It was late afternoon after a day of paddleboarding on Lake Pend Oreille when we walked into Shoga Sushi Bar in Sagle, Idaho, and asked for a table. It was our wedding anniversary, and we were looking for something special. Friends had recommended Shoga, with the condition that we order omakase style, or chef’s choice. We decided to give it a try.

We sat on the patio in partial shade, but with a full view of the evening sun glowing on the water. Shoga, along with its sister restaurant Forty-One South, is located inside The Lodge at Sandpoint right on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille. We had stayed at the Lodge a few years before, just after a remodel and before Shoga was built. We had arrived late and didn’t get to see much of the scenery. This time, we soaked in every bit of it over cups of Hakutsuru Junmai Ginjo sake.

We started with tuna poke salad, a choice favorite of my husband Young. It melted in our mouths. The Chef’s Choice, from nigiri to umami sushi rolls to something heavenly topped with a quail egg, was truly exquisite. Although we were so very full, we finished with Okinawan Andagis, which are delicately-battered donuts with caramel and berry sauces.

The sun had almost finished its descent as we thanked the chef and headed for the door. Later, as we shared an anniversary nightcap, we knew we had truly experienced something special. //

 

[Feature photo: Shoga Sushi Bar Chef’s Choice by S. Michal Bennett]