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Certified Sustainable Sushi at Bamboo

Certified Sustainable Sushi at Bamboo

The sushi is certified sustainable, but don’t miss the cooked items

Yelp/ Kenny C.

Bamboo

Bamboo sushi is the world’s first certified sustainable sushi restaurant in the world, and that’s not just a gimmick. They’ve partnered with organizations including The Marine Stewardship Council, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Blue Ocean Institute, Salmon Nation, KidSafe Seafood, and the Green Restaurant Association to never serve seafood that’s on any “avoid” lists. They also purchase all their non-seafood meat from local, organic, and sustainable farms. They’re also certified green, meaning that they do everything they can do reduce their carbon footprint, including composting and biodegradable to-go containers.

But on to the food. You can get your standard, sushi, for sure, but there are also some truly fascinating combinations. Think kanpachi carpaccio with red jalapeno, black tobiko, miso dressing, and cilantro; albacore tuna with smoked cippolini onion, pickled shiitake, momiji, ponzu, chervil, and Japanese sea salt; and yellowfin tuna poke with cucumbers, onions, wakame, and sesame dressing.

And make sure you don’t miss their cooked items. The Alaskan black cod with smoked soy and roasted garlic glaze is one of the city’s finest dishes, and it’s also one of the few places where you’ll find that most infamous of bivalves, geoduck.


11 Major Restaurant Chains That Have Filed for Bankruptcy

Almost every industry has been affected by the coronavirus in some way, but arguably few have weathered the tumultuous effects that the restaurant industry has. When restaurants start to reopen, waiters', hostesses', and bartenders' jobs will drastically change due to safety measures but the fact of the matter is that many of these service workers won't even be around to experience how their work-life will be affected.

That's because restaurants across the country had to shutter their doors due to COVID-19 dining restrictions. Restaurants that couldn't pivot to a takeout model (which was the only way for restaurants to stay in business for multiple weeks) had to close, and many of them won't be reopening.

One of the last-ditch efforts many restaurants will take to save their businesses is to file for bankruptcy. When a business files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the company is given time to reorganize and restructure their business and may even seek a buyer for the company. In this case, the business, or in this case the restaurant, isn't closing for good—yet. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, on the other hand, is the complete liquidation of a company. In other words, it has to close for good.

These are the restaurant chains that have had to declare bankruptcy due to the pandemic. Some will be trying to stick around, while others will be gone for good. We're hoping these 7 Popular Restaurants That May Not Survive the Coronavirus Pandemic aren't the next victims of the coronavirus.


Inside the Most Sustainable Sushi Restaurant in the U.S.

Environmentalist and UC Berkeley grad Kristofor Lofgren moved to Portland, Oregon, in 2006 to go to law school. Today, he owns Bamboo Sushi, a cozy, stylish eatery that's been rated as the most sustainable seafood restaurant in the U.S.

Bamboo Sushi's bona fides are overwhelming: Powered by wind energy, certified by the Marine Stewardship Council and legally constituted as a B Corp., Bamboo Sushi has partnerships with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Blue Ocean Institute and Salmon Nation. Then there's the paper on which the 23-page menu is printed, the reusable chopsticks made of teal, the wood tables….

"Every aspect of the restaurant is certified by an independent third party," declares Kristofor, sounding like the lawyer he didn't become.

But what about the food? Well, Bamboo Sushi catered a reception (sponsored by FMYI) at last week's Net Impact conference in Portland, winning raves from out-of-town visitors like me.

More important, reviewers praise the food, as do diners on sites like Yelp. GQ's well-known food critic Alan Richman named the restaurant's Alaska Black Cod with Smoked Soy and Roasted Garlic Glaze one of his five best dishes of 2010, writing:

Finally, a challenger to Nobu Matsuhisa's iconic black cod with miso. The cod is crunchy and fatty. The sauce suggests caramelized sake, if such a seasoning exists. Did I taste butter? Chef says no. Cracking the Japanese naval code in World War II was easy. Getting this recipe is impossible.

