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Sazon Peruvian | Santa Rosa

Author: | posted 08/18/10 | Print This Post Print This Post |

2012 Bib Gourmand winner

Ceviche Mixto

You’re about to fall in love with leche de tigre. You just don’t know it yet.

The key to Peruvian hangover cures, this cousin to Clamato are the tart, briny, magical leftovers of ceviche-making. A sort of spicy fish juice, really, packed with eye-popping flavor. And the key to the best plate of ceviche you’ll find in the North Bay.

Kin to the popular San Francisco Peruvian restaurants, Fresca, Roseland’s Sazon is a clean, compact and modern spot awakening local tastebuds with their take on South America’s most multi-cultural cuisine.

Using native ingredients (corn, root veggies and beans) as their base, immigrant influences from China (rice), Japan (raw fish, seaweed), Spain (rice, wheat, beef), Italy and West Africa lend depth and complexity to contemporary Peruvian comfort cuisine.

 

Lomo Saltado

On the menu: Papa a la Huanciana, a soft boiled potato with Huancaina sauce (a garlic cheese sauce), hard boiled egg, olive and feta; Ceviche Mixto, a mix of prawns, scallops, fish, clams and squid “cooked” in citrus and served with the plate-lickable Leche de Tigre, Conzco corn (a sort of giant corn kernel), toasted cancha (a tosted corn) and roasted sweet potato. Chupe de Camarones is a creamy shrimp chowder packed with rice, corn, potatoes and a poached egg. Entrees are traditional homestyle foods — Lomo Saltado (fried tenderloin steak with onion, tomato, soy sauce and fries tossed together); Polla a la Brasa (rotisserie chicken), Aji de Gallina (pulled chicken stew with rice) and Picante de Mariscos (a seafood stew with peas, cream sauce and rice). On the side, all manner of fried plantains, yucca and sweet potatoes, each with their own sauce.

None of the dishes are overly spicy, just for the sake of being hot, though native chilies bring a light tingle to some dishes. Expect lots of starchiness (rice, potatoes, yucca), which are staples of the diet along with bright, fresh citrus and herb notes.

Pisco and Lucuma Ice Cream

Daily specials are worth taking a detour for — potato croquettes or beef heart skewers – that may require a little courage, but pay off in spades. Ice creams, which are usually an afterthought, are also worth saving room for. Owners Jose and Pablo Navarro go to San Francisco to secure the dreamiest of frozen desserts, Pisco (a native brandy) and raisin or lucuma (a native fruit that tastes like maple) ice creams.

Lunch and dinner menus don’t differ significantly, aside for a few extra evening entrees. Beer and wine are still in the works, but BYOB ($10 corkage) is fine.  A outdoor walk-up counter serves up ice cream and desserts. And may we suggest perhaps Leche de Tigre shooters?

Sazon, 1129 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa, 523-4346. Open daily from 11:30am.

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17 Responses

  1. leonard October 17, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    Thanks, PD! Now we really will need reservations to our favorite best little restaurant in the county.

  2. Zenovio December 11, 2010 at 8:14 pm #

    Por los comentarios consignados en ésta página, por cierto muy positivos y bastante halagadores, no cabe duda de que vuestro emprendimiento va por buen camino. Felicitaciones, en especial a Pablo y Erika, responsables de la sazon de la cocina a decir por las fotos mostradas en la web de yelp.com. Finalmente, sugiero presentar más fotos, escribo desde LIma – Perú.

  3. Sarah October 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm #

    Phone number at top with map is incorrect. Correct phone is: (707) 523-4346

  4. Rena September 23, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Friend and I had dinner at Sazon earlier this week and came away with giant grins on our faces and plans to return. My friend is from NYC and lived many years in The Mission in SF so was tickled to find Peruvian flavors close to home. I’d not had Peruvian cuisine before and so was just tickled….

    We were disappointed that we couldn’t start with at least a beer but that vanished immediately as we nipped into our appetizers, splitting an order of Papas and a salad. The papas were exquisite – deep fried potato pillows stuffed with delicately seasoned ground beef – crispy outside,perfect consistencies inside. Recommend both – but particularly together. We felt that the Papas really needed the piquant back bite of the tangy organic greens, lightly dressed with lime and herbs – and oh my goodness we both wish we could have discerned what herbs were used so we could replicate that amazing flavor…….

    My friend had the Picante de Mariscos and was totally blown away by how fresh the seafood was and that no component was over-cooked. Noteable: the peppery (but not flaming) sauce is to die for and I think my pal should be commended for the sophisticated manner in which she gleaned every last drop from the plate, mussel shells and etc. Also instead of corn we believe the dish included hominy (might have been a hearty strain of maize) – still on the cob – scrumptious and so different from what one might expect.

