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“Just not worth the wait...”

Saburo's Sushi House
Ranked #529 of 4,313 Restaurants in Portland
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: Sushi, Japanese
Neighborhood: Sellwood - Moreland Improvement League
Restaurant details
Neighborhood: Sellwood - Moreland Improvement League
Seattle, Washington
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Just not worth the wait...”
Reviewed March 11, 2013

I was so excited to try this place after reading all the reviews online but after trying it, it is just not worth the wait. They have a small parking lot adjacent to the building which was full when I got there but there is ample parking on the street. There was a large crowd in front of the restaurant when I got there. Upon arrival there is a clipboard outside of the restaurant where you write your name down, next to it there is a sign that says expect a 60-90 minute wait. My friend and I look at each other hungry but decide to make the wait since it had such great reviews. Prior to being seated the waiter gives you a menu and a dry erase pen which you can select what you'd like to order. Keep in mind your only allowed to place ONE order per group so I noticed a lot of people walking out of the restaurant with to go boxes (great way for a customer to over order). There were so many options to choose from, I didn't know where to start. We ended up ordering a bunch of different items. The portions here are HUGE! one slice of fish on the nigiri literally take about 3 bites to finish.... I was astounded at the size of everything and for such a cheap price. The sushi roll was just OK, it was huge but looked sloppy. The mussels were not fresh and bland (I could tell it was previously frozen). The hamachi collar was dry and over cooked. The deep fried calmari was yummy. Overall this restaurant is very cheap with huge portions, but coming from someone who lived in Hawaii all my life with fresh seafood I'd rather pay more for better quality than quantity. If there was no wait I would go back but the 90 minute wait is just ridiculous...

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank Riiiiitaaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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98 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    55
    25
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
PNW
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Almost don't want to write how good this is . . .”
Reviewed March 8, 2013

because as other reveiwers have mentioned the line can be daunting & it could increase our wait time! Perhaps I am biased as I was lucky enough to go to this place in it's early days (when virtually unknown) as it it only blocks away walk for me. It truly is the best in Portland and there are several really good sushi places in Portland (that will wait for other reviews). The value is a plus and the atmosphere is quaint even if a bit cramped with close tables. This goes by the wayside when the delicious fresh sushi or food arrives. While sushi is pretty much what folks go here for I have another favorite - the tempura udon soup. Did I say comfort food? Think mothers great medicinal chicken noodle soup japanese style. Give it & all of Saburos top notch cuisine a try.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank turnersrock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama City, Panama
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“A sushi experience!”
Reviewed March 1, 2013

SLABS of fresh nigiri, and giant rolls of sushi...heaven indeed! There is every reason for this place to be as popular (and sometimes difficult to get in to) as it is. We arrived 30 minutes before opening and there was already a line. Once we filed in and the restaurant was full, there was just as many people still outside waiting to get in! I personally know of people that are more than willing to wait an hour or more to get in there. TOTALLY worth it!

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Caz H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregom
Level 6 Contributor
135 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“The Only Issue is When to Go”
Reviewed February 17, 2013

Even a novice sushi eater such as I understood from the first bite why the lines are out the door at Saburo almost every night. And that is the only problem. We were seated immediately on a Wednesday in February but by the time we were finished others were waiting. What was the old Yogi Berra joke? "Nob wonder nobody ever comes here. It's too crowded." Except everyone goes here anyway. Hint: Select a good second choice in Sellwood and if the line is too long borrow another baseball adage, from the old Brooklyn Dodgers, and wait 'til next time.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Edward H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ithaca, New York
1 review
“Big, tasty nigiri!”
Reviewed January 8, 2013 via mobile

The atmosphere of this place is nothing too fancy. It's pretty much a hole in the wall that recently expanded with more room for tables and customers. But all of this doesn't matter! The big, tasty nigiri that is twice the usual size surpasses everything else. At first glance, you become speechless and in awe of the immense size of each piece of nigiri. Each bite comes with a mouthful of complete happiness. By the end of the night, there's a satisfaction that no other sushi house can provide, at least in the states.

Go try it out!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Michael O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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