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A plate of nigri sushi sits on a table, with a dish of sushi rolls next to it.
Sushi nigri at Sasa Sushi.
Rachel Pinn

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This Neighborhood Sushi Bar Is Packed Every Night

Revisiting a not-so-well-kept secret in Lakewood

Welcome to the Scene Report, a column in which Eater captures the vibe of a Dallas restaurant or bar at a specific moment in time.

I pulled (hard) on the door to Sasa Sushi on a Saturday night to find a standing-room-only situation inside. Groups of hopeful diners wrote their names on a list and waited in the small lobby or outside for their names to be called. At Sasa, expect to wait 20 to 30 minutes for a table.

The interior of a busy sushi restaurant. Diners sit at tables against a brick wall with a string of holiday lights above. Rachel Pinn

The vibe

There’s a buzz inside Sasa’s dimly lit dining room. Faux brick and long, olive green leather benches line the far wall, while strings of multicolored twinkle lights — perhaps a holiday leftover — add to the cozy feel of the place. It’s casual, certainly, but it’s filled with a mix of couples doing date night, family dinners, business meals, and friends enjoying a meal out. Behind the bar, three to four sushi chefs work diligently to create both dine-in and takeout orders quickly and efficiently. Sasa does a lot of takeout business; it’s not unusual to see half a dozen bagged orders get picked up and taken away while waiting for a table.

On the menu

The options at Sasa are similar to those of any neighborhood sushi spot, but with added extras like ramen, yakisoba, and options like the shiitake mushroom salad; one of the spot’s more unexpected offerings, the salad tosses meaty shiitakes with peppery arugula, juicy orange slices, and a hint of truffle oil.

Our order this time included our favorite Sasa Sandwich, which features a compressed triangle made of rice paper, rice, spicy tuna, crab meat, and avocado with a bit of spicy mayo for a kick.

A sushi sandwich with spicy mayo. Rachel Pinn

The Oyshi roll tucks hunks of tuna, salmon, yellowtail, masago, avocado, and crab into a thin cucumber wrapper. We rounded out our meal with yellowtail, salmon-avocado, and California maki, as well as some tuna, salmon, and yellowtail nigiri. Personally, my family orders takeout from Sasa so often that I have a list saved in my phone that I can copy and paste into the restaurant’s online ordering system. But we really enjoy dining in, partly due to the friendly and efficient service, and for the potential run-in with a neighbor or two.

What to drink

Order a Japanese beer or some sake. Sasa’s sake arrives at the table in a carafe on ice, which is ideal for sharing.

Best seat in the house

The sushi bar is the natural choice for those dining alone or in pairs, but the seats along the front window offer groups the best view of the bustling dining room without too much foot traffic.

Go here for

Guaranteed run-ins with your neighbors, and consistently fresh, delicious sushi. I recommend the Oyshi, Sasa Sandwich, and all the nigiri.

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