Restaurant Guide 2013: Mirakutei

536 E Burnside St., 467-7501,

[LO-BU SUSHI AND RAMEN] After wowing diners at Hiro Sushi in Lake Oswego and Hiroshi in the Pearl District, sushi master Hiro Ikegaya migrated east to inner industrial Portland. Here, at small, spare Mirakutei, he challenges nearby Biwa for ramen supremacy. Hiro's genki ramen ($11.50), for instance, practically defines "umami," with its savory shredded char siu pork and garlicky scrambled egg, perfectly complemented by a clean miso broth with crisp bean sprouts and chili pepper bits. Hiro also serves several Japanese tapas (many grilled and skewered) and Northwest-influenced seafood salads, including a kampachi sashimi salad ($9): Hawaiian yellowtail slices with beets, sugar snap peas and tomato on a bed of greens tossed with a light vinaigrette that throws the creamy yellowtail into relief. As for the sashimi and sushi, an able and friendly server will help you navigate any unfamiliar components. If you require more than wasabi to clear your sinuses, order a Dirty Hot Monkey ($7), made with dry vermouth, olive juice and New Deal Distillery's chili-pepper infused vodka. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Ideal meal: Whatever you do, be sure to order the gyoza (five for $8), housemade pot stickers with minced pork and beef; you won't find their equal anywhere in Portland.

Best deal: If you're hitting the clubs on a Friday or Saturday, you can lay down a healthy protein base first at Mirakutei's late-night happy hour starting at 9:30 pm.

Pro tip: Feeling flush and indecisive? Plonk down $30 for the sashimi omakase (chef's choice) and trust Chef Hiro and his team to bring you the day's best raw bites.

11:30 am-2 pm, Monday-Friday, 5:30-10 pm Monday-Thursday, 5:30-10:30 pm Friday-Saturday, 5:30-9:30 pm Sunday. $$.


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