Sapa House

Sapa House is one of those “pan-Asian” restaurants with a menu spanning thousands of miles, as if the cultural differences are no big deal. Its food is about half Vietnamese and half Japanese, specializing in sushi, pho and banh mi. There’s pad Thai, too. Confusing? Probably. Good? Actually, yes. Among the happy hour appetizers is takoyaki, fried Japanese dough balls with a morsel of octopus in the center. Sapa House’s takoyaki is light and almost creamy in texture and surrounded by a pool of agreeably spicy chili sauce. Octopus is served grilled, too, as an alternative to satay, the tiny cephalopods served on skewers, their edges charred until crisp. Clay pot salmon is part of a solid lineup of Vietnamese main courses, highlighted by shaking beef, a beloved national stir-fry dish that hasn’t quite achieved the same American fame as pho or banh mi. Cubes of beef are marinated in a simple mix of soy and fish sauces, mirin, oil, salt and pepper, then stir-fried with onions. The result is big-time flavor. Sushi, pho, pad Thai — all are competently executed.