Saburo's Sushi House Rstrnt

Approval Rate: 89%

89%Approval ratio

Reviews 49

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    Sun Dec 20 2009

    This place has lost their mind. I've been MANY times and last time I went will be the very last EVER. 1st - Waited for about an hour to get seated 2nd - Could get a refill on my soda 3rd - The creamy scallops tasted off. When I told them they advised the "the quality is good and they will not take it off my bill". Who does that? It was definitely off and yet they wouldn't take it off my bill. There are much better options in PDX for sushi than this ego bloated sushi shop. DONT GO ! ! !

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    Mon Oct 26 2009

    We were a table of five on a Friday night. We ordered a bunch of nigris and sushi rolls. First, we were seated in the back room which was in the same spot as the restroom so it smelled like bad bathroom odors. Then, we were served by a bunch of people who kept rushing us to order food and served us water in dirty, cracked platic cups. Once we received the sushi we ordered, we were thoroughly disgusted. It had to be the lowest of the lowest quality of sushi I have ever tasted. There was wayyy too much rice than one needed. The rolls were the width of my wrist. Some people enjoy the fact that they can get large amounts of sushi for really cheap, but this place is scam. They don't even give you sushi grade sashimi. This is like the Costco of's exciting to see the quantity for the price, but the quality is subpar!

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    Thu Oct 15 2009

    I frequent sushi restaurants often and I always leave Suburo's having had a great experience. Sushi is always good and there is a lot to choose from on the menu.

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    Mon Sep 28 2009

    I love to go eat sushi here but I just wish it was bigger. I really have to plan my night to go there because you might wait for awhile but it is worth it.

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    Tue Jul 21 2009

    My GF and I have gone twice now to Saburo's. We do like this place because the food is tasty, it's very affordable, and the portions are enormous. The 1 hour wait isn't even that bad if you're up for putting your name on the list and grabbing a drink at the Lompoc while you wait. But, we went slightly hungry the last time, which was a mistake. We didn't feel like drinking before hand, we just wanted to eat. So we waited for an hour. Then we sat down. Our order was taken 15 minutes later. Our food arrived 30 minutes after that. So it was almost 2 hours from the time we arrived to the time we ate. Keep that in mind. That being said.. this place is a lot of fun. Just make sure you have time to spend. -Nathaniel Carey

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    Thu Mar 05 2009

    I love this place. I split 50/50 with my date cause I'm cheap. I never spend over $12 and leave full. The quality is fantastic. The wait is worth it! My only complaint is the Inari is too sweet. There salad is amazing!

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    Wed Jan 28 2009

    Wow, tried Saburo for the first time and the sushi was huge! I thought wow, how can this be? Enjoyed the atmosphere and the server's blunt attitude, but remember, you can only order once. The server will get mad if you try to take your time and order the second time. Try this place, it's fun and unique.

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    Wed Jan 14 2009

    This place is super popular but worth the wait. I believe you can have a drink around the corner. The fish is super fresh and the pieces of ...

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    Sun Nov 16 2008

    portions were huge, needed a fork to eat a sushi roll but i dont think theyre supposed to be quite that large. if you are looking for hometown buffet portions of sushi, go right ahead, you will love it here. not bad. prices were very reasonable, but in the sushi business, you get what you pay for. freshness of fish pretty good, better than mio sushi. may or may not try it again.

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    Wed Oct 22 2008

    I was born and raised in Orange County, CA -- the US capitol of Sushi restaurants. I've eaten sushi for 24 of my 25 years and I can tell you hands down that the second best Sushi restaurant in the nation is Saburo's Sushi House in Portland, OR. It is a close second to Sushi Ikko in Costa Mesa, CA. There isn't much I can add here other than the fact that you WILL love the food here. The service is so-so, the atmosphere is dull, the lighting is awful, the music is questionable at best, the waits are long, and the furniture isn't even very comfortable, it doesn't matter. At all. The food is king here and the servings are very generous. Unless you are a strict traditionalist (and missing out on a whole lot of sushi-influenced dishes) this will quickly become one of your favorite sushi restaurants. Tonight will be my 10th time, the quality of sushi has always been top notch, that level of consistency is hard for even the most expensive sushi restaurants, what surprises me even more is th... Read more

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    Fri Oct 17 2008

    yes there is a huge wait and you have to get there 30 minutes before it opens but the sushi is the best and biggest you will get, its fast and affordable. order once only and have your dinner guest with you I heard they will not seat if all the people in your party is not there, not recommended for larger groups more then 4, eat and go but affordable, large sushi pieces 3 rolls is enough for 2 people.

