I want to start this weeks Hunk’s Buzz post off with a little disclaimer. I am not a huge sushi fan and I definitely don’t know any of the lingo when in comes to sushi outings. That being said Sam and I went out to lunch last Friday at Saji-Ya on Grand Ave. in Saint Paul. Sam was craving sushi and I am slowly learning to appreciate it or at least tolerate it every once in a while. When Sam asked to meet up for lunch Friday afternoon and told me he was craving sushi I knew exactly where to go. I had driven past Saji-Ya several times and checked them out online as well. I had it waiting on my list of places to try and was excited to see what they had to offer.
When we got there they were just opening up for the day so the place was still pretty empty. Apparently there isn’t a huge demand for sushi at 11am… We sat at a high top table in their bar area below an amazing mosaic wall that kept drawing my attention throughout the meal. Our waitress was very prompt and patient she seemed to sense that I had no idea what I was doing. I loved that they had their Specialty Maki Sushi (which Sam explained to me means rolls) and common terms listed on a little table top menu. Our waitress took our drink order and returned a few minutes later with our drinks, hot towels and a bowl of edamame (which was amazing!). She gave me a few more minutes to look over the menu before returning to take our lunch order. I took a shot in the dark when I ordered all I know is that I love tuna and I have learned that I do best with Maki. I decided to order the Manny Roll which consisted of Albacore, gobo, cucumber, avocado, spicy mayo and daikon sprouts inside; spicy tuna and tobiko outside. To be honest I still don’t know what half of those ingredients are but that is probably best as seafood kinda freaks me out. Sam ordered Sake (Salmon) & Hamachi (Yellowtail). We also ordered a bowl of Miso Soup for me and a House Salad for Sam.
Within minutes we had our soup and salad. My miso was so creamy and wonderful and Sam devoured his salad, he was loved their house dressing. Our waitress cleared away our towels and empty bowls and returned with our beautifully plated lunch. I was so happy with my roll, it didn’t taste even a little bit fishy which is usually the reason I don’t like sushi. It was the perfect bite size pieces and had a wonderful spice to it that kept burning even after you finished. Sam wasn’t as happy with his meal. Although he said the flavors were absolutely perfect, the pieces were cut a little too large to be able to manage and they kept falling apart as he tried to eat.
Overall we had a wonderful time at Saji-Ya I can’t wait to go back and try their amazing happy hour specials on their beautiful patio! The food and service was so amazing they may have changed my opinion of sushi. If you would like more information about Saji-Ya you can like them on Facebook and Twitter or check out their website.