Last month's Oceana report be damned, you're good and hungry and raring for some raw fish! Here's a round-up of Portland's best sushi spots.
Fresh, simple, reliable little Division Street sushi joint run by super friendly folk who serve your grasshopper nigiri, wild mushroom cigar and Pop Rocks rolls with a smile. Rolls are big and dramatic; I like the Crunchy Green Dragon.
Visit this sustainable sushi superstar early to beat the hordes (happy hour is M-F 4-6pm), try the "house on fire" mackerel, and plan on double dessert, because even after you've had Bamboo's chocolate egg rolls, you're still going to want to investigate neighboring Salt & Straw's ice cream wonderland.
Beautiful sushi and Japanese small plates in a contemporary space populated primarily by neighborhood families and couples celebrating date night. It can get busy, so go early if you're in a hurry.
Occupying a sleek and sexy little space right off SE Hawthorne, this is a great date night destination for sushi savants willing to splurge a bit. If you're feeling adventurous, opt for the omakase.
Old school sushi at its best, this quirky hole in the glass wall hidden just off Market Street in a small strip mall prepares some of the most authentic Japanese food in town. Dare you to get the natt?. Try and nab a tatami room, they're the best seat in the house.
Sip Starry Night cocktails and dine on delicate sushi arrangements as pretty as the patrons in this sleek, loft-like downtown sushi hotspot suspended over an American Apparel store. If you're watching your dining dollars, go for the daily happy hour, and park in the Indigo building garage at 12th & Washington--Masu will validate.
The grande dame of the PDX sushi elite, this lovely Kerns restaurant packs the fans in from open to close (get there early or be prepared to join the line that snakes all the way out the door and down the street). Belly up to the first come first serve sushi bar for omakase, and have a pear gimlet or two too.
Join the regulars at this sweet little sushi bar in the middle of Montavilla for super fresh sushi and a fun neighborhood vibe. Try the monkey brains, because it's both fun to say and eat, and the Red Dragon roll.
One of my favorite sushi experiences ever was at this friendly, elegant restaurant in the Pearl's swanky Burlington building, where we nibbled flawlessly fresh sashimi while blatantly watching the first date next to us crash and burn, as she threw a passionate fit about the still-moving shrimp head on her plate, then covered it with a leaf shroud as her appalled date looked on. Amazing sushi, amazing eavesdropping=the ideal meal.
One of our favorite Friday date night spots, this tiny, excellent sushi and ramen bar is a buzzy melange of neighborhood folk seeking acclaimed chef Hiro's artful sushi, friends getting together for drinks and Japanese small plates, and the occasional lone chef at the bar slurping a bowl of ramen. Love the crispy salmon skin salad and ginger creme brulee.
This sleek little spot sports one sexy beast of a dining room, and an oasis-like hidden patio to match. Fantastic cocktails, sushi and Japanese small plates, plus a burger of legend. If you like it so much you want to stay a long while, ask about the availability of their Kuza Cabin--an exquisite little studio tucked away in the sensuous garden, just to the right of the stone soaking tub.