Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Le Hana

The first restaurant just opened in the South Waterfront district. Le Hana is an interesting mix of Japanese and French cuisine. I was leery till I checked out the menu and found it's mostly a Japanese focus where you can also order a Kobe tenderloin, a Strawberry Mountain ribeye, sake diver scallops, and pan seared Copper River salmon. The menu has a lot of sections:

Seafood Entrees
Meat Entrees
Vegetable Entrees
Fusion Sashimi
Assorted Sashimi
Nigiri Sushi
Nigiri Sushi Combination
Hand Maki
Regular Rolls
Specialty Rolls
Baked Rolls
Meat Lover's Rolls

Bf and I ordered a lot. Miso (didn't order, it just came), tempura shrimp, the small assorted sashimi platter, hamachi sushi combo, Iro Iro Maguro roll, and the Scent of Shiso roll.

The miso and tempura were good, on par with most sushi places in town. Assorted sashimi came with 2 pieces each of hamachi, salmon, albacore, escolar, octopus, maguro, shrimp and snapper. Salmon and hamachi are my favorite, they were both buttery and smooth. The fish was cut a little thicker than I'm used to, but I viewed it as a plus. High quality, though I've never been to Murata or Hiroshi, so I can't say how it matches up. I really loved the pure-white escolar, although recent health warnings gave me pause.

The hamachi sushi combo was supposed to include 8 pieces hamachi roll, 2 pieces of hamachi nigiri and 3 pieces of chef's choice nigiri. What we got was 8 pieces spicy salmon roll, and 6 pieces of assorted nigiri, luckily most of it tuna. I was not at all upset, as the spicy salmon roll was outstanding. The spicy sauce gently coated the delicate salmon pieces without overwhelming the mild fish.

The Iro Iro Maguro roll consisted of blue fin tuna, avacado inside, lightly seared toro outside with a lime caper sauce and tobiko on top. Loved this and would order it again in a heartbeat, despite the $18 price tag.

The Scent of Shiso roll was just as good. Salmon, avacado and dungeness crab with shiso and halibut on top. Shiso is an herb leaf that reminded me of mint or cilantro with lemon notes as well. It added a little fresh crunch and burst of brightness to every bite.

The interior has booths along two walls, a sushi bar and a regular bar. Big, round, creamy-colored lanterns hung above the entry beckon from blocks away. Red lamps hover over each booth at varying heights. Watch out for those booths; they are definitely built for little people.

Le Hana
3500 SW River Parkway
Portland, OR 97239

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