Yuzu

$ Japanese

The owners of this diminutive Japanese tavern in a Beaverton strip mall don’t want you to know where they’re located. Which explains why the windows are covered with drab brown blinds, tightly shut; and why they rarely answer their phone; and why their only sign is fashioned out of tiny, barely legible gold letters stuck to the front window. The reason behind their timidity? We don’t want to impinge on our regulars, they said after refusing to let us photograph their food. But this isn’t to say that, upon entering the unadorned dining room, you won’t be treated with the utmost warmth and gratitude. And you should return their sentiments. Why? Because throughout your meal, they’ll be plying you with some of the most sublime Japanese pub (izakaya) food and sake around. First, perhaps, you’ll dine on a plate of karage—salty, deep-fried chunks of chicken drizzled with lemon juice—followed by tender and succulent (practically melting) pork braised in soy sauce, maybe followed by cold soba noodles, then black cod baked in a sweet yuzu (Japanese citrus) sauce. The list of small shared plates is some six pages long. Yuzu regulars seem to be eating their way through all of them. So should you. Just don’t let on that you heard it from us.

Last updated: 08/14/2012