Before I sat down to talk with Kristofor and Brandon Hill, the head chef at Bamboo Sushi, I figured the only way they could afford to be so scrupulous about their seafood was to charge lots of money for it. Turns out I was wrong.

"We can't afford to sell for premium prices because we're not in San Francisco, we're not in L.A., we're not in New York," Kristofor told me. "People are very pragmatic here." The average check, he said, is $30.28.

The restaurant has been profitable almost from the start and "we've grown every year by about 30 percent," he went on. A second Bamboo Sushi will open soon in Portland, and Kristofor plans to expand to San Francisco next year.

Neither Kristofor nor Brandon ever expected to sell seafood. Kristofor, who is 29, is the child of immigrants -- he is half Swedish, half Armenian -- and he told me that his parents urged him to become a professional and not get into business. He had planned to attend Lewis & Clark Law School, which is known for its environmental programs. Brandon, 30, a native of Denver, always liked food -- his first job as a teenager was scooping ice cream -- but said he "grew up hating seafood because it was fish sticks and bad frozen salmon." Only after moving to Seattle, where he trained in a couple of Japanese restaurants, did he come to love sushi.

They met at a prior restaurant where Kristofor was an investor, Brandon was the chef, and they both were frustrated by the poor quality of the fish. "Farmed salmon tastes like mud," says Brandon. "You can't take something that's mediocre and make it phenomenal." Kristofor bought out the owner, they shut it down and reopened in November 2008 -- with the U.S. economy in free fall -- as Bamboo Sushi.

Their desire to operate more sustainably led them to a decision that turned out to be good for the business. Because none of the big wholesalers that serve restaurants up and down the west coast were able to sell them sufficient quantities of fish from well-managed fisheries, they chose to buy directly from fishermen, making long-term deals at fixed prices. It required a lot more work but it enabled them to get higher-quality fish at a lower price, Kristofor says.

You've hard of farm to fork? These guys can now trace their sushi from boat to throat.

It's also secured them lots of favorable attention. Bamboo Sushi was given a 4.5 "blue fish" rating by a website called Fish to Fork that rates seafood restaurants around the world. (By contrast, McCormick & Schmick's gets five "red fish," which is as bad as it gets.) The Fish to Fork people say:

Bamboo Sushi is a beacon of hope and offers a template for every restaurant that wants to become sustainable. It represents the opposite pole from most sushi restaurants.

Kristofor has another big idea that will set Bamboo Sushi apart. He's going to try to improve the quality of oceans by taking a portion of the restaurant's proceeds (and asking for extra donations from diners) to set up marine protected areas. If all goes according to plan, his restaurants will actually help to regenerate marine life, first in a protected area in the Bahamas and later in the Pacific Northwest. This could mean that by eating there, you are actually contributing to the growth of marine life.

And, if you can't make it to Portland, please be careful about the fish you eat. My favorite guide is the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch. Sushi photo via Shutterstock.


First Look: Transcendent sushi at San Ramon’s new Bamboo Sushi

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Jewel-like nigirl with yakumi are the stars at Bamboo Sushi in San Ramon. (Bamboo Sushi)

SAN RAMON, CA - DECEMBER 9: The bar area of Bamboo Sushi is photographed on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in San Ramon, Calif. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)

Bamboo Sushi will bring its sustainable seafood to San Ramon in November and San Francisco in 2020.

SAN RAMON, CA - DECEMBER 9: The interior of Bamboo Sushi is photographed on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in San Ramon, Calif. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)

SAN RAMON, CA - DECEMBER 9: A chef works in the kitchen of Bamboo Sushi on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in San Ramon, Calif. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)

SAN RAMON, CA - DECEMBER 9: Shishito peppers are photographed at Bamboo Sushi on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in San Ramon, Calif. The dish consists of charred peppers, miso butter, bacon, and is topped with bonito flakes. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)

SAN RAMON, CA - DECEMBER 9: The interior of Bamboo Sushi is photographed on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in San Ramon, Calif. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)

