Kevin Godbee · Sep 21, 2018 · 3 min read
Quietly, back in April 2018, 23 Restaurant Services, while in town for their buildout of Ford's Garage and Yeoman's Cask & Ale, stumbled upon Souzou Asian Kitchen and bought it. They've been running it as Souzou for months.
The transformation is now complete, and Saké 23 debuts this weekend with their Grand Opening Events: Friday, 9/21 - Street Laced DJ (Don Pablo), and Saturday, 9/22 - DJ Curtis James (Curtis Viscome).
Menu categories include: Sushi, Sashimi, Bento Boxes, Soups, Ramen, Major Rolls, Minor Rolls, Fried Rice (and cauliflower), and Dinner Plates - see the full menu at the end of this piece.
Some of the Souzou favorites, like the Category 5 (one of our favorites), and even the Souzou roll were kept on the menu. Past Souzou regulars will be happy about this. There are now six ramen options instead of just the one previously available.
When Souzou was first bought, the former head chef left to open his own business, and the sous chef, "T" stepped up and was given the opportunity to take over and create two of his own rolls, The 23 Dragons and the High Roller. They were already a hit in all the taste tests prior to opening, and we thought they were excellent at the preview last night. It's nice to see that Jessi Rogers, who has been there since day one, is still there, and is now the General Manager.
23 Restaurant Services is known as a multi-location restaurant brand, but as of now, there is no other Saké 23 location in the works, but it is also not ruled out, according to Chef Joe Bejos, Director of Culinary. On a phone call, Bejos also said that they have kept the quality, and in some cases, even improved the quality from the past.
They did a miraculous re-design in only four days—closing on Sunday, and re-opening on Thursday for a VIP party last night, and then open to the public today.
The interior has been vastly opened up, and made brighter, and more welcoming. (We showed up early, before the party to get good unobstructed shots. You could barely move it was so packed later on.)
One of the challenges of the location is ... the location!
That's why they have much more prominent signs now. A lot of traffic actually goes by the restaurant, but now much more of that traffic will know there is actually a Japanese restaurant there.
We rarely talk about prices for various reasons, which we won't go into here, but we feel it is our duty, in this case to inform you that prices on sushi, and other items have been significantly reduced from what the location charged before. We spoke to Marc Brown, the President of the company, last night, and he simply stated; "their margins were too high".
We sampled several items last night, and they were all quite impressive, and delicious.
Feast your eyes on these, and this weekend, actually feast on them!
23 Restaurant Services acquired asian restaurant, Saké 23, previously Souzou, in April 2018. Saké 23 will continue their pacific rim inspired favorites with even greater attention to food quality and new emphasis on a variety of elevated dishes.
PLEASE NOTE: Reviews reflect a certain moment in time. Some restaurants stay extremely consistent over many years, and some change for the better or worse. Some things that may change are: chefs, recipes, food suppliers, ingredients, philosophies. We always hope that you have the same good, or great experience we had.