Best Fast-Casual Restaurant - 2010
SanSai Japanese Grill
Since its introduction to the St. Louis market in 2004, SanSai Japanese Grill has hipped our region to what West Coast diners have known for some time: Good sushi is not found only in expensive restaurants with icon-status chefs — nor should sushi lovers have to settle for blah-tasting California rolls procured from a supermarket cold case. A delicious middle ground exists, where freshly prepared nigiri and sashimi can be purchased for a reasonable price in a casual environment. SanSai offers a variety of lovely fish (based on availability), including tuna, salmon and yellowtail, plus several made-to-order rolls (such as the irresistible softshell-crab roll). Dining with a coworker who makes faces at the very thought of raw fish? First, we're sorry to hear that. And second, SanSai provides plenty of options for your sushi-phobic cubicle mate. Plates of steak, salmon, shrimp and spicy chicken are accompanied by skewers of freshly grilled vegetables, rice and one of SanSai's signature salads. Potstickers are a good bet, as is a simple dish of lightly salted edamame. Lunch at SanSai, including sides and a drink, will rarely run you more than $10, and the healthy options are as easy on your waistline as they are on your pocketbook.