St. Paul >Restaurants >
695 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN | Directions 5510544.940053 -93.129659
Mon-Thu 11am-2:30pm; 5pm-10pm
Fri 11am-2:30pm; 5pm-11pm
Neighborhoods: Summit Hill
Real Japanese food! – Saji-ya has real Japanese food, which is unfortunately uncommon in Midwestern Japanese restaurants. And they do it pretty well. We had flounder and grilled squid. The flounder was quite tasty (albeit not fried like the menu said), and the squid was done just right--tender, and not rubbery. The seasoning was also like what you would find in Japan. The miso soup was good (flavorful with just enough miso), but the salad was more American-style than Japanese (romaine lettuce). We finished up with imagawayaki (like a waffle filled with bean jam). The imagawayaki wasn't as piping hot and crispy as what you'd get on the street in Tokyo, but it was still good. The green tea ice cream on shiso leaves was a nice touch. I was also favorably impressed that they served real plum wine (Choya) rather than the plum-flavored white wine that seems to be favored in these parts. The traditional menu had many items you don't see in Midwestern Japanese restaurants such as hijiki (black seaweed) and kimpira gobo (burdock root). They must be expecting Japanese customers (or people who know Japanese food) on a regular basis. The decor and ambiance were also interesting. They chose tasteful decorations and designs that would remind you that you were in a Japanese restaurant (e.g., a mosaic with koi and a sea turtle), but didn't try to make you feel like you were in Japan. The music was a little loud, but it didn't intrude on conversation too much. Overall, a very good experience and recommended to people who want real Japanese food (not just sushi).
A Taste Of Japan – I have been going to many different Japanese restaurants in the twin Cities since the early 90's and there is one that has worked hard to recreate itself from 1990's and that is Saji-ya. I went for the Teppanyaki and stayed for the sushi. The teppanyaki was a fun show and generous portions for the price, I thought. We thought we would have some fun and try some Sushi. My server suggested the Super Saji roll and the Spicy Tuna roll along with a small assortment of other sushi. It was some of the freshest sushi I have had in the Twin Cities. We had such a wonderful time. I have recommended Saji-ya to many of my friends.
Going Downhill – This used to be a top-notch restaurant, but seems to be going downhill. We ate on a TH night, had slow and very unattentive service (had to search the waiter out for drink refills, 2 orders were forgotten), and the sushi was just so-so.
the most awful sushi I have ever had – I have lived in LA, NYC, Miami, and Mpls. I'd have to say the quality and variety of Mpls restaurants is still comparable to other large cities. Last night I went to Sajiya and was sorely disappointed by the abject quality of the food. Granted we attended the happy hour for a "taster" and left with the most awful taste in my mouth. I could have gotten better sashimi at Whole Foods. I ordered a bowl of rice, which I specifically asked for "japanese sushi rice" and got a dry pile of jasmine rice that I was charged $2.50 for! It was a very cold day so my finace ordered a bowl of Udon Noodle soup and what came out was a bland bowl of mystery-flavored broth. We couldn't tell *what* flavor the broth was - certainly nothing we've ever had before and we know what authentic Japanese is. And just to for a last twist of the knife in our side, the saki did nothing but augment the foul, fishy sashimi taste with a tart, vinegary aftertaste.
We've been exploring japanese restaurants in the twin cities and Origami remains to have the best quality and their happy hour still is the best combination of quality and price. Saji-ya seemed like a fun local hangout, but stay away from the food!
Terribly Slow service – My daughter and I went to Saji Ya on a Sunday night. We were promptly seated but we only got our server after 15 minutes. We already knew what we were going to order but the time it took for us to finally give it was way too long to wait. Once we placed our order it took half an hour to get our food which was unacceptable because there were only 14 people in the restaurant. Once we had finished eating and had asked for our bill it took 15 minutes to finally get our bill. The food is pretty good but the service is terrible.
Best in Town – I have been to many Japanese restaurants in the Twin cities and this is by far the best. The food is really, really, good. The service is also great. They have very unique rolls which are very yummy. My favorite one is the incredible hulk roll. I would recommend going nowhere else but Sajiya for Japanese food.
So So – I have eaten at my sushi restuarants in the midwest area and Saji-Ya is alright. If you are craving a quick bite of sushi this would be the place to go. But if you are looking for some really good sushi there is koyi sushi, Origami, Blue Martini and Fujya. I would have to say that those are the best sushi in MN.
Slow service -OK Sushi – As Sushi goes the food was decent, the decor was nice, and also a nice location with parking, but the service was not only incredibly slow but they did not get the order correct. It was not very busy and it still took about 45 minutes for them to get our Sushi. If speed and accuracy of service would improve this could be an above average Sushi establishment. It was on a Sunday evening and I would have given them the benefit of the doubt on slowness had it not been for all the other reviews commenting on slow service.
Excellent sushi – Just went here for dinner last night and had a great experience. The service wasn't exactly the greatest, and had I been on a schedule vs. a leisure Sunday evening, it may have been a problem. Our server was a very sweet girl who understood the menu well. So to recap on the service: not abysmal, not spectacular; nothing worth writing as much as I already have.
To name a few, I've had sushi at Chino Latino, Origami, Benihana's. The sushi here was so amazing, and wins out on all past experiences. I am still craving it and have been sitting on the fence all afternoon on whether to get some more for dinner take-out tonight. Some of the rolls are pretty pricey, but when you are eating them and the plate is suddenly empty, you dismiss the prices and order more anyways. We had the salmon sashimi, the spicy tuna roll, the number 9 roll, the king crab sashimi, and the crunchy roll. The king crab was probably my least favorite, but all the rolls were so good. We also got the ginger chicken wings and the egg rolls. Both were very good, but their sushi is where it's had. I'm so glad to know I have a top sushi place in my neighborhood so I don't have to keep driving to Minneapolis when I need a fix.
seaweed like plastic – -SLOW yet casual service
-Seaweed on the sushi like a rubber tire
-Are Sunday's baby night??
-Dirty, bad lighting and crammed together like you are sitting on an airplane...
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