Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Food review: I tried Saizon, a reservation-only restaurant in north Fresno. I want to be rich and eat there every day.

For $36.25, the costilla is a delicious fatty smoked stack of well-done meat worth trying. (Carlos Rene Castro/ The Collegian)

Saizon, a Mexican-American upscale restaurant in north Fresno, delivers diverse flavors of shareable plates and drinks for a reasonable price. For $130, I ordered four small dishes and three cocktails, satisfying my expectations during my dining experience on a Sunday afternoon.

Saizon is a spacious, modern restaurant with an open kitchen, serving some of the best plates in Fresno. It has become so popular that reservations are required to dine there.

When I arrived at the restaurant for my 6:15 p.m. reservation, Saizon was buzzing with high, contagious energy. The restaurant had every seat filled with hungry customers during Labor Day weekend.

Saizon’s interior is decorated with many colors and paintings attributing to Mexican-American culture. (Carlos Rene Castro/ The Collegian)

A restaurant host guided me towards the patio area of the restaurant, where I spent a lovely afternoon enjoying a delicious culinary assortment of a perfectly cooked octopus, a refreshing citrus salmon aguachile, a smoky stack of well-cooked, sliced ribs and an order of two soft buns made with a fatty pork belly al pastor.

My favorite of all the dishes was the salmon aguachile which was priced at $18.

I’ll admit that the plate is not your typical aguachile, a Mexican dish of seafood submerged in a citrus liquid seasoned with peppers, lime juice, salt and cucumber slices. The freshly sliced chunks of salmon stacked with slices of jicama, green apple, radish, and black sesame tempura paired with a delicious wasabi-jalapeno chile water was a balanced, refreshing taste.

Arguably the dish needed more chunks of salmon. When I took the first bite of the dish, the flavors from the mouthwatering wasabi-jalapeno chile water were a nice blend of spice and citrus, which kept all the flavors balanced.

My second favorite dish was the $25 well-done cooked ribs, listed on the menu as “costillas.” A famous saying amongst chefs is, “You eat with your eyes first.”

When the server first placed this dish on my table, my eyes fell in love with the work of art, the tasty fatty ribs. The ribs are topped with crispy peanut chili, a Southeast Asian topping that adds texture and a nutty flavor.

Once I devoured all the finely sliced meat, I picked up the plate and slurped on the leftover juices from the dish because it was that damn good. I highly recommend ordering this dish.

Saizon’s takes on Mexican-American dishes come with distinct flavors, such as the bao bun stuffed with pork belly al pastor. (Carlos Rene Castro/ The Collegian)

Though the $24 octopus dish was the last dish I ate during my dining experience, and the combination of the creamy garlic sauce and the grilled octopus mixed well, this dish was too spicy for my palette.

After a few bites of the white beans mixed with the sofrito, I needed water to cool down my mouth from the dish’s spiciness.

Don’t get me wrong, the octopus was still one of my favorite dishes, but the spice level needed to be turned down a notch. If you are a sucker for spicy, appetizing seafood, the octopus was made just for you to enjoy.

Saizon is a foodie’s heaven, and I recommend the restaurant as an exemplary [or ideal] spot to celebrate any special occasion from date nights to birthdays.

Most of the customers at Saizon were wearing their best outfits, so go choose a nice wardrobe change and book a reservation at Saizon because it is worth the upscale dining experience.

Saizon is located at 2894 E Shepherd Ave, and the kitchen is open for service Sunday through Wednesday from 5 p.m.-9. p.m., Thursday from 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 5 p.m.-10 p.m.

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