SAN RAMON, CA - DECEMBER 9: ÔHOUSE ON FIREÕ Mackerel is photographed at Bamboo Sushi on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in San Ramon, Calif. The dish consists of seared mackerel, chili oil, pickled mustard seeds, lemon charcoal, and alderwood smoke. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)

SAN RAMON, CA - DECEMBER 9: Chefs work in the open kitchen at Bamboo Sushi on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in San Ramon, Calif. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)

Portland-based Bamboo Sushi opened the first of its three Bay Area locations on Dec. 2 inside the 300,000-square-foot Bishop Ranch City Center. The restaurant bills itself as the world’s first certified sustainable sushi restaurant, and while there very well could be a sushi bar on the other side of the world harvesting and farming the majority of its fish in the same manner and seeking no publicity for it, Bamboo Sushi certainly lives up to its Certified Green status.

The seafood is farmed and harvested using practices approved by Seafood Watch and the Marine Stewardship Council, and there’s a glossary on the menu to help decipher pot-and-trap from troll-and-pole.

Eco-friendliness is great. But how’s the sushi, right? The nigiri topped with bright yakumi is downright transcendent. Look for other stand-out efforts, like the fresh Oregon coast-grown wasabi grated tableside.

In terms of service, be patient with staff as they adjust to demand. On opening weekend and at presstime, a few menu items were still unavailable, among them Japanese whiskeys and most desserts, including a black sesame chocolate brownie that had my name on it. But we’ve been assured that the menu will be available in full starting the week of Dec. 16.

THE VIBE: Casually modern, with a color scheme inspired by California — from the blues and greens of the ocean to yellows and golds of the hills and sunsets. Indoor seating is made up of tables for two and four, plus a sushi bar at the open kitchen and year-round outdoor seating. A green-tiled wall features framed sketches and photographs of fishing boats and crews.

THE FOOD: Very good. The focus here is on elevating common Japanese restaurant dishes, down to the nigiri, which are prepared with yakumi, or minimal toppings, like jalapeno-shallot relish or dehydrated yuzu kosho, meant to complement the flavor of each fish.

Start with the miso soup ($3) and add the truffled mushrooms for $1. The extra umami and chewy texture really take the broth up a notch. Shishito peppers ($7) get an equally tasty treatment. The peppers are charred and tossed with miso butter, then topped with bacon and bonito flakes.

If you prefer seared fish, the House on Fire Mackerel ($13) won’t disappoint. Mackerel is seared and served with chile oil, pickled mustard seeds, lemon charcoal and alderwood smoke for a lovely balance of flavors. From there, it’s all about the eight-piece sushi rolls and arty, two-piece nigiri.

Among the stand-outs: Plump, fatty Ora King Salmon ($9), dressed with orange, olive oil, lemon zest and sea salt, for brightness (the kitchen ran out of the salmon before 7 p.m.) Kanpachi ($8), or yellowtail, with yuzu juice and truffle salt, for an unexpected hit of acid and umami and Kimono ($14), a signature roll made with crab, apple and cucumber and topped with MSC coho salmon, pickled apple, fried sage and lime zest. Talk about hitting all your palate’s pleasure centers.

DON’T MISS: The beverage menu, which includes build-your-own sake flights from among 20 sakes seven Japanese whiskeys, like Nikka Coffey Malt and Yamazaki 18 Year Old and 10 craft cocktails. The Jazzbar Noname ($13), made with Roku gin, ginger, Nigori, mint and matcha, is full of fresh green flavors — which pair perfectly with wasabi-laced raw fish.


These Chefs Have Taken Sustainability To The Next Level

You only need to look at one piece of the food cycle to realize how closely the system is interwoven with broader ecological concerns. Take waste: The amount of food thrown away each year is staggering. The CO2 which that food eventually creates in the USA alone is double that of all road traffic. Let that one sink in for a sec: The food that you’re trashing is causing more CO2 than your CO2 belching car.

It’s not surprising, then, to discover that making the restaurant industry more sustainable is mammoth task. Along every part of the cycle you’ll find people working to reduce waste and increase sustainability. There are agricultural and aqua-cultural programs focused on better using soil and plants food waste advocacy groups who aim to inform the public and repair our bad habits and chefs striving to create kitchens that rectify the bad practices of the past.

