Sado - The Best Sushi In St. Louis

4.8 stars Review Philosophy

Sado Takeaway. Best sushi in Saint Louis at totally reasonable prices. Incredibly fresh fish. Expertly designed appetizers and rolls. Surprisingly, large portions make a solid price-to-flavor ratio. They save walk-ins, so you have a 50/50 shot on Friday and Saturday night. Friendly and knowledgeable staff. Parking can take a minute in The Hill. Top 5 sushi places I've ever been. Tip: Sitting at the Sushi Bar lets you speak with the chef and possibly nap some samples.


Table Of Contents: Experience | Food | Atmosphere | Receipt


Sado Sushi Bar

Details

  • 5201 Shaw Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110
  • (314) 390-2883
  • Website
  • Yelp - 4.4 stars - 154 ratings
  • Google Maps - 4.5 stars - 173 ratings

Hours

DayHours
MondayClosed
Tuesday5–9 PM
Wednesday5–9 PM
Thursday5–9 PM
Friday5–10 PM
Saturday5–10 PM
Sunday5–9 PM

Map


Sado Experience Summary

My wife had heard about Sado from a friend, so we headed there for a Saturday night date night without a reservation. While we had several places in mind as backup, the staff was super friendly and was able to find a spot for us at the sushi bar. He said that walk-ins are 50/50 chance on Friday or Saturday night but should be available most other nights of the week.

Sado Signage

Getting to sit at the sushi bar ended up including some great perks. We talked to the sushi chef on and off during the meal. He was very approachable, gave us background on sourcing the fish, and provided us with samples of other rolls. He noted that they dry-aged some of their fish for one week to enhance the flavor and that they source the more exotic fish directly from a market in Tokyo.

Baby Tongue Alert - Sushi requirements. There are two basic sushi requirements in my book:

  1. Don't give me food poisoning

  2. Taste good

Sado passed both.

The top-tier sushi rivaled anything I've had in San Francisco and Los Angeles, including Nobu. My wife noted the fish tasted incredibly fresh and was unlike anything she could remember, except for Nobu - she gave Nobu a ten and this a 7 to 8.

Sado Main Dining Room

The appetizers were well-designed, with the complementing sides accenting the primary flavors well. But the fish was so good that we would order significantly fewer appetizers and more sushi next time.

The price came in at around $115, but we ordered too much and didn't get dessert. That significantly beats the price of Akar for a better overall experience. Yet it's 2x the cost of Cate Zone, so it won't snag my overall favorite restaurant away quite yet. My wife would choose Sado over Cate Zone purely on food rankings as she prefers sushi to Szechuan food.

The Food At Sado

The Fish

I will go out of serving order and focus on the fish first because it's why you should come here.

Sado Tigery Cry Roll

I had the Tiger Cry roll, which was yellowtail and imitation crab, plus friends. The fish was creamy and mixed with the shallots and Thai spices, causing a tiny celebration in my mouth. $22 for a roll this large was actually very reasonably priced. At 1.25 times the standard price for a similarly sized role in St. Louis, none will taste as good as this.

I almost ordered the seared yellowtail belly but decided on this instead. Turns out the seared yellowtail is one of Sado's best sellers, according to the chef. My standard comparison sushi roll would be a spicy tuna roll, which would also be on my next order.

Sado Nippon Tartare

My wife had the Nippon tartare, which was her favorite dish. It was a patty of yellowtail mixed with candied cashews and Thai chili. A surprisingly large portion, it cost $28, so you'd expect there to be a fair amount of food.

Looking at the menu again - the rolls, nigiri, and sashimi are the only parts of the menu I'd order from to maximize the taste-to-cost ratio.

The chef also let us taste the negihama. The flavor from the sauce overpowered the fish a bit, but they went excellently together.

Sado Hamachi

Appetizers

We ordered three appetizers:

All three were excellent but a relative waste of belly space.

Surprisingly, the vegan crispy rice was my favorite. My wife was the one who ordered that one more for herself, but I ended up taking more than my half because it was so good. It's a fried rice patty with vegetables and sauce on top of it, and the crunch on the patty mixed with the sauce and the vegetables was surprisingly delicious.

Sado Vegan crispy rice

The ginger salad hit everything you'd want in an Asian-themed salad with ginger, miso, edamame puree, cashews, and lotus root. The edamame puree acted as a dressing and was our favorite part of the dish.

Lastly were the fried Brussels sprouts. They were perfectly fried and melted in your mouth, but they were relatively heavy for the meal. Again, they tasted phenomenal, but I wouldn't get them a second time with everything else on the menu.

Sado Vegan brussels sprouts

Our final bite came from the sushi chef again. He provided us with a butter-poached mushroom nigiri. He said it is one of the least ordered items, and I would never have thought to order it. The smokey butter flavor came rushing out as soon as you bit into the mushroom. I enjoyed tasting it, but it's probably not worth the order unless you're vegetarian.

Sado Kinoko

Sado Atmosphere And Miscellaneous

The Hill is primarily Italian food, but it's good to know a really good sushi place exists amongst the Italians.

The service was generally attentive and helpful. Our waitress was super friendly and promptly brought all the food out.

Sado Bar

The restaurant is very chic. It's maybe a little bit too dark for an old soul like me, but it wasn't loud, and the decor didn't overpower the food. It would not be a great restaurant for kids.

And lastly, it was surprisingly affordable, given the food quality and the atmosphere. The most straightforward comparison because it's fresh of mind is to Akar. Akar was $160 for the two of us, while this meal came in at $115. We went out for ice creams for another $10, so $125, let's say, apples-to-apples comparison. $35 cheaper, and I think if we optimized our order, we'd be all in around $100-$110 with dessert for two people. That makes it 30% cheaper than Akar for the best sushi in St. Louis and one of the top five sushi I've had.

Sado Fish Specials

However, Sado didn't quite take the mantle for my favorite restaurant in St. Louis. That still belongs to Cate Zone or Union Loafers.

Parking At Sado

Parking is a little stressful in the Hill on a Saturday night because it's crowded. We got lucky and parked like a two-minute walk away. You'll find a spot, but you might have to walk four or five minutes to the restaurant.

Sado Receipt

Sado Receipt

Related Saint Louis Restaurant Reviews

Join The Newsletter

Weekly reviews of restaurant, parks, and things to do All Around Saint Louis.