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Asian food in Eugene, OR

thirtyeyes Apr 18, 2011 05:39 PM

Moving to Eugene for work. I'm a big fan of Asian cuisine can any Chowhounds suggest the best of Eugene for the following:

Dim Sum. I like the carts but anything would do.

Sushi. I am partial to nigiri and not monstrous rolls named after cities or states.

Izakaya.

Yakitori.

Korean BBQ.

Pho.

Banh Mi.

"Chinese". Any sort of Cantonese, Mandarin, Hunan, Szechuan, Dumpling specialists, etc.

Boba drink places

Thai.

Asian type Supermarkets (Ranch 99, Red Lion, Nijiya, Mitsuwa, etc.)

I do not have exceedingly high expectations for Eugene with regards to Asian food, I just want to know where I can find good eats.

Thanks!

  1. thirtyeyes Dec 10, 2011 05:40 PM

    Vietnamese. So far, I've only found two places that do some Vietnamese. Anybody know of any others?

    1. Yi Shen. They had something called Pho on their menu but it was terrible. So bad, that I've blocked it from my memory. I just remember the veggie plate being incorrect. The people working the counter were very nice, however. This place is also an Asian market. I might go back and try something else from their large menu, but I won't have high hopes.

    2. Vietnam Restaurant. They had Pho and it was not too bad, for Eugene. In SoCal or the Bay Area it wouldn't last a month, but in Eugene it seems to be the only game in town. They did not have tendon or tripe for their Pho which seems weird. I mean how expensive can that be? The veggie plate was okay. I usually order cha gio or goi cuon as a side with Pho. I went with the goi cuon and it was also reasonable, goi cuon is the spring roll wrapped around noodle, veggies, a strip of meat, shrimp, etc. You dip it in the peanut sauce.

    Well, since the first visit was okay I went back and tried the duck noodle soup. Mistake. It was the worst duck I've ever had, which is strange in a town that loves Ducks. This time I chose cha gio which are the deep fried egg rolls. They were served with a red sweet sauce. Shudder. I asked for lettuce, mint, the fish sauce, you know, the way most Vietnamese places serve it. The guy said it would be an extra dollar and brought lettuce. Then I asked for the fish sauce with the carrots and daikon also, and they brought that too. I'm not sure I have the courage to return.

    No banh mi to be found in Eugene. Tears flow.

    1. b
      BecaC Sep 13, 2011 05:43 PM

      Chinese-Twin Dragons on River Road; family owned, homemade items, generous portions. Favorites include the chive potstickers, General Tso's Chicken, and Gai Lan with Broccoli Sauce.

      (note: a native Chinese friend heartily recommends the Good Taste Restaurant [also on River Road] as her family favorite, because their dumplings are reminiscent of soup dumplings, but I haven't tried them yet)

      Sushi-Kamitori is the best and most authentic (read: non-americanized rolls full of ingredients like cream chese and deep fried) sushi in town. Great quality fish for sashimi/nigiri lovers.

      Thai-Ubon Thai Kitchen on HWY 99 serves up some of the most flavorful Thai food I have had in Eugene. The owner is from Thailand and learned to cook over there. She's not afraid of the heat!! A large, varied menu in a very casual cart/restaurant atmosphere.

      -----
      Thai Kitchen
      621 S Pines Rd, Spokane Valley, WA 99206

      3 Replies
      1. re: BecaC
        thirtyeyes Oct 15, 2011 03:10 PM

        Okay. Here's my sushi list in order.

        1. Pure
        2. Kamitori
        3. Sushi Domo on Oak
        4. Izumi
        5. Sushi Station
        6. Mio Sushi

        These are all the places I've tried in Eugene. 1,3,4 is based upon many visits. 2,5,6 are from just 1 visit. I will probably not return to 5 and 6, both are conveyor belt places and they are both doing it wrong which is a shame as I remember some pretty good belt/boat places in the SF bay area. I found Kamitori to be un-imaginative but fresh. I may give them another chance as some sushi chefs need some time to show their personality and their skill. Izumi is quite good for Japanese food and can be a fun bar, but the sushi is average and sometimes bad. I go because it is very close to my apartment. So far Pure is the best combination of fresh fish and personable sushi chef. What they could do with some real ingredients.

        This is just my opinion, what's yours? Looking for the complete list of Eugene sushi. Where else should I go?
        Sushi Domo on Green Acres
        Sushi-Ya
        Izakaya Meiji
        Pier Sushi
        Kabuki
        ???

