Murata’s is hands down my favorite sushi spot to go to. If anyone else tries to tell me otherwise, then I won’t bother listening. My family has been eating at Murata for at least 10 years. It never disappoints.
Murata offers select items that you can’t find elsewhere. Every time I go they seem to have a new fish depending on the season. These fishes range from Kampachi, to other white fishes such as Shiromi or Engawa. The Aji at Murata is one of my favorites and comes with a sprinkle of scallions and ginger matched with a ponzu sauce for dipping. I highly recommend this. My absolute favorite would be the Amaebi when the season is right. If i’m there with my family we clean out the stock of fresh live Amaebi without a doubt. The Amaebi is so fresh that when you bite down near the tail, your upper lip might get a little slap from the nerve reaction. Of course after eating the delicious shrimp, the heads come out fried and are seasoned to perfection. Many other restaurants fail at this part. Either the heads come out too seasoned or with no flavor at all. It’s hard to find such high quality sushi cut in thick portions. Murata san does just that. For instance, whenever they have Otoro, it is sliced generously and melts in your mouth.
Another reason why Murata’s trumps all sushi restaurants, is the tradition. The space is small but they manage to keep it authentic with a couple Tatame rooms to go along with the regular tables and bar. The servers are always prompt with refilling hot tea, water, etc., and they’re extremely knowledgeable. Murata san is a very thoughtful person who gives away these neat little sushi lollipops (not flavored like fish) on special occasions, or if you just ask I’m sure he’d give one out. I will never forget the time when he made a special menu for a reservation my family made. They brought out apples with the inside carved out and filled with crab meat. The crab meat soaked into the shell of the apple and by the end of the meal you were left with a sweet and savory taste bomb. I guess that day we were lucky because I have never seen that on the menu since.
Murata has been around for a while and knows a thing or two about sushi. In fact, Hiro san, owner of Mirakutei once worked together with Murata. It is interesting to see how the two have paved their way into the restaurant scene in Portland.