I met my wife down at Sasa Matsu down at Shaker Square. This is the new incarnation former Matsu down at Chagrin and Van Aken. While I enjoyed the food at the former location the service could be very slow and the seats were absolutely the most uncomfortable I'd ever sat in. In the end, I'd go there because it was close to my house and I didn't go there with the expectation I was going to get out anytime soon.
So how does the new location stack up?
To start, the uncomfortable seats are now located outside. There are much more comfortable chairs indoors. That's a huge improvement right there. I guess I don't mind them being outside when I can enjoy the beautiful weather. There's also an outdoor area that the other one didn't have. The interior space is a huge improvement that is a more modern and sleak design.
But how's the food?
The food was always good. I didn't have a problem with it before; but they've really taken the menu and added a lot of diversity to it. They've taken things and essentially made a Japanese tapas offering. They have the dishes separated into small, medium, and large. We ordered the fried calamari, Sasa fries, kobe meatballs, daikon wraps, and snow mountain roll. We didn't order anything off the large part of the menu since they are more entree type dishes. My two favorites were the kobe meatballs and the snow mountain roll. The kobe meatballs came in a group of four and glazed with a soy yuzu sauce. The snow mountain rolls had crab meat, shrimp tempura topped with a mayo sauce and masago. What I like about these is that there's this satisfying crunch in the middle followed by zing at the end from the mayo and masago. The menu is quite diverse. I would even go so far as to say that there is something for even the most finicky eater.
How's the service?
The service was vastly improved. Josh was our server and he does a really good job. One thing that I really love is when a server knows the menu inside and out and seems genuinely excited about the food that is on the menu. He's been our server both times we've come here.
I'll be the first to admit that I don't jump and down when my wife suggests Japanese but I'd put this place in the same category as Sun Luck Garden. It's very similar in price and quality. If there was an award for most improved restaurant I think Sasa Matsu gets it. The whole dinner was very pleasant. I think is the perfect place to bring a party of four or more so that you can try all of the different offerings on the menu. I encourage everyone to give this place a shot.
December 23, 2008
We ordered: The Fire Roll, Snow Mountain Roll, Kobe Beef Meatballs, and the Calamari. Pretty much the standard lineup for us. As always, a good time with good food.