense udon noodles come served in a dark, brackish broth. They’re fine, if a bit one-dimensional. They are defiantly more tantalizing from afar. It’s the sushi, however, that you should focus on here. Get the sashimi. Yellowtail is buttery and bright, and juicy pearls of salmon roe wrapped in seaweed pop into a briny liquid. Specialty rolls are playfully over the top. The Baja Roll, a spicy California roll topped with tomato, jalapeño, mango, masago, microgreens, and a creamy ponzu sauce, is flavorful and fun. So, too, is the In & Out Salmon roll, which combines salmon with cucumber, avocado, jalapeño, cilantro, tobiko, and creamy ponzu.

Skip the edamame ricotta dumplings, which reek of truffle oil. Save room instead for fried green tea ice cream for dessert.

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