Thursday, September 22, 2005


Shoji's, Bend Oregon --

So I'm not normally a "Showgirl", and the entertainment value of "dinner & a show" (Shoji's tagline) wouldn't ever convince me to dine at their establishment. I can't even remember the first time that I went to Shoji's in Bend -- but I do know that I am a regular now. Not for the crappy stir-fried tennis shoes and rice, but for the sushi!

Believe it or not, this gal LOVES sushi, and Shoji's has the best in Bend. I fear writing it here, for I don't want to have to start making reservations for the sushi bar. Typically, DH and I can walk in there any evening and snag a table, order our sushi, eat it all, and be out within an hour. It's almost as fast as the crappy Subway that shares the parking lot.

Shoji's sushi bar does everything right -- the rice is not too sticky, with the right blend of rice wine vinegar and sugar, and the fish is incredibly fresh and tender. The sauces are always used in the correct amounts, and the service is fast and courteously rude. I say rude because one of two of the guys that ends up behind the rolling counter is "Sam", who is either an immigrant from Japan or a pissed off Japanese-American, and has a bit of a friendly attitude. He kisses the girls, rips on the men, and plays "Sushi Nazi" very well. Unlike the trendy and snotty Kanpai restaurant in Bend, this place is unpretentious and has real food. I'd hate to ever set foot in Kanpai again. They had terrible service, and I felt as if I had to suck up to the server to get good service and my orders in a decent fashion. Others have written about their terrible experiences as well, so at least I know I'm not alone. I'll stick to low-key Shoji's and their wanna-be Sushi Nazi.

For the best on the menu, try the "Hashimotosan" made with tempura shrimp, avocado, cucumber, tobiko, topped with Unagi (freshwater eel). The "Keiska" is another favorite of ours, although at this point I forget what it even has in it! We love the edamame here (a much more generous portion that most Japanese restaurants) and the Hari Kari cocktail is a smash! Or should I say I AM a Smash after just one of these bad boys. The atmosphere at Shoji's sushi bar is lacking somewhat, but for the quantity, quality, and price that you pay, you will walk out incredibly pleased with your dining choice.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My experiences at Kanpai have also been bad. It's amazing they are able to piss so many people off so thouroughly. I suspect that they will stay busy due to the trendy factor though.

I'll have to give Shojis a try.

I think that maybe you were too quick to discount their stir fry? I can remember going to shojis in another city many years ago and enjoying it very much. Perhaps your stir fried shoe comment was misplaced?

3:26 PM  
Blogger BrENDa said...

Maybe - I took a relative there tonight, and he ordered a stir-fried dinner and was very pleased. BIG portions, and he's a BIG boy who ended up taking some home. I'm so into the sushi there, though, that I doubt I'd ever go for the "dinner and a show" factor.

10:47 PM  

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