New Business

Turning Japanese

Sake, shochu, and more

By John Chandler September 16, 2009

In the mood for some reasonably priced noodles and saké? Miho Izakaya on N Interstate Ave awaits.

Good news for gourmands, adventurous gluttons, and saké sippers: Miho Izakaya, right across the street from the Alibi on N Interstate Avenue, is now open for business.

Co-owner and rocker-about-town Michael Carothers gave me the crucial deets about this new eatery, describing it as similar to a Japanese pub or tapas bar. The food menu, prepared by chef and co-owner Michael Miho, consists primarily of small-plate entrées priced between $2 and $12. And rather than a set of carved-in-stone dishes, the menu will fluctuate depending on what the two Michaels have scouted out at the local markets. Check the chalkboard upon arrival for all the latest tastes—there will be marinated skewers, pickled veggie salads, an assortment of noodles, sushi, and exotic offerings like fried lotus root and bean curd and eel over rice. Just ask for the Full Eel Deal.

On the drinking side (about time, Bar Pilot!), there’s a full bar and a variety of sakés available, but Carothers seems most excited about the shochu, a Japanese clear spirit distilled from buckwheat, rice, or sweet potatoes. In terms of potency, it’s somewhere between wine and vodka, and it’s pretty groovy on the rocks with a little water.

"This place is traditional without being stiff," Carothers explains. "It’s a very Japanese spot run by very Portland people." Just save me a couple of eels, buddy!

Hours: Wed-Sun 4-midnight. 4057 N Interstate Ave

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