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Inside Bamboo Izakaya, Now Open

Where sustainable ingredients and Japanese drinking food collide.


The hotly anticipated Bamboo Izakaya (the first of two locations) opens today on Northeast Alberta street, offering Portlanders the chance to mindlessly eat and drink without having to worry about where their food comes from. At least while they're there.

Decor in the 64-seat space has a rustic Asian bent, and the menu is centered around Japanese robata grills burning traditional binchō-tan, a charcoal made from oak. The grills will turn out charred skewers of cruelty- and hormone-free meats, as well as sustainable seafood and produce, alongside a tight menu of small plates, including savory Japanese pancakes (okonomiyaki), and a wagyu beef burger. Of course, it wouldn't be an izakaya without booze. To that end, Bamboo has a large selection of sake, plus sochu, Japanese whiskey, Asian-inflected cocktails, and craft beer.

The weekend brunch skews more "American with Asian accents" -- think ginger french toast, and eggs benedict with green tea-smoked trout -- all of which you can pair with a flight of bacon from producers around the country, plus coffee from Coava.

Part of the Sustainable Restaurant Group, which also owns sustainable seafood-focused Bamboo Sushi, the new izakaya is the first of two in the works so far. The second location is opening Downtown early next year, on the corner of Southwest 12th Avenue and Stark Street.

Bamboo Izakaya: 1409 N.E. Alberta St., Portland, 503-889-0336

Hours: Monday - Thursday 5 p.m. - 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. - 1 a.m.; Brunch 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.