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.
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