The decades-old Murata has occupied a curious place in the city's sushi landscape: It's understated, reserved and not at all flashy. Nonetheless, it's a destination for those in the know. The specials astound—Oregon gaper clams, Hood Canal geoduck and succulent spot prawns served two ways: The bodies come raw and the heads are battered and fried (all items market price). But it's Murata's work with sashimi that's truly exemplary. Simply name the dollar amount and watch with wonder as chefs craft beautifully composed plates of tender uni, Northwest smoked salmon and briny roe, displayed like a work of art.

GO: 200 SW Market St., 503-227-0080, 11:30 am-2 pm and 5:30-9:30 pm Monday-Friday, 5:30-9 pm Saturday. $$$.