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    Thu Sep 18 2008

    once you finally get IN the place, your food comes quickly, as does the minimally-expensive check. that's because there are always another 2 dozen people waiting to come in. if you're looking to dawdle and gaze at your loved one for an hour... go elsewhere. this place is always packed and busy, and with good reason. i suggest ordering a nice assortment of the sushi or sashimi if it's your first time, because the rolls are so huge they turn into a mess, and you can't fit them in your maw without unhinging your jaw like a python. WARNING: order about HALF as much food as you would in a regular sushi restaurant, or you'll end up with take-home... and sushi doesn't re-eat well, in my humble opinion. oh yeah... their house hot sake is enough to make you smirk your way into dessert. one of my favorite places in Portland.

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    Sun Sep 07 2008

    yes are you kiddin me...I got to wait for over large stale sushi at one of the trashy bars near by...oh wait there might be something in common...rudeness(am I'm being curt) sushi for ignorant people who will wait for the next comin I suppose...lets go sing karoke afterwards and celebrate the bomb...they are getting back at the U.S...and oh yea lets stay in Iraq and vote for more killin..go slober over your roll and keep image to hopelessness...kamakazees in disguise...the ones waitin outside..

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    Thu Sep 04 2008

    This is a great time and a great place to get sushi... I read all the reviews and I don't understand what the complaints are for, I feel I have to defend my favorite sushi place. When you go to Saburos, there are a few things you have to remember: 1) You WILL have to wait a long time to get in no matter when you go. Drive by put your name on the list and walk across the street and play some pool. There are like 3 bars in walking distance that live off Saburos overflow. Come back every 15-30 min to see how the list is moving. 2) The restraunt is a dive, don't expect fancy seats and a lot of space. 3) You get one chance to order they don't come back to your table until they have your food. The waitstaff is very curt and to the point. They seat you, they take your order ticket and they bring your food fairly promptly that is about it, don't expect friendly conversation. 4) Don't bring young kids, nobody likes hearing your kid scream anyway. They do not cater to them at all. 5) The Sus... Read more

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    Sun Aug 17 2008

    Saburo's can be intimidating when you see the line outside but trust me, it is WELL worth even an hour wait. Good selection, absolutely mind blowing low prices, and great sushi! Everything was fresh, very quick (once you have your table), and flavorful (with the exception of one roll I tried). Miso soup was really good and only $1.00 for a bowl! Crazy! My favorite roll was only $4.95 and a huge portion. Overall a great experience, you are totally nuts if you don't try this place! My boyfriend and I are considering making another trip to Portland from Bend, just so that we can come back to Saburo's!!! GREAT!

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    Mon Aug 04 2008

    best sushi in portland. it's a long wait on the weekends, but it's worth it! It's best to go early and mid week. the lines can be long, but it's amazing sushi served in huge portions.

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    Mon Jun 02 2008

    Yeah, yeah, so they have Large cuts of fish. It's like the supersize american style sushi bar. Sushi is a delicate meal that should be bite sized and appetizing to look at. I would rather save up and spend a few extra bucks on real sushi. As for the hour plus wait, Yikes!! Just not worth it. The server took 30 min to take our order for tea and miso. It seems that if the place is that busy they need to hire more people. Well anyway, I will never go back.

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    Sat May 17 2008

    I love this place so awesome fresh food real crab highly recommended

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    Mon May 05 2008

    I used to go to Saburo 2-3 times a month, but since their head chef left to open his own restaurant. Everything has changed. What used to be huge sashimi on the sushi is now much smaller. The sushi rice loss the favor and not that well made. it breaks up as soon as you pick them up. The roll is now like a bowl of rice, too much rice. i haven't been back in a year, in town still the best value for your buck, but the sushi isn't as fresh as the old days. Their Toro, is crazy super slice thin. Not fresh at all.

