Great Sushi -Portland
Travelling to Portland in 2 weeks. Have eaten at Sushiland before but would like something a little....more.....well, you know, better?
If you're looking for high end, then yes, Murata and Hiroshi are the places you want to go. If you're looking for slightly better than Sushiland (there's nowhere to go but up!), then you can try Masu or even the Uwajimaya store - there's a restaurant attached to the store and the store itself is kinda fun to visit :)
The restaurant attached to Uwajimaya in Beaverton is called Hakatamon. At one time they were more renowned for their udon, but have shifted their noodle focus to ramen instead (and a fairly decent option at that).
I heard through the grapevine that they've recently re-focused their sushi efforts as well.
Murata and Hiroshi are the two high end places in town. is that what you are looking for, or just solid utility sushi? because there are a few more places that do a good job with out the expense and fuss of either(but of course less great).
as far as conveybelt sushi goes, its pretty much all crap around here.....If you end up at one, your only hope is to not eat the stuff circling on the "decomposition express", but to order from the chef directly. good luck!
If you have a car, try Maki in Tigard. About 20 minute drive from the downtown. If the chef named Shiro is behind the sushi counter, you'll get to have great sushi. I am Japanese who knows what real sushi is.
One of the fundamental problems that I've seen in Portland sushi spots is one of proportion. Yes, you get a high yield of food per unit dollar (two massive pieces of a nigiri item will set you back only $4), but it comes at a cost. The size impedes the flavor, as it adopts a different mouthfeel than a properly sized nigiri should.
Morever, it's been one of seasoning. Very rare is a sushiya going to even bother to season the nigiri, whether it be with simple soy sauce, or with typical accompaniments like yuzu, mustard, or sea salt. Other than Murata or Hiroshi, expect your nigiri to come out undressed.
Those two are very cardinal sins, but for me it goes even further, but it's a matter of taste. I prefer my rice to be a bit warmer (without sacrificing the "flippability" of a piece of nigiri) as well as a bit on the acidic side. I know it's unfair to look for Edo-style sushi in a small town like Portland, so I concede that point, but the first two are major sticking points.
The two sushiyas that come closest are Hiroshi and Murata. In both cases, your best bet is to call ahead and make a reservation with the head chef, or to arrive and insist on sitting at the bar with the head chef.