Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sushi and Me....Portland, Oregon Metro Area Restaurant Scene

I love raw fish!  Up until a few years ago I would have never said that.  In fact, for those of us that were raised in the United States, it is somewhat of a odd taste.  Then I discovered sushi.  Here in the Portland Metro area all the malls both big and small have a sushi restaurant.  Some have more than one.  We are picking up chop sticks and using them as though we were raised in the far east.  Izakaya (sake) bars with their small plate menu are also very popular.

Here in the Orenco Station area we have a new sushi restaurant on our  main street.  Yaki Restaurant and Sake Bar was added to our neighborhood during the time we were gone to Tucson this fall.  This business also has a location in downtown Portland.  That means we can now walk a couple of block and have the choice of five different cuisines.  American, Indian, Italian, Chinese and Japanese.  A wonderful wine shop that has been in business for 7 or more years sits next to our Starbucks.  Then the New Seasons grocery boasts a deli with hot wok food as well as the normal deli food.  In the summer outdoor seating graces all of these restaurants.

In spite of all these choices we are seeking out the sushi more and more.  Within less than a six mile radius from our front door we can choose from 5 or more different Japanese restaurants.  If we travel a little further and go to down town Hillsboro, one of the best izakaya (sake) style bars in the region is located in the basement of an old Carnegie Library.  Syun Japanese Restaurant happens to be rated as the Best of City Search.  When you visit the bar, you can purchase your own bottle of sake and the bar will store it until your next visit.  We know of people that come out to Hillsboro to drink out of their very own bottle of sake and have dinner when they visit from San Fransisco!  The fact that the sushi is some of the best only adds to it's charm! 

On the City Search site mmorely2 wrote about other Izakaya (small bites) bar locations in the area.  His list of 5 locations includes Syun: 
Portland's small plates scene is changing, moving on from Spanish-style tapas to embrace izakaya, a sort of Japanese drinking establishment where free-flowing sake is accompanied by savory foods. Bites range from hand-cut ramen served in steaming broth to salty smoked anchovies and prawn meatballs. You can find this new trend taking place everywhere from a rehabbed old library building to a slick lounge, and best of all, it's cheap.
You will usually find a sparkling clean restaurant, some with rotating bars featuring small plates choices.  Many are strickly vegetarian if you prefer your food with no raw fish.  Dipping sauces are included.  The trademark for the senior life style is finding a great value.  When you add the fact that this way of eating is very healthy,  it just seems to me sake bars or Japanese restaurants should be a natural choice.  My husband and I love them.


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  1. Deep fried, in batter works for me. I'm not a fan of raw fish.
    Nice post.

  2. Sounds like Betty and I will have some great choices in July when we come to Portland!


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