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    Tue Apr 15 2008

    The wait was very long. I think we (me plus 4 others) waited for about 1.5 hours to get in. But this was at around 7. If you're in a big group, it will take you longer to get seated because smaller groups are priority I guess. This was very frustrating. When we got inside, the service was fast. The wait staff was very busy (obviously) so I wasn't expecting them to be super friendly. But we ordered and got pretty good portions for the price. They forgot a katsu order, but I'm glad they did because the portions are huge. This isn't your average sushi, this is sushi on steroids. The cuts were kind of too big. I'm used to eating sushi in one bite. This was impossible for these rolls. One bite equalled the whole thing falling apart. Despite this, the prices were great for what you got and even though this isn't REAL sushi, it still tasted pretty good and I'd go back if I was craving humongous sushi.

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    Sat Mar 29 2008

    I was in a line for about 1 hr but it worth! Great sushi=) They also have very good salad, spicy tuna salad with too die for dressing. If you go early, you should try toro.

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    Fri Mar 21 2008

    I'm not sure the long wait outside would be worth it if the sushi was good. There are no reservations and yet throngs of people who want to eat large pieces of sushi. I just ate at a great sushi bar in NYC where the namesake chef insists that you put the whole piece of sushi in your mouth at once, hence smaller, more delicate pieces. The ones served here are huge, fatty even in fish where fat is not desirable and an unpleasant texture, on the verge of falling apart. While delicious, attractive sushi might obviate the need for prompt seating, fine decor or polite service, these are all lacking as well. It is a drab setting and the staff scowls as they seemingly throw the food at you (my perception). Another point is even if one liked this sushi, the large pieces mean you can't eat as many varieties at one time. Room is drab and crowded.

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    Thu Mar 13 2008

    The decor and lack of seating isn't ideal, however the sushi is the freshest in the city. Succulent crab is stuffed in the California rolls and the squid is divine. The Big O Roll, is seriously the biggest roll I've ever seen. Avoid the million other "chic-boutique" sushi shops and try the best. You won't regret the wait.

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    Thu Mar 13 2008


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    Thu Feb 21 2008

    For anyone who loves Sushi this is the place. The portions are magnificent and the fish is very fresh but still is very well priced for sushi. Be careful to order less than you would at a normal sushi restaurant. They do not take reservations and you have to come to get take out orders. The restaurant is almost always completely full so make sure to get there earlier or you could end up waiting an hour and a half. The service is okay but nothing special. You will not find sushi like this anywhere.

  • by


    Sun Feb 03 2008

    I had heard great things about Saburo's, seen amazing reviews online and was excited to try this hole in the wall Sushi House. My friend and I were well taken care of by our server who helped us choose some of their most popular rolls and appetizers. Happy with what we ordered we showed down and had a great evening out, until later that night when we both got really sick. I spent the night nauseous, sick to my stomach and so ill I couldn?t keep the sushi down. I learned the next day that my friend was in the same state that I was. I would hate to insult Saburo?s, but it is not ok for a restaurant to prepare and sell bad food. I paid $30 for both of us to get sick to our stomachs!

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    Tue Jan 22 2008

    It was my first time there. At first, i did not think that it was a good place, since i was always up for Sushiland. But when i ate at Saburo, I am never going to go anywhere else, for Saburo is the best place for sushi! The place is a little small, but it gives me the feeling of comfort and warmth after standing outside in the cold. Even though the wait is long, it is all worth it!!

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    Sat Jan 19 2008

    I got there at 4:00 p.m. (they open at 4:30). There were only a few people in line so I came back at 4:10. There were now about 10 people in line. Between 4:10 and 4:30 about 60 people showed up. About 20 people joined a group in front of me. It seems people in line come early and hold places for all their friends. There were about 4 groups in front of me that had 3-5 friends join them at 4:25. So, even if 10 people are in front of you 20 minutes before opening, pretty soon there are 40 people in front of you. I barely got in. I don't understand why the management doesn't control this from happening. This doesn't make for a great eating experience. Maybe I should have asked the few people at the front of the line to hold a place for me. It was like a basement sale at Macy's.