When we talk about sustainable chefs, we don’t mean the ones who tell their servers not to pour ice water unless you ask. We’re talking about renegades who grow herbs on the roof, re-engineer kitchens to be fossil fuel free, and train staff to fight the good fight. Below you’ll find a few of our favorite sustainability-game changing chefs around the world:

Jonathan Tam, Relæ — Copenhagen, Denmark

Relae was just awarded the World’s Most Sustainable restaurant from the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and shortly thereafter Chef Jonathan Tam took over as head chef from Chef Christian Puglisi. Chef Tam started at the infamously popular NOMA before becoming a founding member of Relae. He cites “curiosity” as the driving force behind his journey as a chef and his restaurant benefits from his continued curious nature.

Tam and co. continue to up the game for everyone else when it comes to sourcing real food and utilizing every aspect of it. Relae has its own organic farm — raising both vegetables and proteins — and their biodynamic wine is delivered by bicycle.


Bamboo Sushi Japanese Garden

Bamboo Sushi Japanese Garden. Сколько раз довелось побывать здесь: See 322 unbiased reviews of bamboo sushi, rated 4.5 of 5 on tripadvisor and ranked #27 of 4,360 restaurants in portland.

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Bamboo sushi is the world's first certified sustainable sushi restaurant.

Pozrite si x_reviews zariadenia bamboo sushi, ktoré má na portáli tripadvisor recenzie 4,5 z celkového počtu 5 bodov a nachádza sa na mieste č. Cheap sushi tools, buy quality home & garden directly from china suppliers:vintage bamboo sushi dish bamboo fence japanese korean fence plate cuisine sushi boats bamboo creative exquisite sushi tools enjoy free shipping worldwide! We are dedicated to bringing you the freshest fish, meats, and produce with the greatest consciousness. Bamboo sushi your meals are our healthy. Bamboo garden also does catering for your special event. Japanese bamboo sushi mat rolling maker roller hand rice paddle tasty g. We made bamboo lanterns and played with them in the japanese garden. 39.000 ₫ age tofu tofu w/t signal sauce. Bamboo sushi garden projects garden ideas landscaping plants drought tolerant native plants british columbia perennials wild flowers. Located in portland, denver, seattle and san ramon. Fargesia bamboo is a clumping bamboo. Garden of eden roll, uff! 109 spomedzi 4 376 reštaurácií v portland.

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We made bamboo lanterns and played with them in the japanese garden. Nothing in eugene even comes close except that pl. bamboo sushi is the world's first certified sustainable sushi restaurant. From classic chinese to thai and japanese dishes, bamboo garden restaurant blenheim, marlborough embraces the richness and diversity of asian cuisine. I would recommend the garden roll! See 1,311 unbiased reviews of bamboo sushi club, rated 4.5 of 5 on tripadvisor food and ambience. Vacano salad 9.00 white tuna, salmon, yellow tail, cucumber, avocado with crunchy in chef's special sauce j11. 1,2 km od lokality portland japanese garden. Bamboo sushi offers parking for all diners, including those who travel by bike. Japanese bamboo sushi mat rolling maker roller hand rice paddle tasty g. Lovely secret garden feel to restaurant, very nicely decorated. Bamboo sushi is the world's first sustainable sushi restaurant. Veja 176 dicas e avaliações imparciais de bamboo sushi, com classificação nº 4 de 5 no tripadvisor e classificado como nº 203 de 4.376 restaurantes em portland. See 322 unbiased reviews of bamboo sushi, rated 4.5 of 5 on tripadvisor and ranked #27 of 4,360 restaurants in portland.

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Sushi, japanese, asian, chinese, organic.

It has a unique california feel paired.

The gardens we've created in the past have successfully made it past spring.

Source: thumbs.dreamstime.com


Colorado restaurants serving certified sustainable seafood thanks to Seattle Fish

A handful of Colorado restaurants have recently become the first in the state to serve Marine Stewardship Council certified seafood and to sport the MSC blue ecolabel on their menus.