        -----
        Sushi Station Japanese Restaurant
        199 E 5th Ave Ste 7, Eugene, OR 97401

        Sushi Domo
        1020 Green Acres Rd Ste 10, Eugene, OR 97408

        Mio Sushi
        63455 N Highway 97 Ste 35, Bend, OR 97701

        Pure
        296 E 5th Ave #220, Eugene, OR 97401

        Kamitori
        1044 Willamette St, Eugene, OR 97401

        Izumi Sushi and Grill
        2773 Shadow View Dr, Eugene, OR 97408

        1. re: thirtyeyes
          j
          JDBear Nov 30, 2011 10:30 PM

          Haven't tried Domo on Oak....I would assume it's the same menu and thus the same quality as Green Acres is.

          Izakaya Meiji does not sell sushi, that I recall.

          Pier is near my house; I fear their location is cursed. The ghost of Bob's Hamburgers haunts that corner and dooms the half-dozen different places that have tried to make a go of it there. Haven't tried it yet.

          Kabuki is more of a teppanyaki restaurant. Don't know if they even have sushi.

          Sushi-ya: Haven't tried. If that's the one at 8th and Willamette, I recall my wife saying her service there was the worst she ever had in Eugene.

          1. re: JDBear
            thirtyeyes Dec 10, 2011 05:42 PM

            The Green Acres location seemed better to me than the Oak location, but that is based upon only a single visit. I will have to return and see if it stands up again.

      2. i
        iloveyou Jun 12, 2011 02:54 PM

        Sushi-sushi pure & izumi

        chinese-fortune inn, suposedly twin dragons isn't bad as well. speaking from experience fortune is, is at good as it gets in eugene

        yi shen makes pretty good chinese food to go. its a grocery store

        dim sum, you can forget about that here

        ari rang for korean isn't bad

        This is coming from someone asian that use to live in vancouver!

        1. o
          oregoncook May 17, 2011 04:46 PM

          We had a really good Thai lunch at Sabai Cafe and Bar in the Oakway Center. A bit more expensive than most but hands down better than anything else around in our opinions. Pad kee mow was terrific.

          1. t
            trillium May 13, 2011 02:35 PM

            So you can take this with a grain of salt, we are on the snob end of the spectrum at our house, one person is ethnic Chinease from SE Asia, one person is a left coaster, both of us love to cook and eat and have lived in much bigger metro places.

            There is nothing of any sort of "Chinese" worth eating here in Eugene unless it's homecooked. I'll preface that by saying that we haven't tried East Meets West but given the run of down right horrible food we've encountered, I'm gun shy. So that knocks off half of your list.

            For sushi I would have said the same, unless you are into Korean style sushi for Americans (big rolls, served on boats, lots of deep fried and cream cheese). But I've been to the new place on Willamette, Kamitori, 3 times in the last 3 weeks and been very happy with the nigiri. Very happy. The cooked food has been a mixed experience, maybe the kitchen is finding its feet. The katsudon suffers the same fate as that at Izakaya Meiji for us, too thick, too lean, and too dry. Their dashi is homemade and I had high hopes for the soba but found it meh. You may think differently. The miso soup is fabulous, and so is the seaweed salad (it's not the dyed stuff you get in the cheapie sushi places). I met a friend for lunch there on Wednesday and had a serious headcold and didn't want to eat sushi that I couldn't taste very well. I went with the garlic kara-age (and because I couldn't resist, upgraded to have 3 pieces of nigiri and some miso soup). It was really good. I had my friend taste it to make sure I wasn't just high on cold meds. She agreed. It had layers of white, skin and dark, and was deep fried perfectly. The sauce was the Japanese version of "garlic" so it was mild, but that's true to style. There was no cornstarch to be found. Check them out.

            There is no true Izakaya or Yakitori place, but you should try Izakaya Meiji. When they first opened we had 3 really fabulous meals there. The bar puts out decent cocktails and the snacks were pretty good (I liked the shrimp gratin, the fries, the kara-age, the non-trad rice balls, the chicken meatball skewer thing that was on the menu last summer). Then our last meal wasn't really great, and we didn't go for a while, and then tried again and there was a 45 minute wait (fine for grown ups, kills the possiblity if you're dining with the 3 and under set). One half of the couple was on maternity leave and I am hoping the meh meal was just a one-off.

            Vietnamese is out. Go to Portland for banh mi and pho. The couple that run Yi Shen are super nice and we buy a lot of our Asian groceries from them because they're close and we like them. But the food is not to our taste. It's at an insanely low price point though, and very popular. Sunrise has a much wider selection of groceries and we go there when we can't get what we want at Yishen.

