Sushi Mioga

It was an unplanned visit to Sushi Mioga with a friend, on a Sunday afternoon. Since another restaurant in the same complex had 45 minutes waiting time, we decided to check out this place instead.

Inside Sushi Mioga in Portland
Inside Sushi Mioga in Portland

I love conveyor-belt-sushi places, but I still had to find a decent restaurant in Portland, where the sushi did not taste too mediocre. Sushi Mioga is located in the new Timberland Town Center with lots of other good quality restaurants, a cafe, grocery, and other cool stores. As soon as you walk into Sushi Mioga, you’ll see that it’s a clean, open, and spacious place to dine in. We only waited few minutes to get a table and servers/attendees are fast and friendly too.

Our sushi plates in Sushi Mioga, Portland
Our sushi plates in Sushi Mioga, Portland

Unlike few other sushi-belt spots in Portland/Hillsboro area that I’ve visited, all the sushi plates we tried here were surprisingly fresh and can be made-to-order. They have all sorts of options from raw fish to rolls to vegetarian to nigiri and also with different sauces and spices. You can tell if a conveyor-belt-sushi place is good by the quality of their wasabi. Wasabi in most of these other places (if not all) are usually very bland and ruins my whole experience of eating sushi. Sushi Mioga’s wasabi had a perfect kick and flavor…you’ll love every piece of your sushi with it.

We tried few spicy sushi and nigiri with tuna, salmon, and crab along with a plate of fried wonton. Honestly speaking, I did enjoy each of those for their freshness, taste of raw fish, and perfect sizes. You can also pick sliced salmons in teriyaki sauce, small drinks, tempuras, desserts, and many more things from the belt. If you don’t find something, you can order from the menu. We just picked whatever looked good and we didn’t regret any of them.

Conveyor-sushi-belt in Sushi Mioga in Portland
Conveyor-sushi-belt in Sushi Mioga in Portland

Sushi Mioga may not serve the best sushi in town but for the price and with tons of options, this is my new favorite conveyor-belt-sushi restaurant for now. This would definitely be my first option whenever I’m in the mood for inexpensive and good sushi.

Mr. Bento Burger – Hillsboro

I’ve been hearing about this Mr. Bento Burger for a while from my manager. I didn’t exactly know what it was…is it Asian or is it a burger shack or both? I had to know what’s going on there.

Outside Mr. Bento in Hillsboro

So, Mr. Bento Burger was my last night’s dinner spot. It’s conveniently located very close to Intel’s RA location on Cornell Rd. This is a Japanese inspired gourmet burger place that offers all sorts of burgers including the regular ones and something called “Rice Burgers” (?)…that’s something I got to try next time.

It’s a small and modish place with indoor and outdoor sitting arrangements. I loved the Asian style interior design with regular tables and bar-like high chairs. Service here is A+ too; I saw the cashier (they don’t have servers or waiters ) coming to every table and asking if everything is OK.

Inside Mr. Bento in Hillsboro

This can be a bit expensive for burgers, at least more than what I was expecting. I paid little more than $20 with the tips for my salmon steak burger and a drink. Yes, it came with a side of Asian salad and 4 pieces of pot-stickers. Regular or sweet potato fries are separate if you want them with your burger (and they can replace your pot-stickers with fries). But that dressing on the Asian salad…OMG, it was unexpectedly delicious. My burger came with a big chunk of perfectly cooked salmon steak, slices of jalapenos (which I ordered extra) and other stuff. And man, it was hot but good.

My salmon steak burger at Mr. Bento Burgers, Hillsboro

Some of the other burgers that caught my eyes were kimchi burger and Hawaiian burger…maybe next time. But you can spicy up yours with extra ingredients like jalapenos, kimchi sauce, grilled mushrooms, and etc.

This would be a perfect place to come for a quick yet gourmet bite. I have to bring my burger-lover daughter here to try some of their other items in the menu, especially, their Thai iced-tea for sure. Fusion eatery at its best.



Gangnam Korean BBQ – Hillsboro

This is kind of a very special restaurant for me where I’ve some sweet memories with couple special people in my life. Last year I visited this place for the first time with two of my friends, second time was with another friend. And then since then I really wanted to bring my two daughter to try the food here. So, finally last week…on a Thursday night, I brought them to Gangnam Korean BBQ and their expression was “it was a REALLY good dinner”. Happy kids mean happy mom.

From of Gangname Korean BBQ in Hillsboro, OR

Anyways,  last week was the first time I was there during dinner and we were actually lucky to get an empty table…all the tables with built-in grills were taken, so we ended up getting a regular one. If weeknights get that busy, imagine the crowd on Fridays or Saturdays. This is what happens when a place serves good food. But my experience here during lunch is better, only because it’s much quieter. But despite of all  the business, our server was the friendliest and fastest.

