The joy, and the curse, of sushi is in its goodness. Not just in the yummo-factor, but the good-for-you-ness of it.

This was the very discussion I had with my cohorts last night as we ate a tasty birthday dinner at Yuki, on the corner of NE 14th and Broadway.

For me, the comment had double-meaning. I've embarked on a thinness initiative, as I'm going to a tropical locale in May, and I know for a fact that I have absolutely no self-control where sushi is involved, so gluttony was a foregone conclusion.

But I also knew I was planning a write-up, and with the variety of a sushi joint combined with the volume of items ordered combined with how sushi's always served on a giant platter that makes it difficult to differentiate what you're looking at or biting into, an item-specific post became a lost cause quickly.

The two large Kirins didn't help the cause.

So, for a general review of Yuki that's sadly lacking in food specific details...

Yuki is not the best sushi place in town. If I wasn't using a gift certificate to subsidize a large portion of my meal, I'd probably choose Yoko's or Masu for birthday sushi. That said, the food at Yuki is good, the fish is of fine quality, and they cover all of the basics ably. I find the food part of the experience superior to several places, including Koji's and Kappaya, though my socks weren't blown off by any means. But there are definitely better places to go (Meeka is my other top choice at this point...).

The menu is ample. Thanks to a new site I'm growing increasingly enamored with, MenuPix, here's a link to photos of their menu (so that I don't have to provide you the mostly-useless low-res shot I took with my cell phone).

The atmosphere is a mixed bag. The space is cramped, which can be a love-it-or-hate-it thing depending on what you're looking for. The tightness is appropriately countered by low lighting that accentuates the brightly-lit food prep area, staffed by uniformed and busy susharistas. Toward the back of the joint is a hall cluttered with boxes and high chairs that is readily visible from much of the restaurant and which detracts from the ambience. Probably due to a lack of storage space, this isn't a deal-breaker by any means but eliminates this place as an option for romantic dates.

Service isn't super here. Our waitress was very nice, but appeared either a bit too busy or a bit too disorganized, so that we were often needing water or beverage. One of our platters was delivered without ginger or wasabi, and it took several minutes to get the attention of the waitress to get the problem solved. Service is a big thing to this blog, so Yuki gets dinged here.

Presentation was fine. Nicely-arranged platters that were appealing to the eye. They made a ton of sushi look manageable, which was nice. I've seen better, I've seen worse.

Value was alright. There were six adults who ran up a $180 tab between food and drink. I think $30 a head for too-much-sushi is very fair.

Overall, Yuki is a solid sushi joint with a large and varied menu that's a decent price. The atmosphere is okay for friends hanging out, but not ideal for a date. The service is courteous but needs improvement. You can do better (and, if you're looking for sushi, I'd encourage you to go to Yoko's or Masu first), but you can do worse.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was down the st. from where I lived and I became addicted to it...and, actually, the bar seems kinda romantic. Oddly, what I miss most is their salad! And, gyoza! Must make a note to stop in when back in PDX next month.