Denver restaurants Bamboo Sushi, To the Wind Bistro and Pub 17 on Welton Street alongside Boulder’s Wild Standard and Vail’s Terra Bistro are all selling certified sustainable seafood, each supplying their seafood from Colorado-based, MSC-certified company Seattle Fish Co.

“We believe it is imperative to create a restaurant where people can get the freshest and best fish possible, while simultaneously helping to save the oceans and marine life,” said Bamboo Sushi founder and CEO Kristofor Lofgren, of the certification. Sustainability is not a new concept to Bamboo Sushi, what with its Portland, Oregon-based location owning the mantle of the first certified sustainable sushi restaurant in the United States.

“At our small, neighborhood restaurant, the menu changes daily, but one thing we never want to see go away is fresh seafood. It’s important to us that the fish we prepare for our guests is going to be around for them to enjoy again tomorrow,” added To the Wind Bistro’s owners/chefs Royce Oliviera and Leanne Adamson.
Executive chef John Treusein of Pub 17 on Welton Street in Grand Hyatt Denver, spoke of how MSC’s values aligned with those cherished in the Hyatt’s culinary sector: “The Marine Stewardship Council is the perfect complement to Hyatt’s culinary concept: Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served, promoting healthy people, healthy communities and a healthy planet.”

Derek Beril, executive chef of Wild Standard, said the restaurant had included MSC in its pledge to protect land and sea: “Serving MSC certified seafood is part of our pledge to land and sea. Not only will people get to experience an exciting cuisine, they will also know that they are helping to ensure that the sea and all its treasures are there for coming generations.”

Terra Bistro, executive chef Shawn Miller, said: “We diligently research the origins, treatment, cultivation, and harvest methods of everything we purchase.” Terra Bistro chef de cuisine Rob Lewis continued, “The heart and soul of Terra Bistro lies in our dedication to forming alliances with farmers, ranchers, fisheries, and suppliers who care for their ingredients and products in accordance with our core values. As a result, our recipes and menu items are developed from a foundation of perfect beginnings.”

The partnership between the restaurants, MSC and Seattle Fish Co. speaks to the suppliers guiding principle of “We Sustainably Feed People,” said Derek Figueroa, Chief Operating Officer for Seattle Fish Co. ““Seattle Fish was the first in the Rocky Mountain region to be certified by the Marine Stewardship Council as a supplier of sustainable seafood – from catch to cook. Our commitment to sustainability is deeper than ever. ..It’s exciting to work with the MSC and these innovative restaurants to promote sustainable seafood in Colorado.”

“This is an important milestone for the MSC and sustainable seafood in Colorado. The restaurants participating with the MSC are demonstrating to their customers the importance of sustainable seafood. I’m proud of our Colorado partners for taking this bold and important step,” concluded Maggie Beaton, MSC commercial manager for the Americas.


Sushi, Sustainably

Bamboo Sushi is the world’s first certified sustainable sushi restaurant. It’s also the first restaurant to gain the coveted B Corp status, which requires businesses to build social responsibility directly into their charters, and weight it as highly as their own profits.

Bamboo proudly displays its B Corp status. Credit: Gado Images

All the fish at Bamboo Sushi is fully sustainable, and many dishes have Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certifications. Much of it is locally caught, too, either around the Bay Area or a bit further North in Bamboo’s home tuft of the Pacific Northwest. This alone is a big deal for sushi. In the world of high-end Japanese food, it’s not unusual to fly fish in from thousands of miles away — sparing no expense — to ensure access to the best possible ingredients.

In fact, some of America’s best local fish is actually put on a plane hours after it’s caught and flown directly to Asia. In some cases, the US even sells its own fish abroad, and then imports lower quality cuts of the same fish to satisfy the less-picky domestic market.

So local souring of sushi-grade fish is already a big step. But Bamboo Sushi goes further, taking sustainability down to the level of packaging, preparation, and even the company’s culture. The restaurant is cash-free, since producing physical currency wastes water resources. Waiters take notes on tablets instead of a paper notepad, and patrons sign on a screen with a stylus, eliminating wasted receipt paper.

