By Claire Tannler
3272 SE Hawthorne
12:00 – 9:30 pm
Have you ever had the craving for sushi at the same time as Thai? Both types of food offer unique taste and enjoyment. The decision is never an easy one. Now you no longer have to make a choice between the two, Sake Izakaya fulfills both appetites.
Owners Pic and Ball, originally from Thailand, have created an oasis where both Thai and Japanese food come together. The two met in Florida where they both worked in the restaurant industry. In Florida it is more common to find Thai and Japanese style cuisine combined.
Ball learned the intricacies of food preparation from a Japanese chef at the hotel where he began his career. Pic learned both Japanese and Thai food recipes from her early cooking experience. She said that one of the big differences between them is that Japanese food is much cooler than Thai.
The two of them decided to bring this concept to Portland and opened their first restaurant downtown, Saké Sushi and Thai Restaurant.
Most recently the duo has opened Saké Izakaya on Hawthorne Blvd., especially convenient for them since they live just a few houses away.
Sake Izakaya redefines Asian cuisine by combining two popular types of food on one menu. The goal is to keep the dishes simple, fresh and tasty. A signature dish is the tradition Japanese ramen noodle soup, similar to but different from Vietnamese Pho because of the use egg noodles rather than rice. Another popular Japanese soup is the Donburi (bowl); a rice bowl dish consisting of fish, meat, vegetables or other ingredients simmered together and served over rice.
The sushi menu offers both rolls and smaller hand rolls, custom made or chosen off the menu. Pic said that some of the most popular are the OMG Roll – scallops with spicy mayo, masago, ikura and scallions; Orange Blossom – shrimp tempura roll topped with salmon, tobiko and eel sauce and Tuna Love – spicy tuna, avocado and cucumber topped with tuna.
No Thai restaurant would be complete without offering Pad Thai, drunken noodles, Massaman curry, cashew nut chicken or fried rice and Saké Izakaya is no exception. They serve other Thai dishes as well and combination plates of both Japanese and Thai foods.
They have a good selection of imported and locally made sakés too. If you want to be bold or adventurous try the imported sake with hints of eucalyptus or the Hana Awaka, sparkling saké with lots of tiny bubbles, refreshing and light for a sunny Portland day.
The restaurant offers the customer the aesthetics of an authentic Japanese sushi bar infused with Thai decorations and attributes. It is the perfect place to go on a date, to bring the family, take a lunch break or for takeout.
The service is genuinely friendly and attentive to the customer. Every item on the menu is fresh and made in-house. Be sure to try the coconut ice cream – it is homemade and simply divine.