Over the months in which Restaurant Roulette has existed, at almost every dinner people have asked me, when’s sushi night? I always said that it was on the agenda, but as I wanted to find just the right venue, I had not scheduled sushi yet. For months I was mulling over the possibilities. My favorite place, Yoko’s Sushi, was too small for any group larger than four (and sometimes that’s a stretch.) Takahashi on Holgate was always decent, but too felony flats. Other places I like such as Mio Sushi and Hama Sushi are just too simple and don’t do reservations. Todai, too expensive, touristy, and generally thought of as lacking in quality fish. Restaurant Murata, Masu, and Sinju, all places known for their wonderful decor and high quality sushi, but at $12 – $18 per roll, out of my humble league (at least with my appetite.)

After a co-worker mentioned a favorable review in Willamette Week, and I did a bit of web research, I selected Meiji-En on NE Broadway, as it had excellent ratings for its fish selection, a decent sized space, took reservations and had no qualms about large groups, and was said to have pleasant decor and seemingly private tatami rooms. I tried to be the best hostess possible and warned everyone to adjust their footwear accordingly as toes would be on display. So I happily made our reservation for nine people, a number multitudinous enough to provide conversational fun and variety for all, but not so unwieldy that people could be lost in the pit under the table and I wouldn’t even notice their absence.