I can’t tell you how much I love sushi without telling you how much I hate to travel to get it. You see, Sushi is at it’s heart Japanese “Fast Food”. History, at least as it has been relayed to me, suggests that Sushi was actually something of a mistake invention that became wildly popular over time.
So here we are today – 2010 in Downtown Portland. Now some would say that there are plenty of Sushi places within the Downtown core. I happen to disagree – until now. Don’t get me wrong – Koji is fine if you can shell out the clams, Ichiban (formerly the famed Takahashi) is a little too Ghetto and Dragonfish is downright painful on the money clip.
This is where Sush Sakura comes into play. Located right in the core at 506 SW 6th, this newly minted Sushi-go-round (or Sushi-go-Around as the sign points out) is in the right place at the right time.
There are literally hundreds of us in the core that come in every day and wish to have an affordable, non-confrontational sushi lunch now and then. Most of us don’t have the means to travel to say Sushiland or Sushiville in Northwest.
Sakura features a dual-belt conveyor side-by-side. Sushi streams past your face in two directions. The bar undulates all over the fairly small space to allow more customers to sit. It’s a beautiful sight to see. The lovely pink bonsai jasmine tree in the corner makes for a comfortable place to eat lunch and feel like you’re outdoors.
The sushi is wonderful – even for a conveyor belt. My favorite is always the fresh salmon sushi – which they cut large and place in such a way that it comes close to entirely concealing it’s bed of rice. Also of particular interest is their fried calamari, which borrows from American-Chinese traditions of heavy salt and pepper in the batter. Yum!
Prices are reasonable – plates are $1.50 – $3.75. Most will find themselves spending $8-$13 for a filling lunch. I haven’t tried the Miso soup yet, however a friend who did said it may have been the best he’s ever had.