By Kayley E. at 2016-11-23
My boyfriend raved about this place and insisted he take me here. We took our shoes off and sat on the floor - we wanted that experience.. you know the owwww I'm not that flexible after all and my foot/legs are falling asleep experience.
Staff is very friendly and attentive! The speed of food delivery blew my mind. We had the spinach leaves appetizer and the fried potatoes to start off with. I want more. So good for you and so fried.. great balance.
My boyfriend had the Bagel roll as it is one of his favorites and another roll that consisted of crab and avocado. I had a plum paste, wild yam roll and a shiitake mushroom roll. Both are interesting offerings and were very filling.
We had sake and a mixed drink. Can't go wrong with either at this restaurant.
When can I go back?
By Beatrice T. at 2016-12-23
There are a lot of good Japanese options in Portland, but for some reason I am most drawn to this one. I've been everywhere - Benkay, Fuji, Sapporo etc. are all long term establishments in Portland, and they are all pretty good in their own rights. I sort of categorize these all in a casual/comfort sort of way. If you're looking for a higher end experience, go to Miyake. Anyway, I just dig the environment in here. I know some people aren't into sitting on the floor, but I appreciate a nice tatami mat. I'm pretty sure the first few times I was dropped on my head as a child were onto tatami mats, so I have that nostalgic connection. However, if you're dating an older man, "Go to Fuji" as my mom says...because they have tatami mats where your legs can dangle.
Anyway, I've been here with my family and also with my boyfriend. It's good for a variety of dining- solo, family, or casual date. I also really like it in the summer time. They have some tables outside, and on a nice night, it's nice to pick from lots of small dishes. That's sort of the Japanese way- some rice, soup, and various meat/fish/pickles of your choosing. They have some pretty good sushi also. The only food I haven't really cared for much here is the seafood soup because it's a little bland, but all of the soups on the omakase menu are usually very tasty. That menu always has a lot more thought in it, and it's plenty large enough to share amongst two people.
Recommendation for two:
Pick an appetizer that you know you'll like.
Get the omakase (one order to share)
End with some hot tea
Oh, and try to order at least one or two things you know your boyfriend probably doesn't want to eat, but test his devotion to you by trying to make him eat it anyway. It makes the food taste better.
I will end this with an interview question I once read in a Cosmopolitan magazine:
Cosmo: What's your ideal date?:
Megan Fox: Sushi, Sake, Sex.
By Samantha L. at 2016-11-26
This place isn't bad. But, there is better and tastier sushi in Portland. The seasoning of the rice and the actual artistry of maki, sushi and nigiri assembly was only okay.
The udon broth isn't light and flavorful, it was dark and salty. Their spicy scallop roll was very disappointing since another place in Portland does an amazing job.
I think people focus on the freshness of the fish, which don't get me wrong is incredibly important. But for great sushi, maki and anything rice related- it's the rice that makes or breaks the overall experience. Their rice seasoning and texture just wasn't the best I've had. Yeah, they're more reasonably priced in comparison to some other joints here- but you truly get what you pay for. Not trashing this place, but I'll spend my money elsewhere.
By Jamieleigh W. at 2016-09-27
I love the sushi here, and the jasmine tea is to die for. I would special order it from them if I lived nearby! I brought my entire family here to eat and everyone was impressed. (They're from California where you can get some of the best food so it's a compliment!)
I like their udon a lot, the noodles are always delicious. The service can be slow and inattentive sometimes, but the food really is worth the wait.
By Erin M. at 2016-10-07
Yum Yum Yum!! This was my first time in Maine and I loved how fresh this fish! We had great service and great sushi! I cant say enough good things about this cozy downtown Portland sushi spot! Can't wait to come back
By Juan J. at 2016-09-01
All I remember was we waited 1.5 hour for our food and my baby (not my husband, but my 2 months old) was not happy about it. We were starving when the food landed on our table but we still didn't think the food was all that. Fish was fresh but the rolls were already falling apart. Sigh, not great sushi, just an ok.
By Joe M. at 2016-08-01
First, I'm not a connoisseur of sushi or Japanese cuisine. I do, however, really enjoy sushi. In fact, sometimes I absolutely NEED it. When I want great sushi, this is where I go. I've never had better sushi.
