WHY HAS IT TAKEN SO LONG for our city, perched as it is squarely on the Pacific Rim, to have access to superlative sushi? Seeing as how we’re a lot closer to Japan than New York is, shouldn’t we have had the pleasure first? Plus, if Seattle and San Francisco have had excellent sushi for so long, why haven’t we? Luckily, in the past few years a coterie of sushi masters has finally graced us with their presence, from the skilled chefs at Masu and Masu East to Ryoshiro Murata of Restaurant Murata.
This year, Hiro Ikegaya sits at the top of the local cadre of sushi makers. After closing the doors to his beloved Hiro in Lake Oswego, Ikegaya opened Hiroshi across from Jameson Square in the Pearl. There, his stark beige-and-dark-brown, chapel-like dining room is flanked by a long sushi bar (the best seat in the house), where a stoic Ikegaya and his talented team of chefs crank out some of the most creative and delicate appetizers and sushi in Oregon.
Perhaps most impressive about Ikegaya’s well-polished restaurant, aside from the quality of the fish and the perfectly seasoned sushi rice and the ingenuity of each of his rolls and the lusciousness of his uni custard, is that he prepares from scratch every single dot of sauce on every plate himself. From the wasabi sauce swirled around a plate of ahi tuna tartare to the vinegary miso sauce that’s drizzled over a silky cube of monkfish liver pâté or the ponzu sauce that comes with the fried soft-shell crab, one small drop is all it takes to taste Ikegaya’s commitment to perfection. Which is more than enough to finally pacify—make that pique—the city’s sushi cravings. 926 NW 10th Ave, 503-619-0580