Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Portland Restaurant: Boxer Sushi

What: Boxer Sushi
Where: SE 20th and Hawthorne
When: Wed - Mon 5:30 - 9:30pm
Honeys Heart: Omakase 

Work travel is pretty awesome when it takes you to cool cities, especially one that your sister lives in, and then you get to go on adventures the following weekend. Like skiing Mt. Snow in Vermont or hitting up Brooklyn Boulders.

It is always nice to sleep in your own bed and get back to a routine though. I flew home from NYC on a Monday and Adam was leaving in the morning, so we headed out for a sushi date night.

Micah Camden, who seems to be building a little Portland food empire with Little Big Burger, Boxer Ramen, Boxer Sushi and Blue Star Donuts, is sure doing something right. We opted for the Omakase, a Japanese phrase meaning "I'll leave it to you," which runs $45 per person. The experience starts with miso soup, then moves to salad, sashimi, nigiri, vegetables, sushi rolls, and ends with mochi.

A few things about the Omakase experience and Boxer Sushi's approach that I really liked:

1.) Eating the fish in this order and taking time with each course was so much more enjoyable than digging into a bunch of rolls at one time and not really appreciating the fish. I also liked having a little surprise each round!

2.) The fish was served with garnishes and sauces that enhanced the flavor. Unlike dipping a roll in soy sauce and wasabi which consequently covers up some of the flavor, each selection seemed to really shine.

3.) I would prefer to always order family style and try a little of everything. I love getting a little bit of many things versus committing to just a few items.

The salad was crisp and firm with some tasty spices on the top.

Miso soup is always nice on a cold day and the tofu in this was a little sweet. I liked the unique variation.

This was one of my favorites. I should have taken notes because I can't remember what they all are, but I have photo documentation so I can just show them that on my next visit, right? On top of the freshness, the plates were all visually appealing with their flavor-intensifying sauces and garnishes.

Okay, this was a favorite too. The clementine and pepper added a sweet and spicy flavor that complimented the fish perfectly. I could definitely go and just have this.

I guess the sashimi is where my heart is. This salmon was also fantastic and next to it was a lump of crab meat, both drizzled with lemon oil and baby cilantro. Seriously delicious.

Following the sashimi selection was a unique plate of veggies. The green beans were covered in miso and were probably Adam's and my favorite. Next to those was spaghetti squash and at the top was pickled onion.

Next was nigiri with seven pieces each. The plate was set up to be eaten right to left with the lightest, less fatty white fishes at the beginning, moving to salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel and eel. I was really into the white fishes, while Adam declared he could eat tuna every single day. Each was slightly different in preparation with either a little garnish, wasabi, or the decision to keep it simple.

The last savory item on the list was a roll filled with crab and asparagus, topped with fish and a pepper. Again, this didn't disappoint.

The meal ended with blueberry and green tea mochi. Blueberry ice creams always remind me of lip smackers so my favorite was the green tea. I love the texture of the rice cake/dough around the ice cream. Boxer Ramen downtown has many flavors and I would recommend wrapping up your lunch there with one of these delights!

After having this sampler experience it would be easy to go and pick just a couple things that I really wanted, or for special occasions I would gladly do it again! Perhaps when the McNany's are in town...