Portland >Food & Dining > Koji Osakaya Japanese Rstrnt
606 SW Broadway, Portland, OR | Directions 9720545.519830 -122.679205
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Neighbors West - Northwest
Food that looks and tastes like saliva – I used to really like this branch because of the location. Their curry and cold noodles used to be really good. But that was a couple years ago. For the last two times I was there, I was left disappointed. I ordered curry as usual. I was informed that the "hot" curry would not actually be spicy. Well I got my curry and found it otherwise. It was curry with swirls of hot sauce, and I mean lots of hot sauce that it tasted more like the sauce than the curry. I still didn't seem to mind because I realized I had opted for "hot" when the waitress asked. So I went there again, and this time, I wanted to try the grated mountain potato cold noodles. Even the waitress didn't know what it was like, just saying that there would be potato on the noodle (duh). When I got it, the bowl was filled with thousands of tiny, slimy, clear bubbles that was supposed to be grated potato.... I was speechless. I sat there staring at the thing because I really was wondering if it was saliva or potato! Yet I was brave enough to try it, but I had to quit soon after. It was simply the grossest looking and tasting thing I'd had. I called for a check, and nobody asked why I didn't eat it. Not going back.
The Japanese are nicer than this... – Koji really had me won over for a while. The food is very good. I don't know if it is authenic Japanese, but it is always fresh and comes very prompt. Their sake is good to drink, and the seating arrangements are decent. Price is so-so and could be a little more affordable. The location is pretty cramp with the restaurant being downtown. I really became disappointed with Koji's last time I was there...
The bottom line is their customer service is terrible during the last time I went. The chefs there are very nice, but the waitresses there are rather rude. I seriously think they act like they don't speak English to avoid talking to customers. My friend and I were in there getting dinner one night, and I ordered to-go food from Koji for a third friend. However, my third friend had a lunch break and was only a couple blocks away and came into eat his to-go food. My third friend showed up, and the chef offered to get us a plate for my friend. THEN, THE WAITRESS SHOWS UP AND DENIES MY FRIEND TO SIT DOWN AND EAT HIS TAKE OUT FOOD. SHE SAYS IT IS TO GO FOOD THAT CANNOT BE EATEN IN THE RESTAURANT AND THAT MY FRIEND HAS TO LEAVE. I USUALLY PICK REALLY GOOD RESTAURANTS TO EAT AT, AND I WAS REALLY OFFENDED BY THAT. My third friend was the most upset about it and ended up leaving with his food. He said it was terrible and had rubbery chicken. The waitress did not even apologize or speak to us about the subject again. She did not even deserve a tip. I don't know much about Japanese culture, but I believe there is no taboo about the ethics of eating food made by the restaurant inside the restaurant!?!? I would be very interested if anyone else has had this happen to them.
Great sushi – We're regulars. Every time we feel like Japanese this place is our choice! Very simple scene, but food is great. Sushi loaded with fish, just the right amount of rice to balance it. The pieces are the right size. I've had all of their items on the sushi menu and all were just great. Chicken teriyaki is always juicy and tender. We also like chicken curry mild or spicy. Bento box is another of my favorites. Never had a bad meal there, simple atmosphere, price is right.
This place works – Granted, its not a four-star restaurant, and service can be inconsistent, but have a little heart. This little spot is still good for decent and inexpensive japanese food. I like the udon, chashu ramen, and california and spicy tuna rolls here.
Edit 12/19/06: On the service point I concur. It can be rude and careless. Having restaurant experience I always give the server the benefit of the doubt, the cumulative effect of many cheap and rude customers can at times make even the best servers withdraw their feelers and seem cold. But in this case it was inexcusable and unwarranted, almost reckless rudeness by the short japanese server from the second I walked in the door. She seated me as if I were trash, sullenly refused a window table in a near empty restaurant, was abrupt and distracted and when I made a second order, actually started humming impatiently out loud when I took 4-5 seconds to point out my second item. When she served the soup, she dropped the spoon down, which was dirty, and when I asked for another one she gave it but left the dirty one there.
My only explanation is she must have mistook me as a certain type of cheap, rude, demanding, impatient single Asian male customer of the type she may have had experience with. However, that's not me. Well, I'm not that cheap anyway. I'm a server, I'm the ideal customer, and she took a mega dump on my meal. Yeesh.
amazing tuna sashimi! – I went here on the advice of some friends. I went during a Friday afternoon and got seated promptly. I had some of the best tuna sashimi I've had in a long time. The tuna was glistening and just melted in my mouth. I also was excited to find another of my favorite dishes, cold soba noodles--so refreshing on a hot day. The Unagi I had was also excellent too. I can't wait to go back and try the ramen noodles with miso and more sashimi.
Japanese? I don't think so. – THe wait staff is incredibly rude and the service is slow. The food was no better. I would not recommend this restuarant, and it is definately nothing like Japanese food. I am Japanese, and the chefs there certainly are not, or they would never serve such horrrendous meals.
Time and money to waste required – After living in Japan for 2 years, I think I know a little about Japanese food. It's hard to eat Agedashi-tofu that tastes like onion rings. From the time I sat down to the time I was served, my lunch hour was over. When I told the waitress that the tofu tasted like onion rings, she asked, "Do you know what it is supposed to taste like?" I guess she wouldn't know herself because when I first placed my order, I had to repeat it in English by saying, "I will have the tofu in sauce lunch special" Authentic...not! Quick...think again! Worth the time and money....only if you don't know Japanese food and like the taste of McDonald's. Go to Saburo's in Sellwood instead. The wait may be long, but once you are in, the food is fast and the portions are as large as they are tasty.
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