By B.A. Nilsson
Western Ave.(Cosimo’s Plaza), Guilderland, 456-2111. Serving
lunch Mon-Fri 11-:30-2 dinner Mon-Thu 4:30-9 Fri 4:30-10,
Sat 4-10, Sun 4-9. MC, V.
Japanese and Korean
price range: $13 (chicken teriyaki) to $24 (nine sushi-nine
sashimi combo with extras)
small, clean and quiet
name of the restaurant San & Bada conjoins two Korean
words, which translate as “mountain” and “ocean” and promise
a wide-ranging culinary experience. Provided you’re game enough
to try some of the wilder-looking denizens of the latter.
Sushi master Eddie, formerly at Latham’s now-defunct Ginza,
has trimmed that restaurant’s menu of Japanese and Korean
offerings to what seems to be the favorite among area Asian
The emphasis is on sushi, and the bar—not too expansive, blonde-wood
handsome and putting you at the heart of the action—clearly
is the focal point. And this is where happy hour takes place
each afternoon, a three-hour stretch during which you can
get a fantastic discount on nigiri (individual pieces
of sushi) and makimoto (sushi rolls). Ten pieces of
the former, with soup and salad, runs $15 during this stretch;
the latter, which gets you three sushi rolls, is a dollar
All the popular fish are represented, as well as favorite
non-fish items like egg custard and seaweed salad. Salmon,
scallops, shrimp, mackerel and three types of tuna are available,
and for the even-less squeamish you can try octopus, sea urchin
No power on earth will persuade my wife to eat raw fish, and
she watches with some dismay as my daughter joins me for a
taste or two. The kid is such a salmon fan that she’ll eat
it cooked or raw, and enjoyed the version Eddie offered, a
good-sized morsel of fish atop a spear of vinegared rice.
But she likes to dredge it through a lot of soy sauce, which
I fear overwhelms the delicate flavors of the fish. A drop
of soy sauce, a dab of wasabi, and you’re set.
Sushi rolls give you a more complicated array of flavors,
sometimes without even having fish involved. Kappamaki
features cucumber and sesame seeds; a taco roll (of all things!)
comprises salsa, lettuce and cheddar cheese.
The beloved California roll surrounds a piece of fabricated
“crab” with avocado, cucumber and fish eggs; head for Boston
and the “crab” and avocado are mated with shrimp, lettuce
and mayonnaise. But wait! The New York roll is a Boston roll
that adds—you guessed it—apple, while the Alaska roll threads
together slices of salmon, avocado and cucumber.
I enjoy the spicy tuna roll, which adds a little (but not
much) heat to the equation, and the construction of the rolls—a
cylinder of rice surrounds the main ingredients, bound into
a circlet of seaweed—makes them easy to savor.
Be sure to give yourself the chance to watch Eddie at work.
It has to be a task of diminishing return by virtue of its
repetition, this sushi making, but he crafts each like a work
of art (which, on a most fundamental level, it is).
Korean cuisine is represented here only sketchily, but the
Albany area hasn’t exactly been supportive of restaurants
devoted to that fare. Which is a shame, because (at least
based on the bustling restaurants on 32nd Street) there are
wonderful dishes to be explored here.
At least try the bulgogi ($15, beef or chicken), a
zesty combination of meat and onions and some other choice
vegetables. The beef version, which is where I believe this
combo works best, lights up the flavor of the meat with a
skillful blend of seasonings. A side of kimchi (spiced fermented
cabbage) offers one of the many contrasting flavors typical
of a Korean meal.
Your beef or chicken can get teriyaki flavored, for $15 or
$13, respectively; add three more dollars and get it in a
complete dinner box, which includes miso soup, a green salad
and a large lacquered box with meat, a selection of shrimp
and vegetable tempura, rice and more salads (rice noodles,
edamame and more greens). It’s a sensational array,
one that my daughter never fails to order because she enjoys
the artistry of the presentation as well as the meal itself.