  • by


    Sat Jan 12 2008

    After years of hearing about Saburo's, a few friends and I stopped by earlier today. We arrived at 5:30 (on a Sunday night), and waited for about an hour outside. We refused our first table, as it was located right next to the door and people were standing over the table waiting to get into the place...... So we finally got a decent seat (if you can call it decent) and ordered the daily special, sushi moriawase, karaage, and a teriyaki set for one member who doesnt like sushi. I was really looking forward to the sushi as I moved back to Portland 2 months ago after spending the last 4 years in Japan, with a year of that spent managing a restaurant. However, what we got was sushi that wasn't quite fresh, unoriginal and WAY too big. The ebi, tako and toro all were a bit rubbery and looked lifeless. Karaage a bit sweet (karaage is super easy to cook), and even the gyoza in the set meal was unispiring and improperly cooked. To top it off, the tea was some kind of cheap powdered green... Read more

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    Sun Dec 30 2007

    I am willing to wait two hours for a 45 minute dining experience at this hole in the wall restaurant. The lovely waitrons, of which most will speak to you in Spanish if you are in the mood, are continually polite, friendly, and always remember what I drink even though they are slammed from the time they open to the time they close the doors. The sushi is huge, and by huge I mean almost too big, but I always go home stuffed and carrying a box full of leftovers for midnight snacking. The prices are ridiculously cheap, including the plum wine which is $3/glass and filled to overflowing. If I was a bit more selfish I would skip the review and hope no one else found this shiny little gem, I am however, convinced that everyone, and I do mean everyone, should at least try this restaurant. The wait is worth it and once you?re on the list just pop by the Limelight and enjoy a decently priced drink in one of the few smoke-free bars on the block.

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    Thu Nov 15 2007

    You need to get there at least 15 minutes before opening on usual days, or you'll be waiting out for a long time in the cold northwest weath...

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    Thu Oct 25 2007

    My husband and I lived in Japan for 4 years and the one thing that you need to understand is that most sushi resurants like Saburo are not athentic japanese food. In fact, Sushi rolls and nigiri are considered desert in Japan. So it is quite funny to me reading all these reviews about "sloppy rolls" and Bad fish. And the complaints about the servise. In the Japanese culture they rarely make eye contact and when it comes to dinning out it's useually quick and to the point. And they dont tip over there, it is concidered rude. Now if you go from sushi bar to sushi bar you will find that there is not one that is the same as another. There are diffrent methods and traditions to making sushi. I found Saburo to be quie tasty! And if you don't like small in and out resturants then I would not recomend going. don't expect 5 star servise because when is comes to sushi resturants, they are not about servise but filling you up and getting you out. Plain and simple. Americans are so needy and comp... Read more

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    Thu Oct 25 2007

    I am the quintessential sushi conniseur. From NY to LA to SF. From Nobu to the neighbor sushi joint run by a Japanese man who can hardly speak a lick of English. I'm a purist at heart but flexible enough to go to Sushiville (which considering what is available in portland area, is actually not bad.)I've been to this place twice, and waited about 40minutes each time. Simply put, the "good food" to "the wait" ratio is too low. Yes, they do give you mounds of fairly fresh fish, but remember kids it's quality not quantity. Their fatty salmon and yellowtail that you have to pay extra for is what most respectable places just refer to as sake and hamachi without adding the word "Toro" to it. If you dont get the belly meat, then it's like chewing mountains of bland fish that not rivers of wasabi and soy sauce with be able to flavor. Dont get me wrong, I love the raw stuff and sometimes I just fill out on sashimi, but something about these cuts are just wrong, they are too thick and it j... Read more

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    Wed Oct 24 2007

    I was quite skeptical about this place because it always has this insane line outside and I am not one to wait in lines. Our friend took my husband and I, however, and it was completely worth the 1.5 hour wait. I have never waited that long since but on busy nights be prepared. I have always had good or excellent experiences at Saburo. The portions are large and the fish is fresh (I have had the best on Wednesdays). I always get the Big O' Roll and lots of nigri sushi. My favorites are the hamachi (yellow tail tuna), unagi (river eel), and sake harasu (salmon belly). We also recently tried the suzuki (striped bass) and it was quite good. I would suggest arriving about 20 minutes before they open to ensure the shortest waiting time. No frills, yummy fish.

