We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Best Sushi in Bend!”
Review of Kanpai

Ranked #153 of 456 Restaurants in Bend
Price range: $0 - $10
Cuisines: Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Outdoor Seating, Takeout
Oregon, USA
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Best Sushi in Bend!”
Reviewed December 8, 2012

Kanpai is consistently the freshest, tastiest sushi in Central Oregon. They have creative specials and a really good happy hour with great prices.

Visited November 2012
Thank nokaoi97756
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

54 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“BEWARE! Good food--IF you get what you order!”
Reviewed December 7, 2012

First, the space: Cramped and uninspired. Minimalist, which is pretty standard for a sushi restaurant, I guess. Quite dark, yet not romantic. Not quite sure how they pull that off.

The food: What is good is VERY good. We enjoyed miso and seaweed salad to start, both standard, but done right. We followed with some softshell crabs, which had a wonderful sauce, but tasted burnt. We also assumed they would be an appetizer (because they are on the appetizer menu), but they were delivered AFTER our rolls. No big deal, except it is part of a pattern, which I will address in a moment. We had 3 rolls (Dragon, Spider, and High-Roller), which were quite tasty--they were what they are supposed to be. But the service...my goodness, the service...

The service: What can I say? Wow. Even by the low service standards of Bend, this place is mind-blowing. My first time dining here was a first date with my (now) girlfriend. We are both huge sushi fans. We are both also service industry by trade. (Note to service staff: ALWAYS assume your guest is another waiter!). On that first visit, all of our sushi rolls were served except one. Forgotten by the server, or never made by the kitchen, we never got our last roll, and at bill time made sure we were not charged for it. We got a terse apology from our server, with a shrug and barely concealed scowl, and no real explanation.

A couple of months later (last night) we decide to try again. Again, we order four rolls (as well as a couple of appetizers, see above). Again, we get 3 of the 4, with the waitress (Kiki) explaining that our last roll (the "Harley Davidson", my girlfriend's favorite) and our softshell crab appetizer, will be right out. The crab arrives, no 4th roll. No checkback from the waitress, no explanation. We eat our crab. We eat our rolls. We stack our dishes. We wait. I should point out, the place was not busy. It was about 6 pm, with about 4 tables occupied.

Kiki finally arrives to clear our plates, NOW explaining,"Oh! Your HD roll is just about done, they're just slicing it now." We explain we no longer want it, and she explains they usually serve that roll LAST, like a dessert. Given that it contains eel, avocado, and goat cheese, this might be the worst excuse I have EVER heard. It is also, as I said, my girlfriend's favorite roll, and she has never received it as a "dessert".

In my heart of waiter hearts, I KNOW the server forgot to ring in our last roll, and it has happened on two consecutive visits. As a server myself, I can smell a waiter lie from a mile away. I have been at this game longer than she has walked this Earth, and there is nothing more offensive to me than being lied to by service staff. OWN YOUR MISTAKES!

In closing, decent enough food, if you don't mind not getting what you ordered and being lied to by the staff. I am not quite sure what their hiring standards are, but I am guessing experience is not among them.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank parkhopper76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 6 Contributor
269 reviews
207 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“Surprising talent and depth....”
Reviewed November 11, 2012

Sushi in Bend? I wouldn't have thought so, either. This place is cute, with a cottage type feel. Small sushi bar, smaller kitchen, and small service areas... so I am shocked they are as efficient and together as they are. Adorable, vibrant staff who kept smiling at me and I got bashful. Nice menu with the standards as well as some fun signature dishes. The prices were more than fair, and I can't remember the last time I walked out of a sushi place with a bill that low (drinks as well). I think our server was Ruth. She rocked.

I will be back. Pretty easy..... i note a lot of bad reviews, but not sure why. In the grand scheme of things, this place is a tasty steal. Bend should be happy to have them.

  • Visited January 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank OnlineConcierge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
115 reviews
105 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Cute place , great sushi”
Reviewed August 20, 2012

Looks like a Sushi place and has a great corner location near downtown Bend. Friendly laid back welcome and excellent service with just the right amount of attention. Huge sake offering and good choice of Japanese beers. Could not fault the sushi, it was all very good. I have had sushi all over the U.S. and Canada and found the price about average not particularly expensive at all. Would always go back.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank lotr10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
138 reviews
92 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Great Sushi in a Comfortable Setting”
Reviewed June 25, 2012

This is our fourth time at Kanpai and we have yet to be disappointed . We had dinner Saturday night at Kanpai , again pleased by the great service and quality sushi served in this land-locked community.
The sushi served here is consistently the best in Bend and some of the best in the NW. The rice has the right balance of flavors and the fish is always fresh and well prepared. We tried the tofu pockets ( Aburage ) app . They were great. The various rolls and nigiri were also just as delicious and well prepared.
The setting is comfortable with a pleasant buzz in the air at this popular local restaurant.
Katherine was our server again, after 2 years, and still as good as we remember.
All in all , Kanpai again , rose above all the local sushi restaurant offerings that we've been to in a hands-down way.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank markobear1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Kanpai also viewed

Bend, Central Oregon

Been to Kanpai? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing