SushiÂ Ichiban (formerly Sushi Takahashi)
24 NW Broadway
If you ever decide to all gonzo and try to stalk the Lunch Lady, there is one surefire place you can find me: Saturday at lunchtime at Sushi Takahashi on Broadway. But youâ€™ll have to look hard because Iâ€™ll probably be camouflaged by the throngs of other cheap sushi lovers who flock here on that golden day of the week.
Yes, there are three Sushi Takahashi locations across the metro area, but Iâ€™ve only dined at the Broadway locationâ€”and Iâ€™m perfectly happy with that. You see, the Old Town location is just steps away from my urban weekend hideaway, and when I know there is delicious sushi on special within a just-roll-out-of-bed-and-pull-on-a-hoodie distance, I am SO freakinâ€™ there!
If you are a sushi freak, be sure to visit Sushi Takahashi on a Wednesday at dinner or all day Saturday, when you can get most of their sushi menu for $1.25 a plate. If you want one of the high-end dishes it will cost you just a little more, theyâ€™ll be the ones on the colored or flowered plates.
Oh, how I love that dang sushi train. I love the eclectic crowd seated around the diner-style counterâ€”everyone from hippies to hipsters frequent this joint, Iâ€™ve even seen three-year-old kids eating sushi here! I love the awesome waitress with the multi-colored hair. I love the idea that I know of this great neighborhood sushi spot, even though itâ€™s usually pretty crowded.
This is not your Masu or even Sushiville (which is just a couple blocks away, and a good back-up option is Takahashi is too crowded). Takahashi is pretty much a get-down-and-grub sushi place. Everything Iâ€™ve ordered has been super fresh, but Iâ€™ve noticed a few things from time to time on the train that have looked a little less fresh (i.e., wilty cucumber salad, browning avocado, but the seafood has NEVER looked, smelled or tasted bad).
I cannot even remember everything Iâ€™ve tried here. Hey, when itâ€™s $1.25 a plate why not try everything, right? Take a few plates off the train, order a few off the menu, relax and drink some tea, what could be better?
My favorites are the cucumber salad, the calamari, the tempura tai (gotta love the special sauce!), the Philadelphia roll, the California hand roll (itâ€™s so good!), the smoked salmon, the spicy tuna roll and the teriyaki chicken. Wow, I do eat a lot!
My typical Saturday lunch date always gets the Tokyo, the creamy scallop and the futomaki (and he says â€œdittoâ€ about all the things I like, too).
If you arenâ€™t a sushi-lover, there are options for you as well. Beyond the teriyaki chicken dish there are several noodle dishes served in huge bowls. Though Iâ€™ve never tried the noodles (they look so big that they would distract me from all that sushi), they do look pretty tasty. If your fear is eating raw fish, just take a look at the menu, they mark the cooked items with an asterisk (*) and those items are delish!
Sushi, sushi and more sushi is what you get at Takahashi. If you are looking for upscale, this probably isnâ€™t your place, but if you are flexible and looking for a unique Portland lunch spot with bargain prices, this is totally a place to check out!!
Pros: Sushi specials on Wednesday and Saturday, the train is always packed with great plates of sushi, itâ€™s super fun, the Takahashi special sauce (itâ€™s bright orange and yummy)
Cons: Can get SUPER crowded, service can be slow when itâ€™s busy, the rolls are SO BIG I can barely eat one in a single bite
Download the Takahashi menu