Cafe Society

The Sky's the Limit for Wayne Conwell of Sushi Sasa, Glaze by Sasa

Fans of Sushi Sasa may have wondered why it took chef-owner Wayne Conwell nine years to expand. But Glaze by Sasa, which I review this week, isn't Conwell's first foray outside of Sasa. It's simply the most visible one.

A year ago, Conwell teamed up with Epicurean Group to expand the catering options in suites at Broncos games. In addition, Conwell's crew designs and prepares the Japanese menu for first-class customers on United Airlines' daily flight from DIA to Tokyo. "When you fly, you're generally expecting to pay a lot of money and get food that's not very good," says Conwell. "Now that's changing." See also: Review of Glaze by Sasa -- a Sweet Combination

The menu changes seasonally and might include a piece of California roll, clear soup, stewed Japanese pumpkin and miso-sesame salmon, all of which are designed for United. "We make pickles but not those type of pickles, we make stewed vegetables but not those stewed vegetables," says Conwell. "The recipes to make these ingredients are generally pretty much already built into our system, but the dishes are uniquely different."

Also different are the logistics, involving special dishes and dry ice to ensure that the food, which is prepared at Sushi Sasa, arrives at the airport at the proper temperature.

If I could enjoy Conwell's fare for dinner on a long flight, I'd be one happy passenger. But not as happy as everyday guests at Glaze by Sasa; Despite the sweet side of his newest venture, Conwell doesn't currently provide baum cake or other desserts to trans-Pacific diners.

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Gretchen Kurtz has worked as a writer for 25 years; during that time she's stomped grapes in Napa, eaten b'stilla in Fez, and baked with Buddy Valastro, aka the Cake Boss. Her work has appeared in publications including Boulevard (Paris), Diversion, the New York Times and Westword. Our restaurant critic since 2012, she loves helping you decide where to eat and drink tonight.
Contact: Gretchen Kurtz