Masabaga, a new toro burger restaurant run by the people behind the Mission’s Sasaki, has landed in Uptown Oakland. They’re currently operating as takeout only, and the menu has three sandwiches to choose from: deep-fried toro (yes, you read that right), grilled saba, and a washugyu burger, all served on pillowy Acme rolls. Each one is accompanied by a generous portion of massive black sesame tapioca crackers that are airy, crunchy, and slightly spicy - and you can also add on an order of gomashio-dusted fries, a move we fully endorse.
So what makes Masabaga one of our new favorite spots in Oakland? First off, everything is delicious. If you’re looking to add some new sandwiches to your rotation, read on.
The titular sandwich - and rightfully so, as it’s the best one on the menu. Masabaga uses lean yellowfin tuna belly (instead of the highly-coveted fatty bluefin tuna belly), which is deep-fried in panko. When it’s fried, the toro becomes impossibly tender and juicy. It’s all topped off with a tangy yuzu kosho aioli and an herby mix of greens, mint, and pickled onions.
The saba sandwich comes on a longer roll, with layers of greens, pickled daikon, and fresh, tart rounds of thinly-sliced lemon. The mackerel itself is grilled, skin-on, giving it a soft and flaky texture. Yes, you’re here for the toro burger, but this is a fish sandwich done extremely well. Don’t skip it.
This might look like a straightforward burger, but Masabaga makes theirs with wasabi mayo, pickled daikon, and some excellent wagyu beef. If you’re feeling ambitious and want to order the entire menu, this burger won’t disappoint. But if you have to make some sacrifices, prioritize the fish.