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March 7th, 2011 2:25 pm CRAIG BEEBE | Food Reviews & Stories

Cheap Eats 2011: Ichidai

In a town full of trendy, inventive sushi restaurants with hourlong waits, Ichidai can’t much compete on atmosphere, innovation or sustainability. Nestled in a nondescript Powell Boulevard office building also housing a Chinese income tax service and an adoption center, the restaurant is not the place to sample three varieties of Marine Stewardship Council-certified salmon sashimi. But sometimes you just want the basics, served in portions generous enough to last for tomorrow’s leftovers, and that’s where Ichidai shines. The three-roll dinner ($13.95), with choices from the usual hand-roll suspects, is enough food for two, while the colorful Tsunami salad ($9) seems to have more fish than greens. The teriyaki is unexciting, but the fried chicken katsu is surprisingly juicy. Ichidai isn’t a place you’d bring visiting guests to flaunt Portland’s foodie credentials, but with a friendly staff and an oddly compelling soundtrack of gentle birdsong and guitar, you may just want to make a stop after dropping them at the airport.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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