Oregon is home to a lot of restaurants, bars, wineries, and breweries, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Portlanders aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's many food players to share their recommendations for a recurring feature we call Dining Confidential.
The owner of Paley's Place, Imperial, and Portland Penny Diner, Vitaly Paley doesn't eat out all that often, unless, he's visiting new cities and countries with his wife, Kimberly. Instead, he likes staying at home and cooking something simple, easy, and doubtlessly good. But when he does go out, there's one place near and dear to his heart: Yama Sushi.
"Yama Sushi is amazing," Paley says. "I salivate just thinking about that live sea urchin served plainly on a half shell, or crunchy fresh abalone, unadorned with nothing but a tasty savory dipping sauce. These are but a couple of fresh ideas that are part of the most epic omakase menu I usually get, when I'm there."
"I really like sitting at the sushi bar and letting the sushi chef just create and create and create until I tell him to stop," says Paley. "Yama's saké selection is also unparalleled. My favorites are the raw, unpasteurized ones, and they have several. There is this one that comes in a metal can ["Harbor" Minato Namakaze] that is just amazing. It is so complex, sweet, floral, and full of umami flavors that I crave. Yama Sushi is truly my guilty pleasure."
If loving good sushi's a crime, then Vitaly Paley is one guilty devil. Yama Sushi has locations at 926 NW 10th Ave. and 2038 SE Clinton.