Roaring Reviews: Fairfax’s Village Sake

Adeleine Trombley '18, Writer

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Many people may not know that Fairfax has its first Japanese restaurant! It’s called Village Sake and advertises itself as a unique community hub where one can celebrate milestones or have a dinner out with friends. Village Sake is located at 19 Bolinas Avenue in downtown Fairfax. They are open Sunday and Monday 5-9pm, Wednesday-Saturday 5-10pm and are closed on Tuesday, for the time being. They do not accept reservations, but you can call them at (415) 521-5790 after 5:30pm to get on a waitlist for the night. The exclusive chef, Scott Whitman, formerly worked at Sausalito’s renowned Sushi Ran. After working there for 15 years, he is excited to open this amazing restaurant with the help of many other local residents.

I visited the restaurant by coincidence on it’s opening weekend. My mom and I wanted a nice dinner out and stumbled upon it while searching Google for sushi places. When we entered, it felt like a dinner party with all of our friends. The tables are close and there are benches along the walls with a u-shaped bar on one side. Even though it was a small space and there were many people inside, it gave off a cozy, comfortable vibe that you would get from a place you have been going to since you were a little kid. Despite the fact that it was a Saturday night, my mom and I were seated surprisingly quickly. We ordered after a few minutes, but there was no pressure to finish our dinner quickly.

Both of us were surprised by the mix of unique and classic options on their menu. It changes daily and has many gluten free options, so there is always something for everyone. Everything exceeded every standard I held. Every dish looked beautiful and tasted equally as fantastic. We ordered the edamame first, as an appetizer, along with miso soup. For the main course, we ordered hamachi kama or grilled yellowtail collar, grilled shiitake, baby green bean tempura and spicy tuna roll. The edamame was warm and salted, while the miso soup that had a perfect ratio of tofu to shiitake. The grilled shiitake had incredible flavor and the baby green bean tempura was just crispy enough. The hamachi kama might have been some of the best I have had. If you feel like trying something new, I would definitely go with this dish because it was grilled to perfection with a lovely ponzu sauce. Ditch the chopsticks for this one because it might get a little messy. If you are looking for a classic, the spicy tuna roll is the perfect option. There was a little spice in each bite, instead of a lot of spice in one bite and none in the next.

The Village Sake is totally worth the drive into Fairfax; you will not regret it, I promise. I had an unbelievable experience, and give the restaurant a glowing “two thumbs up” review! I do warn you though, the wait can easily creep up to two hours, so I suggest calling beforehand to request a spot on the waitlist. For more information see their website, www.villagesake.com.

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