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    Thu Oct 04 2007

    This is the BEST SUSHI I have ever had. I crave this place! The Owners should seriously consider a second location. You will wait at least an hour for a table, but worth it!! Huge rolls and cuts of fish. I would dine here more if it weren't for the wait.

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    Thu Sep 20 2007

    As a Japanese American, I learned about the art of sushi from my stepmother, who grew up in Tokyo. What she taught me is that it is all about the freshness of the fish and the way the fish is cut and presented. At Saburo's, the sushi is cut in an unappealing, unartistic slab, with absolutely no regard to a portion that a person can put in her mouth and chew without gagging or looking like a greedy chipmunk. Because the sushi is not put together well, it falls apart if you try to bite it in half. You cannot enjoy the delicate flavor if the portion is not small enough to fit properly in your mouth. Additionally, you would think that because they move through an impressive amount of fish in the space of a night, the fish would be really fresh. Beg to differ--I can tell you that there is much better quality fish elsewhere. If you're looking for a place that serves up big pieces of sushi for a cheap price and quality does not concern you, this is your place. If you want fish that t... Read more

  • by


    Mon Sep 10 2007

    Saburo's Sushi House has to rank up there as one of the worst experiences with sushi I have ever had. I've eaten sushi for the last 27 years, since I was 6, and know a thing or two about sushi. Here's some warning signs to look for when you're trying to avoid BAD fish. When the fish is soft and kind of watery, that means it's been frozen and thawed at least twice. Half the pieces of fish I was served at Saburo was like that. Fresh fish really doesn't smell like fish, it should just smell like fresh, cold seawater. Again half the pieces of fish at Saburo positively reeked. If you want to test a sushi restaurant's freshness order the uni. Uni goes bad in 2 days, and that's if you store it right... Saburo's uni was inedible, and actually made me gag. Please keep in mind, sushi is an artform, and saburo's hamfisted attempts at hacking pieces of fish together with some rice is an abomination of that artform. Yeah it's cheap. Yeah it'll fill you up. But sushi can be SOOOOoooo much better... ... Read more

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    Sat May 12 2007

    People complain the the portions are too large. When is that such a bad thing??? The reality is that the sushi on a scale of 1 to 10, the quality is about 7.5. Which while not great, is not bad considering the immense proportions you get. I love this place for the value and taste. May not be authentic, but still rocks my world.

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    Thu May 10 2007

    I haven't been to Portland for 10 years. I still crave Saburo. I have been all over both coasts and anyone that denies the quality of the fish at that restaurant, is a liar or a fool. The way the 3rd son combines flavors is the industry standard in raw fish. Go Warriors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Tue May 08 2007

    I love Sushi. I crave Sushi. Saburo's Sushi was disgusting. When our platter came out I literally gasped, gulped, and actually had a visceral reaction while muttering "I don't think I can eat this". I think there were 4 entire fresh water eels on our platter as well as a salmon and a tuna. It was just wrong. It took me 4 bites to get through the unagi and more than that to get through the rolls because they fell apart on the way from platter to mouth. I was so busy trying to navigate an entire eel into my mouth to even think about wasabi, ginger, or soy sauce. I was out of water, usable napkin, and sense of adventure to go any further. The only saviors in this whole dining experience was the cucumber shrimp salad, the freshnest of the fish, and the Sake. We took over 3/4 of our food home and I plan on making my own Sushi rice(Saburo uses too much vineager) and cutting the remaining fish in to manageable pieces. Saburo took a perfect food and turned it into the SUV, All You Can Eat, Do... Read more

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    Fri Apr 20 2007

    BEST sushi I have ever has since New York - If you complain about the wait you are clueless! I will say it again Porlanders are spoiled you have so much good food for such great prices and all you do is complain. Yummm this is the best sushi around. Deserves a way better rating then 9. Like it is there fault they are busy so you give it a bad rating?

