Misadventures with Miso

Misadventures with Miso

Monday, January 5, 2015

Ultimate Omakase Sushi at Nodoguro

I've written about the wonderful creative Japanese cuisine that happens at Nodoguro. But it wasn't till recently that I was able to try the other remarkable dining that sometimes happens there. Since my birthday was coming up I wanted to continue my small tradition of a nice sushi dinner.

It's a limited seating that only happens a couple times a month and sells out within hours. It's almost as elusive as trying to see a mermaid. But thankfully not. Given the amount of work and preparation that must go into a service like this it's not surprising that this is a special night for diners.

Diners sat at the counter that surrounds the working kitchen. Team Nodoguro, Mark, Elena and Chef Ryan are all present preparing and serving the starting dishes or kobachi.

First up was a pair of local Bay Oysters with yuzu and scallions on ice. Nice way to start the meal.

Second was the return of soy cured Ocean Trout with a bit of fresh real wasabe. I believe this was the same or similar to the one served for the Fast Food meal in November. I don't have a problem with that because it was delicious and I would order this again if it was on a menu.

The Crab topped with ikura and Japanese parsley in a egg was probably my favorite of the small dishes. I didn't catch how the egg was foamy while eating but my photo did.

Probably the most unusual dish of the evening was this. Scallops with bonito shuto. If you are brave you can look up bonito shuto. I don't think I would eat bonito shuto by itself but the way Chef Roadhouse served it with the scallops was very tasty.

Next was the Akimo dish. Plated over barley miso with persimmon and scallions it was a really nice combination. I liked the taste of the persimmons in this dish.

The Black Cod with chestnut miso made a return from the December Gitter dinner. This time paired with thinly sliced pickled lotus root. I could tell by the comments that diners loved this dish.

Another first for me was Giant Clam with a bit of mitsuba on top.

We were moving into the omakase sushi portion of the meal. First up was this lovely bit of New Zealand Sea Bream or Tai. Very popular fish to eat at New Years in Japan where it's considered to be the king of fish.

Second was probably my favorite of the sushi, Ocean Trout. Tender and delicate. Following this was Scallop or hotate. I missed getting a photo.

Sitting at the counter meant we were able to watch sushi master Ryan Roadhouse at work as Elena waited to serve us.

A bit of gunkan sushi topped with Maine Sea Urchin or uni.

Also fun to see how a sushi chef cuts the fish. This takes lots of practice which was very much evident for sushi night at Nodoguro.

Lovely Aji or mackerel. My take on mackerel is it better be fresh or forget it. This was very fresh and delicious. Following this was a marinated piece of Tako or octopus which I did not get a decent photo of. Another nigiri that many places don't seem to be able to make well. Tonight's serving was tender and appreciated by diners.

Kohada nigiri or gizzard shad made an elegant presentation in the line-up.

Really nice to see a bit of pressed sushi. By this point my notes are a little difficult to read and I probably was a bit rambling when speaking. I blame the beer. But I did note that this was Saba mackerel with shiso and covered with a type of konbu. I also remember it was delicious.

Grilled Unagi or fresh water eel is one of my favorite dishes. But because they are endangered I am trying to find places that know how to serve Anago or salt water eel. Nodoguro is one of those places that does know how to make it as tasty as Unagi.

Happy to see this Temaki or hand roll. Filled with rice, ikura and yummy local Dungeness crab. Which reminds me I should get some more of Dungeness crab since they are in season and rather inexpensive right now.

That was the end of omakase service. But not the end of sushi. Because Chef Roadhouse opened it up to whatever we wanted of the fish that was left.

So of course I had a few more pieces as did other diners. Good thing I didn't eat much during the day. But then well prepared sushi is one of the few things I can eat a lot of.  No question as to if the Ultimate Sushi at Nodoguro was that.

Other diners indulged in little bowls of ikura. It seems I wasn't the only one there that was a sushi aficionado. We joked about going for a walk and then coming back for more.

However next time at the end I am asking for a Captain's Bowl. It was too late for me to find out about getting a bowl of sashimi. Just one of the secrets at the amazing Omakase Sushi service at Nodoguro.

So far Ultimate Sushi has only happened a couple times a month on Sunday nights. Reservations fill up quickly. I'm hoping that more nights will happen so fans of great sushi will be able to experience this amazing meal. Just be sure to eat light beforehand.

Nodoguro's website is here.


「のどぐろ」は3735 SE Hawthorne ブルバードにあり、皆様のお越しをお待ちしております。座席数が限られております。ご予約はhttp://nodoguropdx.com/からどうぞ。皆様のお越しをお待ち申し上げます。


  1. Your photos are beautiful enough for a cookbook. (I may not eat sushi myself, but I still love beautiful pics of beautiful food.)

    1. Thank you! I wish there was a little more light but at least it's decent at the counter. Taking food photos is a challenge.

  2. Oh I thought that by seeing your photos after having just finished dinner I would not melt myself with sudden sushi urgings, but no to no avail... looks so good, it must have been really magnificent. Unfortunately I don't really know of any good sushi where I live. On the other hand I have a trip to southern California at the end of the month and I do have a good omakase place there...

    1. It was pretty darn delicious. Where do you get omakase in Southern California? I lived there for a very long time so maybe I've eaten there.