Patti and I went to Sakura the other night after an afternoon of smelling the aromas from another local Japanese steak house. We were out in front but too late for lunch, so we figured we would go for dinner at Sakura.
We made a reservation for 5 pm and were seated promptly when we arrived. It's always an experience when just the two of us go and sit with strangers. We discuss food, drinks, and experiences and share some great times.
Let's Get to the Food
They have a great food selection even though the menu hasn't changed in years. No matter that the choices are the same, it's just fun to read them and enjoy them again and again.
Patti opted for the chicken dinner this night, and I went with the NY steak and shrimp combo.
Of course, there was a great show put on by the chef to help entertain and keep things lively, which he did this night.
Due to my peanut and sesame allergy, I was surprised by a new dressing for my salad. They used a dark ponzu sauce instead of the clear one they usually use. I have to admit I enjoyed the dark one more than the lighter one. It had more depth and flavor that enhanced the lettuce. Next time at a Japanese steak house, ask for the ponzu dressing for your salad if you want to experiment a little.
The next thing was the issue of sesame seeds in the fried rice. It's not the same flavor as the one cooked on the grill, but it's okay. Each time we've been there, the chefs always add sesame seeds to the rice, so I have to order my rice separately, which they do in the back.
This time the chef surprised me. When he read about my sesame seed allergy and asked about the rice, I said okay, but it never is the same as what's cooked on the grill. He said no worries; he wouldn't add sesame seeds to the rice. They've never offered that before.
The rice was flavorful, except for the bacon being a little overcooked, although it did add some great crispy bites to the rice that added to the flavor.
I also noticed him keeping the eggs on the side and thought he had forgotten to add them until I saw him fill a bowl of rice without the egg for one of the people dining at our table. I figured she had an allergy to eggs, and this chef was really thoughtful of his diners.
That makes for a good tip at the end of a meal, the way I am figuring it.
The Main Courses
Patti decided to have the NY steak dinner that night while I opted for the NY steak and shrimp, something I haven't ordered in the past, and I don't know why? I like shrimp, especially if it's cooked correctly, and I figured this chef seemed to know his stuff so the shrimp wouldn't be undercooked as some chefs have done in the past.
Patti's steak was a tad overcooked, which was weird since mine wasn't. I don't know how that happened, but it did. She said the flavor was spot on, but it was just overcooked. The veggies that came with it, plus the ones I added to her plate from my plate, made her happy.
I'm not one for the veggies, although I like the sprouts with a dose of the sweet and spicy sauce they serve, which I also use on my rice and dip the shrimp.
As I said above, my steak was perfect. I watched the chef cook both mine and Patti's steak, but we thought later that maybe he left hers on a little longer while he served me first? Something to consider next time we're there.
My steak was tender and super flavorful, especially with the addition of the sweet and spicy sauce. I can never get enough of that sauce with food there.
Patti's not a fan of the sauce due to the spiciness, so I get to use her sauce with mine and trade off my veggies.
All in all, it was almost a perfect dinner. Except for Patti's steak being overcooked, everything else was on point.
I recommend you check out the Sakura steak house in Clovis at the Sierra Vista Mall or the one on Nees in Fresno. You'll need reservations for Tapenyaki, so remember when you're drooling for some great teriyaki.
Mark & Patti