            There are a lot of "Thai" places here in Eugene, not sure what you like. Most of the restaurants slant their food to what their customer base wants here in town (sweet, sweet, sweet, bell peppers and dried ground chilli for hot...not very much fresh chilli to be found). That being said, we get the "Thai fried rice" from Drum Rong Thai (cart on Blair) all the time. It tastes like stuff we've eaten in Thailand, right down to the crispy bits of egg and sliced gai lan. Visitors from SF were surprised by how good it was and the fact that it is so cheap (6.50). We also like some of the friend noodle dishes, like the pad see ew (made with beehoon, not fresh rice noodles). We usually skip the curries because we do it better at home.

            I'm not a huge fan of Ring of Fire, but I do enjoy two things from their lunch menu. The laarb and the yum woon sen. Both have a very Thai taste and you can get fresh chillies in fish sauce. The rest I wouldn't bother with.

            There are two Korean restaurants we eat at but I wouldn't call them the be all and end all, the demand just isn't here. But we enjoy the food from Noodle Bowl and Cafe Arirang. Noodle bowl does a decent bibimbop that makes me happy. Cafe Arirang is more hit and miss but when it's a hit it's pretty good. I think they're worth checking out, but it will depend on how desperate you are (we are!).

            regards,

            Trillium

            -----
            Noodle Bowl
            860 Pearl St, Eugene, OR 97401

            East Meets West
            830 E 13th Ave, Eugene, OR‎, Eugene, OR

            2 Replies
            1. re: trillium
              thirtyeyes May 19, 2011 10:03 PM

              Thanks for the tips. I've been working a lot (new job) so not much time to experiment yet. I've done Sushi Domo on Oak St and Izumi. I hate to say it but both were fairly average. Sushi Domo a bit better than Izumi. I am still new and trying to find a sushi bar where the itamae will actually talk to you and not give you a slip of paper and a pen.

              My next stop was going to be Pure, but maybe I will try Kamitori. I only eat rolls named after monsters, cities, or states when I am out with sushi newbies and even then reluctantly. I really miss Kaito Sushi near San Diego.

              I also really miss Pho. I had been going weekly for years. Is a 2 hour drive too much for a $6 bowl of soup?

              I found Toshi's to be almost bad? Did I hit it on a bad night? The Cha Su was terrible, but maybe I'm just partial to the style with the almost boiled egg half, the hanjuku. I also prefer the tonkotsu broth.
              I just heard about Noodle Bowl and will also give it a try.

              I was amused to find an all you can eat Mongolian BBQ place in town, near a Target. It was as if someone yanked a restaurant out of the late eighties and plopped it down. It was bearable if you mixed your sauces right and asked the kid at the griddle not to douse with the teriyaki water bottle.

              I went to Cafe Lucky Noodle and while I found it odd that a Italian/Thai restaurant exists, it really wasted too bad. I am not very knowledgeable on Thai, though.

              Best regards,
              Thirtyeyeys

              -----
              Cafe Lucky Noodle
              207 E 5th Ave Ste 100, Eugene, OR 97401

              Noodle Bowl
              860 Pearl St, Eugene, OR 97401

              Sushi Domo
              1020 Green Acres Rd Ste 10, Eugene, OR 97408

              1. re: thirtyeyes
                t
                trillium May 23, 2011 10:00 AM

                Go to Kamitori, now, while it's still good, before Eugene ruins it. Sit at the bar and talk to the guy. Get nigiri or even sashimi. The fish is that good. He gets deliveries 3 times a week (from east coast, west coast and Japan). I don't like being a jerk about people's favorite places, but I won't eat Sushi Domo even when it's free.

                No, you didn't hit Toshi's on a bad night. The char siu is terrible. I won't eat the hot ramen there but the noodle 'ho in the house will when he's desperate. I usually get the cold ramen dishes in the summer and grumble and get the chicken terriyaki (I am not a terriyaki fan) in the winter.

                I get the same damn thing every single time at Noodle Bowl (the chicken bibimbop) so I can't really vouch for anything else except the kim chi ji gae. The Korean fried chicken made me sad (over fried to the point of jerky, sweet sauce).

                -----
                Noodle Bowl
                860 Pearl St, Eugene, OR 97401

                Sushi Domo
                1020 Green Acres Rd Ste 10, Eugene, OR 97408

            2. j
              JDBear May 12, 2011 10:00 PM

              Dim Sum? Nope. Even Portland is a stretch here. Seattle is more like it.

              I will echo those above on sushi. I am partial to Sushi Domo or Izumi. Had a very bad experience with some funky fish at Mio.

              As for Izakaya, there's not a place that specializes in grilled meats like a traditional Japanese Izakaya. There is, however, a newish place called Izakaya Meiji in the Whiteaker neighborhood that is a whiskey bar with some Japanese and American snacks. It's good.

