Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Southwest >
Nov 19, 2008 12:26 PM

What's The Deal With Sea Saw?

As our anniversary roles around again we begin our search for the setting of yet another fine dining experience. Kia and Binkley's being checked off the list the obvious choice would appear to be Sea Saw, however I do have some reservations.

We visited Cowboy Ciao with a small group a couple months ago and were, well, disappointed. On paper the place appears to be on the up and up. The menu intriguing, good reviews, and in a great location. The menu was intriguing, but limited. The food fell short of expectation and the wait staff was far to hip to be waiting tables. My understanding is that Sea Saw shares ownership with Cowboy Ciao or visa versa, this has me scared.

Dilemma #2, We were so blown away by our experience at Binkley's that we are quite certain Sea Saw will be under heavy scrutiny and I fear that it won't be given a fair shake.

If you have an experience at Sea Saw that will help us on the path to culinary bliss please feel free to ring in with your opinions. If you have been to Binkley's as well, even better give a comparison and recommendation.

Thank you in advance fellow gastronauts.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have been to both. I much prefer Sea Saw. Binkley's is excellent but a bit overdone in the cutsie department. If you dig the little bite size surprises Binkley's is for you.

    Cowboy Ciao is what it is and you should not in any way judge Sea Saw by it. Nobu is incredibly talented and the Omakase never dissappoints. IMO Sea Saw would be a great restaurant anywhere in the world.

    You should tell them you want the Omakase when you reserve.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jock

      We loved See Saw. Omakase is great, but not absolutely necessary. We ordered off the menu, and ate quite well.

      I think Cowboy Ciao is OK, but not actually a special dining experience (kind of loud, and happening).

      See Saw is wonderful. I wouldn't worry too much about it living up to your expectations.

      We didn't absolutely love Binkley's (although I think we should probably give it another shot at some point, as everyone seems to think so highly of it).

      1. re: Booger

        Since Cowboy Ciao opened, the only reservation that I have ever had has been the noise level. The food, the service and the wine have always been great.

        Same for SeaSaw. We hit it early on, and have dined there since. It is a totally different experience, and worth the effort.

        Still, we are fans of Kenvin Binkley's, but find it difficult to compare any of these three, as they are totally different dining experiences.


    2. I honestly think you will be very pleased with Sea Saw. I would try the omakase and try to sit at the bar where you can interact directly.

      If all goes as it has when I have dined there, you will leave elated, excited and not overly full. Yes, same ownership....but not the same chef or concept at all. All are independent restaurants.

      Cowboy Ciao might be my favorite restaurant in town overall...but agree it might not be a good choice for a special occasion (depends on your style)...but Sea Saw has a totally different energy.

      Be warned (i am sure you are aware) that it's not sushi per se, nor traditional "fine dining" but it's lovely, lovely.

      good luck!

      1 Reply
      1. re: HomeCookKirsten

        Thank you all for your help, I knew the rave reviews and elation of friends couldn't have been a hoax. I appreciate the reaffirmation.

      2. I think I had the same dilemma. I really adore Binkley's because I enjoy the theatrics of the execution very much. I went to both Cowboy Ciao and Sea Saw after Binkleys for some special occasions. I found Cowboy Ciao to be, sort of, "meh". And, after reassurances that CC was unlike SS, I went to SS. And, sadly, found that to be quite disappointing as well.

        Now, the food is good at SS. But it was just a crummy experience when I went because the flow was wierd, atmosphere was not good (cold night, concrete floors and stainless tables and chairs, seated in a cramped table right next to the door, when restaurant was nearly empty), and there wasn't the same kind of magic which you might find with an 8 course (?) menu... That is, for 2 people, we had about 4 dishes, and it felt as though we went to Burger King and ordered off the $1 menu (you know, one of this, one of that, and a random order of this-- leaving the experience kind of random and junk food-seeming)

        But, rather than go with an off-the-menu, I would simply order omakase. I think there's a flow to that particular experience that will transform the experience from just "really expensive asian tapas" to a memorable dining experience. And it looks like fun, to sit at the bar, next to the warm open kitchen and watch your food come out.

        1 Reply