Yosaku sets the bar. They're restaurant is clean and comfortable, and the staff is pleasant and on-point. The food is exquisite, and the sake too! The prices are also very reasonable for the quality of food. Also, the outside seating is fantastic with a zen garden and view down the hill. The contrast between that zen garden and the busy Portland intersection they're on is really striking and enjoyable.
I've had some great experiences at Yosaku, and when I recently wanted to take my sister and brother out for great sushi in Portland, that's where I took them. The weather was great so we ate on the patio outside for dinner. It was quite dark out there, and the lighting was insufficient. We had to use our phones to read the menu. After we placed our drink order our waiters switched, and we got a kid that was pleasant but didn't know the menu or food at all. With such a complicated menu, that was a bit of a hassle. The food was still awesome, but this particular experience wasn't up to the high standards that I have for Yosaku.
If you want great sushi, check this place out.
By Elizabeth L. at 2016-10-20
Sigh. I was so beyond excited to try sushi in Portland. While on vacation here, I've had some of the best seafood of my life. When I checked Yelp and saw this place was a short walk from my hotel and #4 on Yelp for sushi here I was like HELL YEAH LET'S GO!! You ever feel like you are in the twilight zone!!??!!??
When my salmon avocado and spicy tiny rolls came out, I was like what?? The rice to fish ratio was at least 4 to 1.
I get sushi takeout in NYC and NJ and the most average sushi I've had there far surpasses this place.
1 star for the miso soup. 1 star for friendliness.
By Elena L. at 2016-07-05
Everything was great. There's a real Japanese feel at this sushi place. There were seating a where you sit on the floor like how people in Japan does it.
For food, I ordered oysters and the Maine lobster roll. Everything was good in terms of taste. For the oysters, the only thing I didn't like was that I prefer my oysters from sushi bars to be prepped for me (with the ponzu, etc). Instead, the oysters' sauce was on the side
By Ryan Y. at 2015-09-19
I was hoping to have a nice Saturday brunch at Yosaku, and it mostly delivered, but a few things really kept me from enjoying this place more.
First off, let's talk about the good. They have a parking lot, which is really awesome. Of course, I didn't realize that until after I had parked a few blocks away and walked, but now I know for next time.
The decor is really nice, kind of cheesy, but I'm a sucker for it. Nice wood paneling, tatami raised platforms, a beautiful outside garden outfitted with a calming stream, and last but not least, great traditional Enka music to get you in the mood for eating raw fish.
My food definitely had some hits, like the Hamachi and Sake pieces of sashimi. They were good sized pieces that had the nice fatty, creamy texture that melts in your mouth. The shrimp tempura was pretty good as well with batter that wasn't too thick. The soba was okay, but honestly it tasted like the noodles I can make at home with the store bought soba sauce. The orange slices they gave with the bento were sweet and pretty. Some of the misses for the meal was the poorly cooked and overly compacted sushi rice, some chewy pieces of fish, and soggy vegetable tempura. Overall, the food was definitely decent and it's the best place I've been for Japanese in Portland.
Honestly, I would love to give this place a 3.5 or maybe even a little higher, but the thing that dragged this place down the most was the service. The waiter I had was really unpleasant and skipped all the pleasantries. He basically threw the plates down on the table, spoke gruffly when taking the order and never came back to fill the water. Luckily, the hostess was much nicer and filled my water when I asked.
I'll definitely come back here as this is the best Japanese place I've visited so far, but I hope I have a better waiter next time and the chefs keep it on point. Maybe dinner service is where it's at.
By Staci H. at 2016-08-15
$12 for a three roll and miso soup lunch! Get out of here!! Oh and you can sit outside?! Amazing!!! Out of the many places to pick for sushi in this town Yosaku always always always satisfies. Of course with popularity comes a wait but it's generally not bad. Quick service snd beautifully played tasty food is all I need to keep coming back for more.
By Victoria S. at 2016-04-11
My brother recommends this place and heads here every week for his sushi fix.
I poked in, not sure what the East Coast was used to in terms of sushi, and I was not disappointed. They even had gluten free soy sauce! The sushi is all very fresh and great quality. I highly recommend going for lunch to get the combo prices. We ordered three rolls as a combo ($9) that included miso soup and added an additional two roll combo ($7).
