Bamboo Sushi NE
1409 NE Alberta St., Alberta
Bamboo Sushi has four locations spread among Portland's quadrants: SW, NW, NE, and SE. Each location varies slightly; they all have a casual vibe and really good sushi (in addition to hot Japanese dishes). You can make table reservations but seats at the sushi bar (always fun) are first come first serve. What makes Bamboo different than most other sushi restaurants is that they take a lot of steps to be as sustainable as possible. For example: They don't serve fish from endangered populations; their seafood is caught by fishermen who operate under environmentally ethical principles; and their meat comes from ranches in Oregon/Idaho, and is grass-fed, hormone-free, and free-range. Bamboo Sushi use renewable energy sources, reusable teak wood chopsticks, biodegradable to-go containers, and so on.
2039 N.E. Alberta St., Alberta
Helmed by veteran chef Troy MacLarty (formerly of Berkeley’s Chez Panisse and Portland’s Ned Ludd), Bollywood Theater is a go-to for fragrantly spiced street-style food MacLarty discovered during his explorations in India—dishes like savory lamb samosas and rich, creamy curries. The original restaurant on Alberta in Northeast Portland, spacious and decked out with Indian imagery (including a projector for screening Bollywood films), has a fast-casual vibe: order at the counter, get a number, choose your seat. The location on Southeast Division, an even larger space with an open-concept kitchen, also features a retail market stocked with dry goods, fresh spices, rice, ghee, and more.
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