Thursday, October 20, 2005


Yoko's, Bend Oregon --

Yoko's is Bend's oldest Japanese restaurant, however, their original downtown location is GONE! It's a bummer, but the building they were leasing was sold, and Yoko's rent was tripled in a short time, and so they had no choice but to leave. Thank goodness they still have an Eastside location!

We went there this afternoon for lunch, having previously visited Yoko's at least once a week when they had the downtown location. The Eastside restaurant is a bit different from downtown -- a bit more sterile and open. They have the motorized sushi tray that constantly spins around the sushi bar which does help in the "entertainment" department. The reason why you go to a sushi place, though, is the sushi, and Yoko's has it dialed.

Positives: Sushi is great here. The Tsunami roll with tempura shrimp, tobiko, spicy rooster sauce, avocado (and more) is wonderful, and we always order the Wasabi Bombers (extra tobiko, please). The sushi chefs are always pleasant and prompt, and the sake is quick and hot.

Negatives: Sushi rolls have gotten smaller. The rolls are smaller and tighter, and the quantity is less than before. We used to get 6 pieces of the Tsunami Roll; now it's 4. All of the rolls have less pieces, and the prices are a little bit more than a few months ago.

I know that Yoko's prides itself on flying in FRESH FISH multiple times each week, so the prices are probably respective of that. However, having just gone on vacation twice in the last two months and eaten sushi in other cities, it drives me NUTSO to pay $4.95 for two pieces of small sushi that I would get anywhere else for the same price and get an entire 8-piece roll of fat sushi.

Hey, at least it's not Kanpai. Their prices are ridiculous, not to mention the rude waitstaff. Been there twice, won't be back without MAJOR changes in management.

Yoko's is still a comfortable, reasonable option in Bend for Japanese food and sushi.


Anonymous Gene said...

If you've ever been to a real sushi bar or restaurant this place will disappoint you. First, the servers are not nearly as polite or respectful. They are not rude at all, just nothing like a real Japanese restaurant. For instance, they do not refer to you as "sir" or pour your sake. :-) Second, bring your own chopsticks. They only use splintery, fused together ones. Third, and most damning is that I ordered albacore sashimi and the "chef" gave me seared ahi. When I told my server, they assured me that it was sashimi. Ha! Never go here.

1:10 PM  

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