              Yakitori? Not so much. But we have a place called Toshi's Ramen that is a pretty authentic Hokkaido-style (think butter and corn) ramen restaurant. Highly recommended.

              No Korean BBQ. Not even a half-decent Korean restaurant at all. Can't think of one in Portland either.

              Pho....there is a place on the west side of Eugene that specializes in Vietnamese....have never tried it. No idea if they have Banh Mi, either. If you DO go to Portland, go to Bunk Bar and try the Pork Belly Banh Mi. AMAZING.

              Chinese in town is Meh. Lots of cornstarch. Have not tried East Meets West.

              Boba = bubble tea? Have seen that around, although I don't remember where.

              Thai, we have. Lots of. TONS of. Several of them are really good. One that hasn't been mentioned here is Kuraya's in Springfield. Lots of good stuff there. Can also recommend Ring of Fire, which isn't a Thai restaurant as such, but has mostly Thai dishes. Good stuff.

              There is are two Asian markets I can think of. The one I like is on 28th near Willamette across the street from Rite-Aid and next door to Chapala. Lots of yummy stuff in there. There's a Uwajimaya store in Beaverton as well. (Maybe not Beaverton, but in one of the Portland burbs.)

              Hope that helps.

              -----
              Toshi's Ramen
              1520 Pearl St, Eugene, OR 97401

              Sushi Domo
              1020 Green Acres Rd Ste 10, Eugene, OR 97408

              1 Reply
              1. re: JDBear
                j
                janella May 14, 2011 09:37 PM

                Oh yeah, I forgot Toshi's Ramen! I love that place and eat there regularly. We also just had a really good meal at Pure -- great bowl of udon and good sushi.

                -----
                Toshi's Ramen
                1520 Pearl St, Eugene, OR 97401

              2. KelseyIvey Apr 26, 2011 10:45 AM

                Maybe I have different tastes than the other repliers, but I think Eugene has a great variety of Asian restaurants - maybe not the fanciest, but good quality and good eats.

                While there aren't many outstanding Chinese restaurants, as mentioned, I think the sushi, Thai and Japanese options are worth mentioning.

                Some of my favorite Asian restaurants are:
                For sushi I recommend Sushi Pure, Izumi Sushi and Grill, or Sushi Mio - all three serve fresh, high quality fish sushi from the traditional spicy tuna roll to exquisite culinary creations that hardly fit in your mouth. Sushi Mio also serves a delicious Green Tea ice cream.

                For Thai, Eugene has the regular chains like Sweet Basil and Three Forks that serve up good go-to Thai food for the everyday, random lunch to also more local hangouts like Chao Pra Ya. But my favorite is the new restaurant in the Oakway Center called Sabai. It is a beautiful restaurant with a comfortable, natural setting - but above all the food is excellent. They serve food that is locally based using seasonal products.

                Also another stand out Asian restaurant in my book is Izakaya Meiji Company. It is located in the Whitaker Neighborhood. They serve Japanese influence foods and have the best list of whiskeys in town.

                -----
                Sweet Basil Cafe
                1021 W Northern Lights Blvd, Anchorage, AK 99503

                Sweet Basil's Cafe
                271 N Hemlock St, Cannon Beach, OR 97110

                Izakaya Meiji Company
                345 Van Buren St, Eugene, OR 97402

                1. thirtyeyes Apr 19, 2011 06:26 PM

                  I see. I guess I'll be driving to Portland often.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: thirtyeyes
                    j
                    janella Apr 19, 2011 09:40 PM

                    Yes, we have slim pickings here. There are tons of Chinese restaurants in town, but I've never liked any of them, except a newish place by campus, East Meets West, that is okay. Several Thai restaurants, nothing really outstanding. Ditto sushi -- the favorite seems to be Sushi Domo. There's a new sushi place downtown that's getting good reviews and a new Izakaya place in Whitaker, but I haven't tried them yet. What we do have is pretty good Asian groceries -- try Sunrise on 29th or Yi Shen on 11th. We do a lot of cooking, and look forward to our trips to Portland.

                    -----
                    Sushi Domo
                    1020 Green Acres Rd Ste 10, Eugene, OR 97408

                    East Meets West Restaurant
                    830 E 13th Ave, Eugene, OR 97401

                    1. re: janella
                      thirtyeyes Apr 20, 2011 06:06 PM

                      Thank you. Maybe I'll fill in the blanks when I get to know Eugene. Very sad, I was doing Pho once or twice a week.

                      1. re: thirtyeyes
                        c
                        calmossimo Apr 21, 2011 06:45 PM

                        Sad, but I guess I expected this as well. I'm moving to Corvallis in several months and was hoping that Eugene might have some options that Corvallis lacks. Portland it is.

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