Portland-based Sustainable Sushi Restaurant Bamboo Sushi to Open in U Village



The world’s first Marine Stewardship Council-certified sustainable restaurant company, Sustainable Restaurant Group, brings its carbon-neutral, full-service sushi concept to Seattle

Bamboo Sushi will soon open the doors to its environmentally conscious University Village- restaurant, serving sustainable sushi and eclectic Japanese cuisine with care and purpose. The seventh Bamboo Sushi concept to open nationally under the Sustainable Restaurant Group (SRG) umbrella, will share its food, sourcing and practices with Seattle diners beginning October 30.

“Being a Portland-based company, Seattle is a natural extension of our Pacific Northwest roots, and we’re excited to open our largest restaurant to date in the thriving University Village,” Founder Kristofor Lofgren said. “As we grow, we seek to inspire change in the way people eat, the way others do business, and the way we treat our environment; with so many regional purveyors here, we’re in the ideal place to showcase our sustainability, farm-to-table produce, and a wide variety of amazing seafood.”

Lofgren notes the company subscribes to the Japanese practice of “Kaizen,” which endeavors to constantly improve. In 2008 Bamboo Sushi became the first Marine Stewardship Council’s certified sustainable sushi restaurant (and the first MSC-certified standalone restaurant in the US), followed by becoming Green Restaurant Association-certified, underscoring sustainable on-the-ground restaurant operations. In 2012 it became a B Corporation and a model of how for-profit companies can care for the environment, and just two years ago Bamboo Sushi became the world’s first sushi restaurant to know its carbon footprint down to the menu item; with seagrass offsets it has become fully carbon neutral. Last year it became the world’s first Aquaculture Stewardship Council-certified restaurant, and garnered new sustainability certifications through the Surfrider Foundation and achieved leader status within the James Beard Foundation’s Smart Catch Program.

Approachably priced menu items with sustainably sourced ingredients and innovative flavor combinations guide the menu. Bamboo Sushi offers signature rolls (try the Green Machine Roll with tempura-fried long bean and green onion, topped with avocado & cilantro sweet chile aioli), traditional sushi rolls and high quality nigiri, and vegetarian and vegan options, as well as Japanese-inspired, shareable plates. The restaurant strikes a balance between traditional Omakase experiences at the sushi bar to more modern, creative rolls, rounded out by a selection of plates featuring meat and vegetables. Nightly, Bamboo Sushi’s culinary team, led by Damon Facer, Chef de Cuisine, with Michael Suzuki as Head Sushi Chef by his side, will feature Seattle-specific specials highlighting locally-sourced seafood and hyper-seasonal produce. Another plus: a majority of the menu is gluten-free. At the full bar, look for Pacific Northwest wineries that also specialize in organic wines and biodynamic processes, inspired cocktails that lean on fresh seasonal flavors, and generous sake options including Bamboo Sake, a proprietary variety developed with renowned brewery Kobe Shu-Shin-Kan.

A fresh design of modern Japanese aesthetic sets the tone for the 4,700-square-foot restaurant, which is split into distinct dining areas: a mix of seating for 142 guests, including the first focal point, a 21-seat sushi bar; a more relaxed bar area with numerous bar stools and tables that evoke an izakaya vibe; a large dining patio and private dining space with its own entrance for up to 30 guests. Artwork includes a room mural from Seattle’s Kyler Martz, who pays tribute across four walls to the Ama Divers of Japan; in the bar is a compilation of sustainable fishing photography from Corey Arnold, a National Geographic-published photographer; and in the restroom, custom wallpaper created by Portland-based Kate Blairstone showcases the ocean’s diverse energy and vitality.

Interior details are where guests can truly appreciate the lengths Bamboo Sushi has gone to conserve on natural resources: dining chairs from Mater made from beech veneer factory leftovers; post-consumer-recycled seating fabric, Richlite tabletops made from recycled paper waste and pulp; recycled fishnet patio chairs from Mater, and patio benches made from Oregon reclaimed woods. Even the plateware is made from domestic ceramics for a lower carbon footprint, some of which are made from abundant porcelain clay and a zero-waste glaze. Server aprons and sushi chef coats by Tilit in New York City come from up-cycled or recycled materials. What’s more, the restaurant uses Energy Star-rated appliances, low-flow water fixtures, high efficiency kitchen equipment, and the restaurant is powered by renewable resources.

This location of Bamboo Sushi will also be the first to offer a new “Bamboo Sushi To-Go” window, dedicated to takeout orders that have been ordered by phone or online—no need to pick up inside (for those wondering: all to-go packaging is made from materials that naturally break down, like bagasse and sugarcane, and paper products are from all-recycled sources). Items will include window-exclusive lunch options, such as sustainably sourced poké bowls.

Find Bamboo Sushi at 2675 NE University Village St., open for lunch and dinner daily starting Oct. 30 from 11 a.m.–10 p.m., with happy hour Monday through Friday, 5-6 p.m. Its takeout window will open daily, 11 a.m.–3 p.m., and will reopen each evening for regular takeaway service for orders placed ahead by phone or online.

About Bamboo Sushi:

Founded by Kristofor Lofgren in 2008, Bamboo Sushi is the world’s first certified sustainable sushi restaurant. Setting a new standard for restaurants, Bamboo Sushi combines the values and guidelines of multiple international organizations to ensure every plate served reflects its deep dedication to sustainability. A proud purveyor of eclectic Japanese cuisine, Bamboo Sushi serves a menu of signature sushi rolls, traditional nigiri and Japanese-inspired shared plates, along with a full cocktail program and an extensive saké selection. At each location, diners have access to special plates featuring local, rare and seasonal ingredients crafted by leading chefs. For more about Bamboo Sushi, please visit bamboosushi.com or instagram.com/bamboosushi

About Sustainable Restaurant Group:

Sustainable Restaurant Group (SRG) is a collection of brands that are defining the future of hospitality through a deep commitment to environmental and social change. SRG started in 2008 with the launch of Bamboo Sushi, the world’s first sustainable sushi restaurant. In 2016 the company added QuickFish, a sustainable quick service restaurant. SRG operates nine locations in Portland, Oregon and Denver, Colorado with ten more to open in the next two years, including in new markets. SRG makes mindful business decisions that connect environmental impact, the prosperity of team members and purveyors, as well as the enrichment of the communities lived in. SRG is certified as a B Corp and all QuickFish and Bamboo Sushi locations are certified by the James Beard Foundation’s Smart Catch program, the Marine Stewardship Council and the Green Restaurant Association. SRG seeks opportunities to create new concepts that inspire change by providing an innovative experience that meets the mind and enlivens the spirit. For more about Sustainable Restaurant group, please visit sustainablerestaurantgroup.com.


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