Sake to Me Again and Again

The Martinez | Photo: Christine N. Ziemba
The Martinez | Photo: Christine N. Ziemba

***Sake is now closed.***

Sake, a relatively newish Asian fusion bistro in Valencia’s Bridgeport Marketplace, is a different kind of restaurant in Santa Clarita. It’s upscale, trendy, expensive, but with a catch—the food and drink quality finally match the price.

The first thing you notice walking into the restaurant, located next to Red Mango yogurt, is the humungous patio with plenty of tables. The hubby and I pass on sitting outside because it’s relatively early on a Saturday night and the SCV sun is brutal. We opt to sit inside and again, I’m struck by the expanse of the restaurant’s seating and interiors. Modern and attractive—just like Sake’s wait and bar staff.

We’re seated at a comfy leather booth in the side room and the friendly waitress takes our drink orders. A Maker’s Manhattan on the rocks and a rum and Diet Coke. We take our time and look over the impressive menu.

The waitress returned with our drinks, a Rum and Diet and a Martinez. Whaat is that? She apologized and was about to return my drink, but offered me a sip first. Glad she did, because the Martinez—an older variation on the martini with Bombay Gin, Sweet Vermouth, Cherry Liqueur and Bitters—was awesome.

Sake offers both sushi and seafood options plus a few meat and poultry dishes to satisfy the non-seafood eaters in any party. Naturally, we had to try a selection of items: We started with a sushi roll. While I really wanted to try the spicier Duo Roll (Spicy Tuna in Soy Paper wrapped in Yellowtail, topped w/Jalapenos & Chili Sesame Ponzu), the hubby eschews the hot and spicy, so we opted to start with the Bin-Maguro Roll (Snow Crab, Avocado & Cucumber wrapped in Albacore, topped w/Jalapeno Cilantro Dressing). To me, it was just ok. A little bland, but perhaps I was just regretting not ordering the Duo Roll.

Everything at Sake is ordered a la carte, so my husband ordered the Wild Mushroom Filet Mignon (Celery Root Puree & Wild Mushroom Gratin) with a side of frites (fries). I ordered a grilled salmon salad and a side of polenta with goat cheese and shiitake mushrooms. Out of those four items, the filet and the polenta are are alone worth a second visit.

The husband—who considers himself a steak expert—declared the Sake filet one of the best he’s tasted. I’ve had better greens and grilled salmon, but that was my fault for ordering something so simple, when other items like Miso Black Cod or Braised Short Ribs were on the menu. But that polenta—I can still taste it—that was a sensory experience to remember.

So is all Sake food perfect? No. But when the dishes hit the mark, it’s pretty darn close. The ambiance and vibe of the restaurant make Sake one of the better special occasion restaurants in the SCV.

Insider tips:

  • Happy hour lasts from 3-6 pm
  • Live music on Sundays 12:30-4 pm
  • Great for special occasions, date night or if someone else is picking up the tab.
  • Open for lunch and dinner
  • Try the polenta and let us know what you think!
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Sake Bistro
23889 Newhall Ranch Rd., Valencia
661.255.7253

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