Great Sushi -Portland
I say Saburo's. It's by far the best tasting and best value sushi I have had in Portland. Yes, you will have to wait to be seated (go around the corner and grab a drink after you put your name on the list), but there is a reason this place is so busy - it's really good! The first time I saw how busy it was, I thought people were crazy to spend so long waiting in line. But now I understand why - it is worth the wait! If you want something a little less hectic, Masu is also good.
Not exactly high end, but my husband and were told about I Love Sushi and it is really good. I wouldn't call it upscale by any means (it's in a strip mall in Cedar Hills), but it has been consistent and good and reasonable.
3486 SW Cedar Hills Blvd
Beaverton, OR 97005
Leonardo- As far as upscale I am excited to hear about Murata and Hiroshi-- which one would you recommend more??
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.
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'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.