Best sushi in the U.S.

Saturday night my parents took the kids overnight, and Mike and I had a proper date night to celebrate my birthday (coming up this week). We had dinner at Bamboo Sushi, the first certified sustainable sushi restaurant in the world. I had read about this restaurant several months earlier, when it won a Businesses for an Environmentally Sustainable Tomorrow Award from the City of Portland. My birthday seemed to be a good reason to give it a try--not to mention the 20% coupon in the Chinook Book!

This is the way Bamboo Sushi describes its approach to food:

All of the fish we serve must come from populations that are plentiful and in good health. Also, the fishermen (sic) who catch these sustainable fish must do so in an environmentally ethical manner, thereby not damaging the surrounding ecosystem or other marine creatures. Our meats must come from local ranches (Oregon or Idaho) and be grass fed, hormone free, and free range. We use the highest grade of beef (American Kobe) we can source locally.
As I've posted before, I care deeply about mindful eating--both from environmental and health perspectives--so I was anxious to try out this restaurant. It did not disappoint.

I sampled two of their cocktails...first of all, I tried the sakura. I liked it, but it was too small (especially for $8!). That's the problem with martini-style cocktails!
The Sakura: hibiscus-infused sake with fresh grapefruit
and a dash of orange blossom water served up with a grapefruit twist
We started out with blanched spinach with a sesame-soy dressing, which came perfectly molded into a cone. It tasted almost peanut buttery! Oishi! 

Next came two specials. Fresh geoduck clam, grilled and served with shiitake mushrooms and a miso-butter dipping sauce. Exquisite! Another special was a spicy tuna poke--I can't remember all the ingredients, but my palate remembers the tenderness and vivid flavor.

This is a (bad) photo of the Eskimo box:

Eskimo box: sushi rice “pressed” with wild Alaskan salmon layered with cucumber carpaccio,
house-smoked soy, green onions, and yuzu tobiko
My handsome date, who was very happy
to be able to drink gluten-free beer!
The service was also excellent: our waitress was knowledgeable and friendly. When she asked me if I knew what Pimm's was (yes, of course!), I told her that Mike was British. It turns out that she worked as a bartender in London for a few years.
Second cocktail, which I liked even better: Paprika Cup
(vodka, whiskey, pimms, pasionfruit puree,
muddled ginger, topped with ginger ale and a
paprika sugared half rim with cucumber garnish)
We also sampled some ume shiro rolls, which are made with pickled plum and shiso leaves (again, the best I've had). Finally, we tried the Japanese scallop carpaccio: thinly sliced raw Japanese sea scallops topped with
juniper olive oil, chiffonade of basil and mint, lime juice, and red miso dust.

And because it was my birthday and I love azuki red bean paste, I splurged and got dessert:
Red adzuki bean paste inside a warm, honey-covered, sugar-dusted
filo atop raspberry poached pears with sweet potato lime sorbet

This restaurant is not for the hearty eater: the portions are served nouvelle cuisine. Emphasis is placed on the quality and the flavor rather than the quantity. Since I'm reading a great book called Eat My Globe right now, I have an even greater appreciation for the quality of ingredients.

The fish and scallops melted in my mouth. I do believe it has spoiled me for any other sushi restaurant, including the kaiten sushi bar near my office that I frequent most often (Bluefin), which is great for business lunches or taking the kids. We left Japan 21 years ago and over the years have tried many Japanese restaurants in Portland and elsewhere. I do not recall having such great sushi anywhere else.

We haven't been dining out as often lately, and I told Mike that I would rather eat at Bamboo Sushi once than other restaurants twice.  We will return! I have a feeling it has already become our new special occasion, date night favorite!


Post a Comment