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    Sun Apr 15 2007

    Hands down best sushi in town... but you will have to make sacrifices for it. I typically wait 20-60 min to be seated, and the restaurant is constantly a flurry of activity, so dont expect a quiet, relaxed eating environ. Although, once seated (especially if you're at the bar, facing away from the crowd and hubbub) you're in your own sushi dreamland. A customer sitting next to me at the bar once joked that each cut of nigiri was like "a little steak". It's true, they are enormous. And fresh.

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    Wed Apr 04 2007

    The waiter who assigned seat was very rude to customers in words. There's no repect to customers at all. She squeezed a party of 6 into a table of 4 disregarding our 2 kids. However, when counting number of people for tips (party of 5 is forced to pay 15% tips), they count the kids.

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    Wed Apr 04 2007

    Will NOT recommend it! I've been to this restaurant twice, first time I was simply amused by the size of the sushi's & rolls but not so much by the taste.... I don't know if a roll is still a roll when it falls apart on the first bite. The second time around was just horrific. The wait never ends - whether you're there on a weekday or weekend, expect to wait 45-60+ minutes standing ( ... or squatting when you finally give in) out in the cold just to get in. What else, Service? What service? You jot down your own order with no one to answer any questions you might have about strange sounding exotic sea creatures -- talk about order & consume at your own risk. Even McD's can do better than that! Sure you'll get a glass of water..consider yourself lucky if it gets refilled and REALLY lucky if you see your server at the table twice! Oh yea, make sure you leave a big FAT tip too or else someone might storm out the door to give you a lecture, threatening not to seat you, and demand more... Read more

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    Thu Mar 29 2007

    Before you go, you need to plan ahead. Your wait will undoubtedly be around an hour. The building is tiny and your table is right next to your neighbor's. Even with all that taken into consideration, Saburo's is DEFINATELY worth it. For the size of the pieces (enormous!) and the taste, it's priced very well. Saburo's is one of the best sushi places I have ever been to. The Big O Rolls are to die for.

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    Sat Mar 24 2007

    Just a couple of things to be prepared for before you go: long wait, large portions, all-business waitstaff. As long as you know, you can plan for some of the best sushi around! If you are not used to large portions of sushi or the rolls that need to be eaten in several bites, then be forewarned. However, the sushi here is delicious. Definitely a fun place to take someone so you can see how big their eyes get when they see the size of everything! But really, this is America so everything here is super-sized, right?! Just order 1/2 of what you would normally and you're good to go. We have friends from out-of-town who always ask to go to Saburo's. It's one of Portlands little secrets. Even though it's not a big restaurant and there are no reservations, it is fantastic food. Plan on spending some TIME with your company while waiting at a neighboring bar for your table to be called - make sure you're there when they call it or you will be skipped over for the next group in line! ... Read more

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    Fri Mar 02 2007

    In response to Wanderlust101 who stated that the sushi was better at Yuki's, I have tried both and have to say that Saburo takes my vote hands down. Ever since my friend introduced me to Saburo's, I have not been back to Yuki's.

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    Fri Mar 02 2007

    If you're a fan of tasteless sushi with poor texture, then this is the place for you. If you're also a fan of long waits, poor service and sushi where each piece is the size of your fist and not your mouth, then so much the better. My friends were super hyped about this place and swear by it. I will never waste my money (or time) again. You're better off at Yuki's or any other sushi joint in the city. This place is crowded like a school cafeteria and the food quality is just as bad. I'm really not sure why anyone raves about this place. When we went, we ordered at least 7 rolls, plus saki and of course, the uni that gets lauded in some reviews here. I give all a solid thumbs down.

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    Wed Feb 21 2007

    Not the place to impress your date ... unless your date is impressed by the BEST of sushi. Try the uni. It is sooooooo rare to get uni this fresh. But order only 50% of what you are accustomed to ordering at other bars. The pieces are huge!

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