At San Sai, sushi and sashimi options echo the creative tastes available at top spots in New York, and feature sauces and flavored salts not previously seen in Vermont. Also new to the Green Mountains is the range of izakaya-style treats.The combination of culinary accomplishment and locally grown native ingredients one finds at San Sai isn’t often available without a trip to the mountains of Japan. Conveniently located on the Burlington Waterfront, lake views are perfectly suited to the menu showcasing fresh fish.

The interior of San Sai is as fresh visually as its food is on the palate, with a large, naturalistic example of ikebana standing in the alcove behind the host stand. A giant vase holds brightly colored flowers, brought down to earth by a piece of driftwood. Tapestries decorated simply with Japanese characters hang from the ceiling. On the walls above the metal tables, a series of sumi-e ink-and-wash paintings depict hungry cranes with their heads raised for a snack. There’s even artistry in the papers that hold the chopsticks, each printed with a sumi-e fish or flowers.