Would we go back:
350 St. Peter Street
• Mexican Roll $8.95 (shared)
• Wasabi Shu Mei $4.75 (shared)
• Seafood Tempura $16.95
This was a good Japanese Restaurant. They were not very busy, but they are right next to Pazzaluna, Kincaid's and the St. Paul Grill.
The Mexican Roll was fine. The Shu Mei were amazing. They have a great appetizer list and next time I may just order a bunch of appetizers for a meal. The seafood tempura was good, but not as good as the appetizers.
• Sashimi and Tempura $18.50
Since going to Sakura, one of my coworkers told me how much he hated Sakura. He was most disappointed in the slow service. I’m not one to complain about slow service, unless it is painfully slow and the hot food arrives cold.
I actually thought that Sakura was a good addition to downtown St. Paul. They have cornered the market for Japanese food there. The closest competition is Saji-Ya on Grand Avenue, which I would recommend to most people based on their less-intimidating atmosphere. Other competition comes from Minneapolis: Origami (still my favorite), Kikugawa (the origin of Sakura’s owner), and Fuji-Ya (in our basket).
All that said, I would return to Sakura to try more of their unique appetizers. The Mexican roll was good and the Wasabi shu mei was excellent. Like other Japanese restaurants, it is not for the average American. Outside of tempura and California rolls, everything is new, different, and scary. I enjoyed everything we had at Sakura, though I was stuffed by the end. I would particularly recommend the sashimi and tempura combination; it is a great value.
June 23, 2001