At Umi Sushi Japanese Restaurant, chefs busy chopsticks with 14 specialty sushi rolls and a menu of traditional Japanese dishes. Servers stroll through the placid dining room, rescuing empty plates from the clutches of Olympic-discus hopefuls and dotting the yellow tablecloths with appetizers, such as the taco su's octopus, cucumber, and seaweed salad ($7.50). Behind the sushi bar, fresh ingredients merge together to create raw and cooked nigiri sushi ($3.50+), vegetarian maki ($3.50+), and specialty maki, including the dragon roll with eel ($8.95 for seven pieces). The Umi special sauce marinates thin strips of short-cut ribs ($11.95–$13.95), and the Tanshin bento box ($12.50 for a large) partitions teriyaki flavors into culinary cubbyholes. Diners can augment meals with scoops of green-tea ice cream ($3.95) or signal their departure by gurgling imported beer, wine, or sake.
A quartet of tatami welcomes guests into a traditional Japanese dining experience, replete with short-legged tables and floor mats to sit on. To help diners become one with the culturally distinctive surrounds, servers dispense and occasionally spoon-feed classic entrees that include broiled salmon covered in teriyaki sauce, korean barbecue ribs, and deep-fried chicken katsu. Patrons can also dine at American-style tables in the main dining room or sidle up to the sushi bar to ponder 20 nigiri and 21 specialty rolls with names such as Salmon Killer and I Love Shrimp.:m]]
Specializing in meatless Asian cuisine, Green Wok Vegan Restaurant's sushi menu includes a lineup of entirely vegan and vegetarian rolls. Nimble sushi chefs create a modest marriage of basic flavors with seaweed salad rolls ($2.50 each) and the landlocked tempura sweet-potato roll ($2.50). Mouths reeling from celebratory birthday shots of wasabi can cool oral jets with soothing sushi portions of avocado ($3) and the vegan cream-cheese salve of the crunchy asparagus roll ($5). Or double-down on bold flavors with the shiitake roll's aromatic alliance between marinated mushrooms and green onion ($5.25). Elegant Asian wall hangings surround Green Wok's handsome, WiFi-equipped dining space, where the casual atmosphere inspires diners to readily try adventurous new things such as vegetarian seafood and sewing various fillets together to make a stylish sashimi scarf.
Unlike at most restaurants, waiting for food is half the fun at Sushi Sakura. A gleaming conveyer belt meanders around the room, transporting a steady stream of sushi-filled plates directly to diners’ tables. Guests are encouraged to remain on the lookout for anything that looks to their liking by constantly scanning the lineup for anything from spicy tuna hand rolls to tender slices of octopus.
Rather than hang a price tag from each roll, the chefs strategically place them on plates in different colors—purple, blue, green, orange, red, and infrared—according to their price. At the end of the meal, the servers calculate the bill by totaling the number and color of the plates that the table selected.
The chrome conveyer belt is a modern touch amid the décor's traditional Japanese accents. Patterned shoji screens and dangling red lanterns emblazoned with kanji provide a bit more flavor from across the Pacific, reinforcing the eatery's dedication to Japan’s culinary traditions.
Bouquets of bamboo enliven the tapestry-draped walls of Yuki Sushi and Sake Bar, where fresh-minded chefs craft traditional Japanese fare using local organic ingredients whenever possible. Sushi rolls feature some of the chef's own creations, such as the Atomic crawfish, which dons a cape of Cajun salsa and tempura, is made up of fresh jalapeño and cream cheese, and imbues feasters with superpowers. Yuki's house teriyaki liberally ladles over much of the hot-entree menu at both the Portland and Hillsboro locations, and sake from both overseas and Oregonian brewers keeps diners' thirst sated. Both spots offer either dine-in or carry-out, and [drinks and sushi specials pepper the weekly calendar.
Wrapped in a cone shape on the spot, the Japanese crepe is a delightful dessert that can be eaten anytime, anywhere, and in any way. Choose between a fruit and ice cream filled crepe or if you're feeling hungry, a savory crepe. Either way, the possibilities are endless.
BaRa Sushi House keeps the focus on the fish. Its precisely, appealingly arranged sushi and appetizers lean heavily on seafood imported from Tokyo's famous Tsukiji fish market every week. BaRa's chefs greet each day with its very own special plate, constantly editing the menu in the hopes of finally crafting that perfect tiny replica of Michelangelo's David from yellowfin tuna. Sake is always flowing inside the snug, vintage house-turned-diner thanks to Marcus Pakiser, sake sommelier. Guests may dine on the outdoor patio when the weather permits, or host a party for up to 9 in the private tatami room.