I've heard positive things about Saiko Sake & Sushi Bar for a while and finally bit for a Sake Flights & Bites event. This was the first of an on-going series and featured the seasonal nama sake alongside three savory courses and one dessert course.
The co-owner Evan (middle) hosted the event and introduced us to chef and co-owner Anthony (left) and Max (right), who were busy preparing the food and drinks for the evening. Evan is a Certified Sake Professional (CSP) with a level 1 certifiication; level 2 requires going to Japan which is in the plans for next year!
We were driving home from Orange County after a family gathering and decided to check out Yu Me Ya Sake House basd on their solid yelp reviews. This Encinitas restaurant lies along the coast highway in an area with few street lights. Even inside the restaurant, it's quite dark, sort of like a secret sake cave for those in the know. And now we know! There's only room for approximately 20-25 guests in this place so after a 10-15 minute wait, we were led to our seats at the bar.
This restaurant served mainly small dishes, very few sushi items, and plenty of sake. The dutiful plate setting was accented with a bright mini paper crane. We chatted with the gentleman next to us and he recommended a few food items that he had just tried.
Carpaccio (spicy tuna), sushi style, was first on the list. This small plate contained spicy tuna in a crispy wonton shell.