Next time I'm in Portland, I will definitely be back.
By Liam S. at 2016-08-30
This a nice restaurant. Love coming here for lunch. Really good lunch specials! Friendly staff, good food, comfortable atmosphere. I really like the outdoor garden with waterfall.
Worth the stop!
By Helen H. at 2016-02-14
Review for sushi rolls:
Very thin cuts of fish with minimal flavor. Nothing really stood out. I've tried a variety of rolls and they're all just OK. Yosaku is on par with the other sushi joints I have tried around Portland though.
SERVICE: awesome. Everyone is really nice and attentive. This may be the reason why I keep coming back here :)
By Emily M. at 2016-08-02
Best sushi place in Portland, no doubt about it. The prices are right and the cocktails are also delicious. I highly recommend going for a brunch on Saturday or Sunday, as there are really sweet bento box deals then, with huge portions and a sampling of everything. Have been coming to Yosaku since I was a kind and will be going back again and again.
By Maura Q. at 2015-12-31
I never realized just how lucky I was living in New England to have fresh sushi at my fingertips. I did, however, realize that Yosaku is the place to be.
I really enjoy Yosaku and whenever someone mentions sushi, this is my go-to! First off, you can't beat their lunch special. A bento box is $9.75, two rolls is $7.75, or three rolls is $11 and you get miso soup with any of the those three options. Roll highlights include, Celtics-Avo (salmon & avocado), Celtics (salmon & cucumber), Bagel Roll (smoked salmon & cream cheese), and Spicy Tuna. Their spicy mayo is one of the best around and I always ask for extra on the side. Creamy with a little kick, just the way I like it. They also have soy sauce options (light sodium & regular). If you're looking to warm up on a cold December day, their green tea is tasty and I'm not sure that I've actually ever been charged for it.
Even if you're not a fish or sushi lover, Yosaku has great vegetable options for sushi or appetizers with delectable dipping sauces. Their pork dumplings are good along with the teriyaki chicken. Even though it's not THAT large of a place there's still plenty of table options and even ones where you can sit cross-legged in your socks! Out door seating is great in the warm months.
The service has always been fantastic, even when they're super busy, which it seems that lately for lunch word has definitely gotten out. The chefs are always saying hello, greeting you as you walk by, or saying thank you as you are exiting.
I will keep coming back to Yosaku for lunch, dinner, a snack... Wish they did breakfast!
By Anthony C. at 2016-11-09
I went to Yosaku last weekend. The ambiance is nice, and it has the feel of an authentic sushi place. It was kind of bizarre to see a lobster at the sushi bar.
I ordered the Gyu Don. It came with miso soup and salad. The miso soup was very tasty and unlike most Japanese places, it also had dried tofu that really set it apart. The salad was pretty good too and used the usual ginger based dressing. The Gyu Don itself was rather bland; probably could have had more sauce when it was cooked.
By Elizabeth H. at 2016-11-11
I've always liked Yosaku. I don't think it's my favorite sushi place but I always thought it was okay. Recently I went to lunch at Y and honestly it was so bad. The fish was not fresh and tasted horrible. Every other time I've been I've had a better experience but Fuji is still my favorite sushi in Portland.
By J G. at 2016-08-22
I've eaten at Yosaku MANY times so I feel like this review is a long time coming.
I find myself in Portland once a year and I try to eat at Yosaku as many times as I can while I'm in town (and that's saying something in a food town like Portland). The food is absolutely delicious, the service is warm and gracious and the ambience is fantastic with a beautiful outdoor seating area.
The Lobster Kampai is a must try for any lover of lobster and Japanese cuisine, my mouth is watering just thinking of it. The Spicy Scallops are also amazing and their Miso Soup is the one by which I judge all others.
Writing this review I'm getting looking fondly towards the next time I get to eat at Yosaku.
By Sophia M. at 2016-09-11
Food is eh. Used to love the temprora ice cream here but I think the recipie changed or I went on a bad night, because it's not the same. Sushi is presented poorly and looks like the kind you get from Hannaford. Servers are nice but watch more TV from the host than actually serving.