Waiters use tablets to record orders, and patrons sign paperless checks. Credit: Gado Images.

Everything is carbon neutral (naturally), and the bar uses only spirits from companies that champion sustainability. Even the toilet paper in the bathrooms is sustainable (no, that’s not a joke — it comes from a company called Cloud Paper and is made from bamboo fiber).

In the Bay Area’s eco-saturated market, Bamboo Sushi takes sustainability to a whole new, more-hardcore level.


Lake Oswego

On a daily basis, we continue to monitor state and county mandates making adjustments based on recommended guidelines for safety. Dine-in capacity is set to allow for social distancing with outdoor seating available whenever possible. Masks are required when not eating or drinking, and we ask that staff and guests maintain social distancing whenever possible. We’ve also implemented several dining protocols to minimize surface contact, and hand sanitizer is provided for all.

Capacity mandates per government restrictions for COVID require that we ask you to please limit your table time to the 1.5 hours of your reservation.

) [1] => Array ( [section_header] => FAQs [section_content] =>

How do I get a refund on missing item? Email [email protected], and we will get back to you within 48 hours.

How do I add an item to my order? We do not allow additions to an order for the same day. For a future order, you would need to add another order.

How do I cancel an order? For future orders, please email [email protected], for same day orders call the store you ordered from. We need 2 hours in advance for a same day cancellation.

How can I make a special request? If it doesn’t allow you to place a request below the item before placing it in cart, then we are unable to accommodate on that item due to limited staffing. All of our menu minus steam buns and burger bun are GF.

How do I change my time on an order?
To change the time of an order we need to know 4 hours in advance and you would call the restaurant you ordered from.

How far in advance can I place an order? 4 days in advance on our website or 7 days in advance with Caviar. Email [email protected] 1-2 weeks in advance for extra large or special request orders.

) [2] => Array ( [section_header] => Takeout Info [section_content] =>

We only allow a certain number of orders per time slot per location for both takeout and delivery to allow for quality standards and social distancing best practices. If you see “online ordering not available” this means we are full for that day. Thank you for your understanding and support! Issues with order? Please email [email protected] and allow up to 48 hours for a reply or call the store for the quickest reply.

) [3] => Array ( [section_header] => Catering [section_content] =>

At Bamboo Sushi, we’re looking for new ways to help you feed your friends, family, and loved ones. Whether it’s a curated dinner delivered to your door or a hands-on sushi making class, we’re adapting to this ever-changing world just like you are. If you’re looking for something other than what you see in our packages, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We love a challenge.

For questions and more options, please reach out to Falon here – [email protected]

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Why the 'First Sustainable Sushi Restaurant in the World' Won't Serve Bluefin Tuna

It's also the first restaurant to be verified as sustainable by the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Chances are you’ve heard rumblings about a change of tide in our oceans: The speculation by scientists that the world’s supply of fish could run out as soon as 2048. The prediction that in 50 years, there won’t be any salmon left in California. You may have even recognized—though it may pain you—that it’s partly our love of sushi that may be responsible for sapping our oceans of their natural inhabitants, especially the bluefin tuna, a staple of many sushi restaurants. You want to eat fish—you love to eat fish, even𠅋ut the truth is, eating certain types of fish can hurt the environment. Is there a solution? Is there a way to enjoy sushi without the guilt of knowing the process by which it got to your plate is, frankly, destroying the environment? One entrepreneur, who began his career in Silicon Valley, thinks so.

Kristofor Lofgren founded Sustainable Restaurant Group in 2009. He’s now the CEO of the Portland-based company, which boasts two restaurants�mboo Sushi and Quickfish Poke Bar—with a total of seven locations, including in Seattle and Denver. It’s Bamboo Sushi that stands out though—it’s the first sustainable sushi restaurant in the world. Lofgren tells Food and Wine that that means every piece of fish that is served at his restaurants must pass the Monterey Aquarium’s sustainability standards (which you can read all about here). In 2017, the restaurant group also achieved carbon neutrality (which means the restaurants have a net zero carbon footprint).

