Restaurant Guide 2013: Yuzu

4130 SW 117th Ave., Beaverton, 350-1801.

[HIDDEN IZAKAYA] There's no sign for this Beaverton strip mall izakaya other than the name on the door. Inside the bare-bones dining room there's not much to look at beyond the cool wood-plank menu written in Japanese kanji on the wall. What you really want to look at anyway are the small plates filling your table with the salty, sticky and often greasy-in-a-good-way Japanese drinking food that Yuzu specializes in. Order at least one vegetable (the stir-fried bok choy with eringi mushrooms with a bit of thinly sliced pork is great) so that the breaded, fried, pork-centric menu doesn't flatline you. Or just drink more sake, shochu and beer. Some of the best things to come out of the fully exposed kitchen (the dish room is exposed, too): panko-breaded and fried shiso-stuffed pork with a light, tart plum dipping sauce; sticky-sweet pork spareribs (if you love Pok Pok's wings, try not to bite your fingers off while eating these; $4.25 each and well worth it); sake- or soy-stewed pork belly; housemade kimchee, mozzarella and barbecue pork spring rolls; and thinly sliced, salted and grilled beef tongue.

Ideal meal: Draft Asahi, spareribs, sake, kimchee spring rolls, shochu, panko pork with plum sauce, salmon onigiri. Wash it all down with a bowl of ramen and more drink. You're at an izakaya after all.

Best deal: All of the ramens, aka "Closing Noodle Dishes" ($9-$11.50).

Pro Tip: Go with as big a group as possible so you can try a lot of dishes.

6-11 pm Monday-Friday, 6-9 pm Saturday. $$.


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