Japanese Restaurant-Sushi Bar & Grill
Another Saturday night and The Dining Detectives are at it again- searching Sonoma County for interesting food and drink to share with our loyal readers. This warm March evening, we found our way to Osake in Santa Rosa and OH did we enjoy the Sake!
Gary Chu, owner and Chef, has aptly named his Japanese Restaurant after the Rice Wine that is so popular in Japan. The O before Sake translates to "Respect". We could see by the choices of Premium and Exotic Sake, that he truly respects his clientele, which are knowledgeable and pleased to enjoy the largest selection of Sake in Sonoma County. Gary Chu practices his philosophy that overall quality of life is made better when using only the freshest and finest of ingredients in the preparation of his unique style of California Style Contemporary and Traditional Japanese Cuisine Selections. His unique style comes from his Asian roots China/Korea/Japan and he improvises to create new and traditional dishes alike.
The Restaurant entrance boasts a beautiful aquarium. Just inside is a Sushi Bar which seats about a dozen people. We were whisked to a pleasant table in the dining room and our waiter Koji was about to lead us on a journey through the Far East.
Rare Select Premium Sake from different Regions of Japan are a signature of Osake- We had never had such a great selection. You can enjoy Sake by the glass, bottle or Flight (3 tastes)- Cold or hot your choice. Sake is growing in popularity and the more discerning are able to taste the subtleties and appreciate the differences. At Osake you can get the high-end choices.
Our favorites were:
Hitorimusume- (My Only Daughter)-Extra smooth trickle Sake with an expansive flavor and full aroma
Wakatake- (Young Bamboo) Diaginjo- Complex with Fruity and Floral Flavors
Kamoi Zumi- (Finest Spring Water) Aged Sake-Full Aroma-Rich Tasting
Korean Style Short Ribs--
Beef Short Ribs Marinated in Honey, Soy, and Garlic, Robata Grilled. This was very tender and the sauce was tasty- A good Starter.
Thinly Sliced Fresh Tuna or Salmon with light olive oil & blue cheese. We had the Tuna that pleased us both for the presentation and the freshness.
Raw or cooked fish on top of seasoned rice
Of course, many people were eating Sushi as the main course but with so many choices on this large menu we opted for a few pieces as an appetizer.
We tried a good variety of raw, cooked and cured
Tobiko-Flying Roe Fish
These were some of the freshest (raw) sushi we have ever tasted
These cooked delights were flavorful
The Entrees are served A La Carte or as Complete Dinners which includes soup, salad and rice. Since we had so many choices to taste we opted for A La Carte.
Crispy Fried Prawns, Salmon, Calamari & Vegetables with Tempura Sauce.
This is an Entrée that will allow the non-Sushi diner to enjoy a tasty meal too. Light and complete with more " Fish" and enough Vegetables. Usually weve found that you get one Prawn and all Veggies but not this generous dish.
Lightly Battered Prawns served in a mildly spicy sauce with onions, green and red bell peppers. Another good choice for the non RAW" diners. The next time Ill ask for a hotter sauce but thats just our preference.
Sashimi-From The Sushi Bar
Tuna, Salmon, Octopus, Halibut, Yellow Tail
Combination 15 or 20 pieces. This is where the true Japanese food fan will see that Osake stands out. Thick cut raw fish is the order of the house and freshness is in the taste.
Osake Executive Bento Dinner-
Choice of Two
Sashimi and California Roll
Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura
Teriyaki Beef, Salmon, or Chicken
Lemon Sauce Chicken
For a first timer or a regular this is a great way to get many great tastes at one meal. We particularly enjoyed the Miso Soup.
Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream- A fine end to a filling meal
New York Style Cheesecake with Chambord Raspberry Liqueur Sauce and Assorted Berries. This was our personal favorite dessert-It was light and the Berries were sweet
We tried this substitute for coffee and were glad we did.
We had a very enjoyable dining experience and were treated well by our server Koji and Gary Chu. The menu is very extensive and it is best to stick with items that you already know and then branch out on future visits. We look forward to returning soon.