Saturday, August 3, 2013

PDX Eats: Bamboo Sushi

Tonight I had the pleasure of dining at Bamboo Sushi, a newish restaurant on 23rd (opened in 2012) in Portland that serves sushi like no other I have had before. Bamboo Sushi is the first certified sustainable sushi restaurant in the world. Being vegan, I didn't try any of their seafood, but if the dishes my parents and I had are any indication, it's probably amazing as well.

One of the first things that impressed me on the menu was the variety of vegetarian options. Going into a sushi restaurant I would typically expect to be offered a cucumber roll, avocado roll, tempura veggies, seaweed salad, and maybe a tofu dish. Bamboo, however, goes above and beyond. There was also an impressive list of mocktails. I eventually settled on the Lychee Punch. Since there were three of us dining, my parents and I each ordered a different appetizer. I picked the Sunomono Seaweed Salad, which was great. It had a few different types of sea vegetables and was dressed in a sesame oil-based dressing that was light and refreshing. My mom chose the Japanese spinach salad, which was presented in a very sculptural cylinder shape. I only tried a bite, but it was extremely flavorful. My dad chose an array of colorful pickled fruits and vegetables, each with their own unique flavors, though some were very salty.

For our main course, we chose to share three different vegetarian rolls. No, they were not avocado, cucumber, and tofu. These rolls were delectable combinations of veggies, sauces, seaweed and rice that we simply couldn't get enough of! The overall favorite at the table was the Green Machine roll with tempura asparagus and green onion topped with an avocado and cilantro sweet chili aioli. The aioli was incredible and the crispy asparagus within the roll added a really nice texture, not to mention taste. We ended up ordering another plate of the Green Machine and the tempura was still warm when it got to our table... so good.

The other two rolls we chose were incredible as well, with the first being the PDX roll with "tempura shishito peppers, smoked pickled asparagus and yamagobo, rolled with soy paper, then topped with pickled shiitake, pickled red onion, tofu-avocado “aioli”,  and shiitake glaze." I wasn't about to type my own description for that one! The third roll we chose was the 310 with marinated fried tofu, roasted peppers, cucumbers, asparagus and yamagobo wrapped with avocado and sweet shiitake glaze. I'm sure if we were even more hungry we would have ordered another serving of these two, as each roll was completely unique in its flavor. The topping on the PDX roll was awesome and the sweetness of the 310's shitake glaze was lovely when combined with a little soy sauce and wasabi.

All in all, Bamboo Sushi was a hit and I would definitely go back when I get the chance. I would love to try some of the non-sushi vegetable dishes that were on the menu, as well as satisfy the sure-to-arise craving for another plate of Green Machine rolls.

Check out the restaurant for yourself at

Happy dining!


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