Location: SW 9th and Alder Parking Lot
Description: Japanese food about as authentic as you might encounter in the countless food stalls found all over Japan. If all you know about Japanese food is teriyaki and sushi, get ready for a whole new world here. Japanese street food is some of the best and most comforting of any street food I’ve encountered, and Samurai does not disappoint. Sure they have teriyaki and it is some of the best in Portland by the way (perfectly seasoned and tender), but they also serve things like katsu don (fried and breaded pork or chicken cutlet with a curry or lightly scrambled egg served over rice), thick and aromatic yakitori stirfried noodles (chicken, beef, or tofu), Japanese style wafuu curry, and some occassional specialties such as sweet soy sauce glazed “bbq” unagi eel and seasoned karaage fried chicken.
What makes Samurai really stand out from the crowd though is the way they prepare their food. It’s a family run operation and they really care about the quality, preparing each order as it comes in, and adding little extras such as a side of veggies and pickled ginger. This is Japananese home cooking at its best and the portions are big. They will also offer you a free cup of hot tea while you are waiting (and it doesn’t hurt that the young tatooed Japanese server is extra friendly and quite good looking). I could eat there every day (sigh).
There are plenty of vegetarian options and Samurai is also open until 4PM or so, making a late lunch or hearty afternoon snack a real possibility.
Sample Menu: (note – most items, outside of the noodle dishes, come with a good amount of rice and a side of veggies)
Yakisoba Noodles (beef, chicken, or tofu) – $5.00
Yakitori chicken – $5.00
Ginger chicken or pork – $6.00
Karaage (seasoned and deep fried chicken) – $6.00
Tofu Steak (mild or spicy) – $5.00
Katsu (bread and fried chicken or pork cutlet) – $6.00
Katsu Don (breaded and fried chicken or pork cutlet on rice with egg and onion mixture on top – one of my favorites!) – $6.00
Curry Katsu (same as above with mild wafuu curry sauce) – $6.00
Curry (Wafuu Curry, with choice of pork, katsu, croquette, or fried shrimp) – $6.00 to $7.00
Oyako Don (chicken, onion, soft scrambled egg, and sauce on rice – my personal favorite!) or Tanin-Don (pork) – $5.00
BBQ Eel on rice – $10.00
Tempura or Veggie Tempura – $6.00
Miso Soup – $2.00
Hours: Mon-Fri 11-4pm (give or take)
Phone: (503) 757-8802