    I had the Lomo Saltado and while the presentation differed from the picture here at Bite Club (huge mound of french fries separate from the huge mound of sauteed steak/onion/etc and the huge mound of steamed white rice), the quality of the steak did not. Each piece was caramalized yet medium rare and carried with it the complex flavors in which it was marinated. Oh My Goodness!! I had been craving a steak (read, “rib eye, charbroiled medium rare”) and this dish – although completely different – satisfied completely… One constructive comment: the fries were overkill. I ate a couple just because they were so delicious and had gotten into the steak’s sauce but the rice would have been perfectly adequate. Ended up with about a third of the meat and rice, and all of the fries in a box so that I would have room for dessert…

    For dessert my friend ordered the pastry but instead got the pineapple/coconut icecream – two scoops served with a Pepperidge Farm Pirouette cookie. I actually ordered the pineapple/coconut icecream and got it, along with a cup of freshly brewed coffee. We were both delighted.

    Noteable: Our waitress was very friendly and eager to answer our questions – we enjoyed her immensely. Unfortunately she has such a lovely, rich accent that most of what she said was lost on us and we noticed that she did not always understand what we asked for. The dessert order was a key example. Also when she served the ice creams, she announced proudly that my friend’s was the Pisco and in fact it was the exact same as mine – pineapple/coconut. We were so happy with the food and the clean, lovely ambiance that none of that mattered but just a heads up in case you do not speak Spanish….pointing at the menu may be in order here….

    One more comment – both myself and my Friend have a chef in the family or have owned and run high end restaurants and know a little something about the challenges. The family members running Sazon are to be applauded for so many things beside the great food – the place is beautiful, the staff is happy, the level of attentiveness from our server impeccable, the size and variety of the menu enough to hold diners’ interest without overwhelming and the timing on the dishes’ preparation and delivery to our table Absolutely Perfect! Hard to believe the young man at the helm is not professionally trained, has never cooked commercially before and learned the business overseeing the kitchen in another family establishment….

    Finally – our tab came to $30 each – before tip – so while not cheap, we considered it a bargain for the quality…… GREAT Experience!! Highly recommend !!

    • Heather Irwin September 23, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

      Great review! Thanks for the update.

      • Rena October 2, 2010 at 11:57 am #

        Any time, Heathah Dahlink!

        Thx to you for all the leads to great places to eat….

  5. LM September 2, 2010 at 9:10 am #

    Finally Peruvian food in SR.
    I went there with my wife and two other friends. The food was tasty, the place was clean and the service was good.
    They have a small selection of dishes, but what we ordered was great.
    We ordered lomo saltado, ceviche, and pollo a la brasa.
    We also ordered fried plantains and yuca,
    I am going back this weekend after my kid’s soccer games.
    VIVA PERU!!!

  6. Linda Allen August 25, 2010 at 5:58 pm #

    This is a place I was pretty excited about and planned to check it out. I just wish they hadn’t blanketed the windshields of the cars at the Santa Rosa Farmer’s Market this morning. They became a lot less attractive to me. Linda A

  7. Karen August 25, 2010 at 8:52 am #

    Do they serve cuy? Or at least a chicken look alike?

  8. Elissa August 23, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    OMG! This is so exciting! We usually have to drive all the way out to SF to go to Fresca! I hope its just as good. Lomo Saltado, here I come! omg and lucuma ice cream, YAYAYYA!!!!

  9. Renatiux August 19, 2010 at 12:28 am #

    We went there tonite, in one word: SABROSO!
    I even wrote a review on my own blog:
    http://revac71.blogspot.com/2010/08/sazon-new-peruvian-flavor-around-corner.html

    • biteclub August 19, 2010 at 11:51 am #

      Great stuff. Glad you liked it too.

    • smokey chef August 19, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

      we have pisco ice cream…. don’t need to wait!!!

      LOL

  10. Laura August 18, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    Finally…Good luck on your new venture.. My daughters father was born in Lima and I learned how to cook some of the dishes. I can not wait . See you soon!

  11. MJF August 18, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    So excited for this! I went to Peru in March and have struggled to find the food up here– tried a place in Berkeley but it was only okay.

    One question– do they have Chicha, the purple corn drink???

    • biteclub August 18, 2010 at 10:40 pm #

      Yes, Chicha Morada and Inca Kola!

  12. Lora August 18, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    Great Food! The whole family will like it.

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