For the past several months I have been having a not so secret affair with Bamboo Sushi. Here's the trick: I mosey up to the bar between 5 and 6:30, when they have happy hour. This allows me to get in on "the standards" for cheap while spicing it up with a few options off of their regular menu. Yesterday, I was pleased to find out that they have now added drinks to their happy hour offerings. This deal includes $3 draft Sapporos and discounted hot sake and wine. I already felt that their happy hour was one of the best hidden gems Portland has to offer in the happy hour department. They offer $2 handrolls of the day, which generally means $2 spicy scallop handrolls. On top of this they offer $3 Cali rolls, $5 nigiri sets (a sampling of 4 types of their nigiri), $4 NW Philly roll (a tempura battered take on the Philly), as well as a few veggie options and half off many of their kitchen items, including a delicious Kobe brisket. These deals mean that you can get a high quality sushi meal at an overly reasonable price.
Yesterday, I went with the intention of a standard happy hour session. Things turned ugly when I found out that they just brought back their crab flights, featuring six types of crab from around the country. I don't know how "sustainable" this approach to sourcing crab is unless they have porters biking the crabs down from Alaska, nonetheless, it does help sustain my addiction to crustaceans. They also had uni (sea urchin) and live scallops. Knowing that they try to use only the best sources for their seafood, I knew the uni was a must. On top of that I had never tried live scallop, so I figured I should give that a whirl as well. The crab were delicious. I was too busy sitting in sushi bliss to take notes or decide which was my favorite of the six. The scallop was an interesting addition to the meal. It was served in its shell and cut up sashimi style. I enjoyed the scallop, but at $10 a pop, did not think it was all that exciting. When you can get delicious, creamy uni nigiri at $8 a pair, its hard to order anything else. This uni was absolutely delicious. I am not gonna act as though I have consumed a large quantity of uni in my life, but this made my spine tingle.
People argue that Hiroshi is the best sushi in the city and other high end sushi joints seem to overshadow Bamboo on the forums and blogger world. I cannot see past the quality, price, and concept of Bamboo. The staff is also friendly and attentive. Whether you want a delicious sushi happy hour at a fair price, or you want to try the delicacies, I suggest you head over to Bamboo.