Lofgren says “there was a lot of luck to us being in Oregon,” where businesses can purchase green energy through the power companies, allowing his restaurants to run on solar and wind energy, but that he might have been better off building Bamboo Sushi in a state like New York, where he would have better access to sustainably sourced fish. Lofgren, however, began SRG after working mostly in tech (before that, he graduated from the University of California Berkeley in the hopes of becoming an environmental lawyer). He knew that he “wanted to do well for myself,” but he also had the nagging impression that he just wasn’t doing enough to give back to a world that blessed with better opportunities than most.

“I was a white man born in the United States to two loving parents. That’s as good as you can get,” he says. “I wanted to find a way to give back.”

Lofgren was immediately drawn the restaurant industry, which is the largest employer in America, and one of the “stepping stones” toward the American Dream. It’s a space that “has a huge impact in terms of human health and immigration and childhood obesity,” and so Lofgren decided to focus his energy there.

“It’s fancy and glamorous to work in tech, but if you could do something in the restaurant industry that would pay people, so that farmers and fisherman could live better, who are the backbone of the restaurant industry, and bring healthier food to people—it’s an industry that could use more good people working in it,” he explains.

Once he decided that he wanted to create the world’s first sustainable sushi restaurant, Lofgren set up an arduous, but effective process for screening which animals can be served at his restaurants. Often times, that means traveling to far-flung places like New Zealand (from where he recently returned from) to inspect the fisheries (SRG works with aquaculture farms) that he sources his fish from. He and his team must check that the fish are living in hygienic spaces, preferably in their natural habitat, that the fish are being fed properly, and that the stocks aren’t being treated with antibiotics and hormones. From there, he looks at how the fish are “killed, handled, transported, and iced.” Once he’s established working relationships with a farm, he has to return less and less to make sure their practices are still meeting his high standards—he’s worked with the same salmon fishermen for seven of nine years he’s been in business𠅋ut he also notes that he might work with a fishery for a season, and then end the relationship if they don’t 𠇌heck all those boxes.”

All of this hard work a necessity if you’re running a restaurant committed to sustainability, but Lofgren decided to take his mission a step further: Bamboo Sushi does not serve Bluefin tuna, which according to Lofgren, is considered the �kbone” of many sushi restaurants.

“It was the biggest stand we could make,” Lofgren says. “The stocks of wild Bluefin tuna are coming back a lot, but it’s still technically endangered.”

Bamboo Sushi occupies a lonely place. How much difference can one single sushi restaurant really make by refusing to serve a still wildly popular fish? Even Lofgren often feels conflicted about the role SRG plays in repairing the environment.

“We have made a huge difference,” Lofgren says, rather reassuringly. “[But] 140 million metric tons of seafood get caught every year. Every year we buy a little over a million pounds [of seafood]. Globally speaking, it’s a drop in the bucket. Sometimes it feels like we’re swimming upstream.”

As more and more people are trying out healthy or 𠇌lean eating” diets, Lofgren chooses to remain positive, remarking that "we’re more needed in the world than ever before." His fish are caught at the “height of seasonality,” which ensures that the resulting sushi has a 𠇏reshness and brightness,” that you can’t find at restaurants where fish is frozen for long periods of time (though Lofgren is quick to clarify that freezing fish does not automatically make it bad). 80 percent of the fish used at SRG restaurants are also caught in U.S. waters, meaning that Lofgren is often times working with “small multi-generational fishing operations.”

At Bamboo Sushi eating raw fish is as much about flavor and texture as it is about social responsibility. Lofgren and SRG have transformed eating into activism, and given customers the opportunity to not just eat something they love, but help preserve the environment at the same time. Lofgren’s restaurants draw a clear connection between the food on the plate and the ocean it came from𠅊nd while it that might assuage your guilt a little bit about your sushi dinner, it also goes a long way toward repairing the damage that sushi has already done.


Watch the video: American Milestones profile of Bamboo Sushi (January 2022).