The devoted patrons of Sinju (and they are legion) swear that it's the best restaurant of its kind in Portland. That's arguable—but it's certainly one of the prettiest sushi-toriums in town, with tatami rooms overlooking 10th Avenue and immaculate tables that seem to have been set using protractors. The chefs' ethos is perfectly expressed in the tako sunomono; the simple octopus salad is at first briny and bracing, but finishes as clean as the perfect cucumber moons on which it's bedded. Also excellent is the tonkatsu, a panko-breaded pork chop served with a plum dipping sauce, and the Sinju steak, redolent with ginger. The chef's choice nigiri sushi platter brings no surprises, just a very good rendition of greatest hits: snapper, tuna, and river-fresh salmon. Even elements that are usually throwaways are memorable, like the pre-meal iceberg salad, perfectly chilled and tart with vinegar. The sleek decor is a perfect fit for the Pearl, and the platings and presentations are worthy of a magazine food stylist. (KA)