Located in The Promenade at Coconut Creek, Saito’s Japanese Steakhouse is actually like two Japanese restaurants in one.  On one side, they have the hibachi experience with the large hibachi tables that is more like a ‘dinner and a show’.  On the other side, they have a sushi bar and a regular dining area with other Japanese favorites.  Today we went for dinner, opting for the ‘regular’ side of the restaurant.  Saito’s is located in a good spot in the Promenade, just across from World of Beer (and they deliver to WOB) and they have outside dining as well.

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We wanted to eat in the dining room so went inside.  To the right is the hibachi area and kind of in the center is the sushi bar.  The regular dining room is to the left and we were seated immediately by the hostess.  They have a full liquor menu here, but we had just had a few beers across the street, so just opted for waters.  The menu has many ‘small plates’ to share and a large sushi menu as well with all kinds of specialty rolls.  They have entrees ranging from stir fry to protein and veggies to some traditional Japanese fare.  It’s actually a very large menu.  One interesting item we noticed was ostrich.  We almost ordered it in a stir fry, but chickened out (no pun intended).

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Looking around this is a stylish restaurant with a cool modern look.  Interesting waves and items are woven into the décor that make it quite interesting to the eye.  One wall had a stark white patch, but for the most part the look is more subdued and relaxing.  There are many booths here with some tables in the center and it is a comfortable place to hand out and dine.

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We were given a few minutes to look over the menu and after some page flipping made our final decisions.  Two small plates to start – the pan fried dumplings and the Japanese fried chicken wings.  When we ordered the wings, the server told us that these usually take about 20-25 to prepare fresh and wanted to make sure we were good with the wait.  We were.  We also ordered a sushi roll (Coconut Creek Roll) and a shrimp stir fry.  We figured we would split everything which is always great to do at a place like this.  The food came out one item at a time, which was a good pace.  The only long gap we had was between the dumplings and the wings.  Now onto the food:

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Pan fried dumplings: These looked great.  The wrappers were thin just like we like.  The menu didn’t really say what the filing was, but we would guess it was chicken.  They had almost a smoky flavor due to the pan sear and the dipping sauce was just the right sourness, not overpowering the overall flavor.  These were really good.

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Karaage Chicken – Japanese chicken wings:  These were large and screaming hot.  The breading was mild and very crisp.  While the coating wasn’t loaded with seasoning, the dipping sauce came into play and tied it altogether.  They even dropped off some wet naps, which was a nice touch.  We would get these again…no question.

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Coconut Creek Roll:  The crab was fresh and the roll had an overall good flavor and texture.  The only thing missing was the coconut that the menu said was inside of the roll.  We tasted the pineapple, but no coconut.  We didn’t expect an overpowering coconut flavor, but wanted some.

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Shrimp Stir Fry:  The serving was a lot larger than we had expected and it was still steaming when they dropped it off.  We found it a bit overcooked with the vegetables starting to get too soft for a stir fry.  The shrimp were smaller than we expected and were a bit overcooked.  The sauce was mild and not overly salty which was actually great.  This could have been a great choice if we went on taste alone, but since it was a bit overcooked, it didn’t hit the mark with us.

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The service through our meal was really good and they seem to work in a ‘team’.  We had different people taking our order, serving our food, clearing our plates and filling our waters.  We even had a different server drop off the check.  While some people might not like this approach, it worked for us.  Everyone was friendly and we never had to ask for anything.  This might not be the hottest Japanese place in town, but Saito’s has a lot of options to keep it interesting.  The menu is large and it might take a few visits to find their strong points, but it could be fun trying new things.  We are planning to hit the hibachi side for their lunch special soon.

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Tips:

  • Restrooms are large, updated, clean and nice, though the lighting is very dark.
  • The fried chicken wings take 20 minutes to prepare, but are seriously worth the wait
  • The hibachi lunch prices are lower than dinner.
  • Watch for coupons in The Clipper Magazine.

Saito’s Japanese Steakhouse is located at 4443 Lyons Rd #102 Coconut Creek, FL.

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