Sushi Sasa rolls out vegetarian and vegan delights

When we saw that Robin Bar-on of Udi's -- who cooks up a pretty fine vegan spread herself -- thought Sushi Sasa's chef, Wayne Conwell, is a culinary genius, we knew we had to check out the veggie rolls. So we stopped by the Highland eatery on a recent Monday night to see what all the fuss was about.

The elegant dining room and sushi bar were quietly humming with four-tops of girlfriends, couples and even a family or two tucked away amongst the clean lines and blonde wood decor. Although Sushi Sasa offers several rice and noodle bowls with vegetarian and vegan options, we were there for one thing, and one thing only: the sushi. We ordered some plain-Jane avocado rolls and also went for the specialty veggie rolls on the menu. (Please forgive the photography; the mood lighting was dim and lovely, but made snapping a shot that did this spread justice more than a little difficult.)

The veggie roll is a mixture of avocado, cucumber, mixed greens, burdock root, kampyo, daikon and ginger, while the veggie tempura roll (it's vegan-friendly -- they use flour and soda water for the batter, no egg!) contains tempura-fried asparagus, carrot and Japanese pumpkin with sweet soy sauce.

The tempura roll was far and away the best vegetarian sushi we've encountered in this city; with just the right amount of crispiness to offset the texture of seaweed, rice and vegetables, it was nothing short of amazing. The veggie roll was no slump, either, and even those avocado rolls were delicious -- the avocado ripe and freshly sliced, each little package holding together perfect.

Sushi Sasa is open for lunch every day except Sunday, and for dinner every night -- Fridays and Saturdays till midnight -- and you can bet this is where we'll be getting our veggie-friendly sushi fix from now on. Visit www.sushisasadenver.com for more information and a full menu.

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