Another meat presentation is the sushi-like negimaki,
which wraps chicken or beef around a center of seasoned scallions
and presents the result in bite-sized roll portions. Again,
a richly flavored dish—we sampled the chicken version ($13.85)—that
presents a unique approach to this combination.
Another Korean dish is a soup called gji gae, which
mixes kimchi with a rich broth and adds pork ($10) or tofu
($9) with a resultant effect that’s not overly spicy but certainly
dramatic and satisfying.
Among the many appetizers, the steamed pork dumplings ($4.50)
were a standout, while my wife, who takes tofu seriously,
enjoyed the agedashi tofu ($4.50), in which the stuff
gets an attempt at flavoring by frying it and serving it with
This doesn’t even touch on the seafood offerings, like a mixed
teriyaki plate ($23) that skewers shrimp, lobster, scallops
and vegetables or the unajyu don ($15), broiled eel
on rice, which I have yet to sample.
Your favorite sushi stop may simply be what’s in your neighborhood,
so if you’re in Guilderland, you’re lucky. San & Bada
has friendly service and a welcoming atmosphere, not to mention
very accomplished cooking; it’s worth the trip if you want
to abandon your own neighborhood for an evening.
here for a list of recently reviewed restaurants.
the way an airline rushes to paint out any identifying
insignia on a crashed plane, the owners of the
Guilderland Fresno’s have obliterated all signs
on and around the now-shuttered restaurant. I
have yet to discover if this is standard procedure
for chain units that go belly-up, but, brand sensitivity
being what it is, I wouldn’t be surprised to see
a trend emerge. No way to disguise the goofy architecture,
however. . . . Parisi’s Steakhouse (11
N. Broadway, Schenectady) hosts a wine-tasting
dinner Mon, Mar 7, a six-course meal that seats
at 7 PM and matches inventive fare with an international
array of wine. Among the courses are orechietta
with broccolini, chicken and sun-dried tomatoes
(with a Noble Chardonnay from France); mussels
bianco (Columbia Winery Pinot Gris from Washington);
and baby rack of lamb on a bed of lentils with
seared spinach (HRM Rex Goliath, Pinot Noir, California).
Hosts are Joann Van Stone and Greg Woolston from
Eber Brothers Wine & Liquors. Dinner is $50
plus tax & tip; reserve seats (only a few
remain) by calling 374-0100. . . . Remember to
pass your scraps to Metroland (e-mail email@example.com).
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very much enjoyed eating dinner at Daniel's
at Ogdens. You review described my dining
experience perfectly. This wasn't the case
with Pancho's. I much prefer Garcia's or
Lake View Tavern for Mexican fare. I agree
that a restaurant can have an off night
so I'll give the second unit on Central
Avenue a try.
yes I miss the star ratings, bring it back.
Second, I haven't had a chance to visit
Poncho's yet, but I especially like reading
would travel to Amsterdam to this restaurant
- it's not that far away. People traveled
from all over to eat at Ferrandi's in Amsterdam.
From his background, I'm sure the chef's
sauce is excellent and that is the most
important aspect of an Italian restaurant.
Sometimes your reviewer wastes words on
the negative aspects of a restaurant. I'm
looking forward to trying this restaurant
- I look forward to Metroland every Thursday
especially for the restaurant review. And
by the way Ferrandi's closed its Amsterdam
location and is opening a new bistro on
Saratoga Lake - Should be up and running
in May. It will be called Saratoga Lake
Bistro. It should be great!
comments about the Indian / Pakistani restaurants
being as "standardized as McDonald's"
shows either that you have eaten at only
a few Indian / Pakistani restaurants or
that you have some prejudices to work out.
That the physical appearances are not what
you would consider fancy dancy has no bearing
on the food. And after all, that is what
the main focus of the reviews should be.
Not the physical appearances, which is what
most of your reviews concentrate on.
A restaurant like The Shalimar, down on
Central Avenue, may not look the greatest,
but the food is excellent there. And the
menu has lots of variety - beef, lamb, vegetarian,
chicken, and more..