Noodles soup, sul-lung tang, in Gangnam Korean BBQ in Hillsboro, OR
Noodles soup, sul-lung tang, in Gangnam Korean BBQ in Hillsboro, OR

Gangnam BBQ menu has overwhelmingly variety of Asian food. I am more into spicy food and this place really satisfies my taste buds with most of their items. Of course they have non-spicy soup or appetizers or main dishes too. I forgot the name of the dishes that we ordered last two times but we definitely had thinly sliced cow’s tongue once that we grilled on the table top. This time we ordered a soup called, sul-lung tang, which was a very simple noodles soup with green onion and sliced beef (although there were barely a few small slices) for my little one. Another one we got was the, bulgogi…thinly sliced beef, marinated in sauce…supposedly this is a must-try item here. If we had the BBQ grill table, we would have grilled the beef slices ourselves, but this time, they grilled the beef for us and brought it to table. I have to say the portion of each dish is big in Gangnam BBQ. All three of us could lavishly share the beef, side rice, and the soup. By the way, bulgogi came with 6 or 7 different condiments like kimchis, pickled and fresh salads and etc. Make sure to add either little bit of all of those or at least some to add to your dish to get the whole picture. And FYI, if your server gives you their HOT sauce, use ONLY one drop of it (as our waiter suggested)…it’s REALLY HOT. If you need more, you can always add more later.

Beef Bulgogi with side condiments in Gangnam Korean BBQ in  Hillsboro, OR

Gangnam Style Korean BBQ is a fantastic place to choose for any occasions with friends or families of any age. My kids loved its vibe and atmosphere and…of course the food. I keep coming back to this place every once in a while and I’ll definitely be back again to try some of their other weird and interesting plates, like cold soup, bibimbop, seafood BBQ, grilled mackerel, and mango mochi ice-cream. I was never a big Korean food fan, but this place really changed my opinion with its presentation, flavorful items and ingredients, and the trendy energy.

Pasha Restaurant & Lounge

My older sister came to Portland for a job interview last week and I took her to our famous Multnomah Falls and then Vista House on Columbia River Gorge on Saturday. We experienced one of the most spectacular sunsets from the Crown Point that evening. As soon as the sun was lost in the horizon around 9 pm, we were ready to head out and have some dinner. After searching for restaurants for few minutes, we found that most of the places in Portland were closing by 10 pm. We decided to just go to a diner or head home and eat left overs. But then I remembered this Middle Eastern place, called Pasha, was having some kind of a live event tonight (saw it in Facebook). And it was the only place we found open until 11 pm…so, no more thinking, Pasha it was.

This was my first trip to Pasha Restaurant and Lounge. One of my Egyptian friends has been telling me about this place for months now, but never had a chance to try it. It worked out perfectly that night.

Inside Pasha Restaurant & Lounge in Oregon

Pasha is located in Lake Oswego area and while everything else in that complex was closed by then, Pasha was the only place just getting ready to start the party. And don’t worry about the parking…it has plenty of spaces and if you come a bit early there is a halal/Middle Eastern grocery right beside Pasha. Inside the restaurant, it’s very elegantly decorated with beautiful lights and ambiance. Most of the guests were well-dressed for the venue and event. Pasha looked like an upbeat place where you would want to spend your Saturday night in. My sister and I showed up a little before 10 pm. A very nice lady greeted us and told us there is a cover charge of $10 per person for the live show and dinner was going to be ordered separately.

Our friendly waiter gave us the option of siting inside or outside. Since there was going to be a show, we decided to sit inside. The menu had variety of options from hummus and stuffed grape leaves to falafels, gyros, platters, soups, and salads. We were hungry but weren’t really up for appetizers. So we went straight to dinner items. I had chicken soprano kebab for $18 which came with a stick of chicken kebabs and a stick of ground beef kebab with saffron rice. My sister’s ground beef kebab was the exact same thing, except it had 2 sticks of beef kebabs. They also had something called “Garb” kebab which was basically slices of beef steaks in kebab masala. Fast forward to the moment when we got our dishes, the platter looked big in portion with lots of rice and meat (nor my sister or I could finish our meals)…with one lonely grilled roma tomatoe. WHAT??? No salad or tahini/yogurt sauce? We had to get the cucumber and yogurt sauce for $3 on the side to save our meal that night, otherwise that plate would have been one dry meal. I wish they cut down on the rice portion and added some fresh salad. That would complete the plate perfectly.

The food came pretty quickly, given that it was kind of busy. I won’t say the food was either awesome or too bad. It was just OK, yes…just very mediocre style Middle Eastern food. Don’t get me wrong, it tasted good…but didn’t really have that wow factor. But thanks to that cucumber and yogurt salad to our rescue…otherwise it would have been very hard to swallow the dry rice and kebabs.

My chicken soltani kebab with rice in Pasha Restaurant & Lounge

The show started right around when our food came. It was mostly group and solo belly dancing by these 4 or 5 beautiful young ladies. One of them did some tricks too while dancing, which was pretty cool. I am not sure if these same ladies perform whenever they have these live performances or new shows take place every time. But it was nice overall, if you prefer a lively show with your dinner. FYI, make sure to have some cash to tip the dancers when they come to your table, some men came ready with bunch of $1 and $5 bills.

Live show in Pasha Restaurant & Lounge in Lake Oswego, OR

Would I ever go back to Pasha? Hmm…yes, I liked the atmosphere, their pleasant services, and somewhat the show too. I still have to try their appetizers and other dishes from the menu. I would definitely bring my friends here to celebrate an occasion or just to have a good time. It seemed a bit formal when we entered but sometimes I like that business casual environment too. On the final note, although we didn’t try it, Pasha has a hookah bar for $20 per serving…let me know how it is if you ever try it.