Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sushi Ichiban!


Sushi Ichiban (formerly Sushi Takehashi) is located at 24 NW Broadway; that's a block or less north of Burnside, on Broadway.
They have a train (not a conveyor belt-a real, old model train, with flatbed cars), which circles the chef island for your sushi-choosing pleasure (just try to say "sushi-choosing pleasure" fast, ten times). The fish is very fresh and tasty. The green tea really is golden-green, and is wonderful, and comes with your very own lovely antique porcelain teapot with wicker handle. The orange "special sauce" (rooster hot sauce in mayo) is the best I've had in Portland; it has some other spices in it.
On Wed and Sat, most of the sushi menu is discounted to just $1.25 a plate. But on other days (we went on Sunday lunch; they open at noon on Sunday) the plates cost just $1.00, $1.50, $2.00, and $3.00. What a deal! And if you don't see what you like on the train, just fill out a form and the chef will make it for you.
Good '80s music (Pat Benatar, for example) plays overhead. It's a downtown crowd, so don't expect to see your suburban neighbors there. But it's just fine. The servers are friendly, as is the chef, who took time to enthusiastically answer my questions about one particularly well-made dish (Tiger Roll: snapper tempura in a rice roll, capped with a sweet tofu wrapper, scallions, and special sauce). At least three of their dishes were fare I hadn't seen before, anywhere else (such as white radish roll (with a bundle of radish sprouts) and yellow radish roll.
The two of us stuffed ourselves for just $19 plus tip. That's my kind of restaurant! Yes, I like Sushiville (NW 23rd), Sushi Town (NW 185th), and several other sushi restaurants, but this is another favorite to add to the list! I went to it about ten years ago; I've been remiss for waiting so long to go back. Check it out.

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