Have you ever found yourself heading in a direction that you don’t want to go, into a thicket so dangerous and dense–danger ahead!–but to one side there are brambles, to another side is a bear, off to an angle is a sheer cliff, so you scramble and try to move back, but end up pushed forward, thorns stabbing you in the side, the bear’s teeth at your heels, stuck, unable to go anywhere except deeper into the dense thicket you do not want to enter? This is how things are right now. I’m cut and bleeding, but have no idea how to get to some stable ground.
My friend locked her keys in a job site house in Multnomah Village. Her spares were at home in Happy Valley. Her husband did not have his mobile phone and was waiting for her in downtown Portland. To make another key would cost $300 because of the kind of car she has. She could not find anyone to help her so she called me. I drove from my house in NE Portland to her house in Happy Valley, then to Multnomah Village to bring her the spare key. In return, she took me to dinner at Koji in downtown Portland, on SW Broadway, between SW Salmon and SW Main.
I have eaten at Koji on NE Weidler. I liked the meal well enough, although I thought it was expensive. I ate it during moving when I had not had a regular hot meal for a few days. It was delicious. The meal in downtown Koji was delicious also. However the salmon was really tough. For the price of that meal, it should have been prepared better.
A long time ago I worked in a fish market. I cut up giant Halibuts that weighed three times as much as I did, using a mallet and a square knife. I filleted Salmon. I cut steaks from Red Snapper. I gutted trout. I also learned to cook fish, and the one thing I learned above all else when cooking fish is to cook it hot and cook it fast, otherwise it gets tough. You can’t cook fish like steak or poultry. Its meat isn’t as dense. If you leave it in the oven to bake like you would land meat, it will be tough.
The salmon at Koji was like this. It had been cooked too long. Either they cooked it earlier in the evening and left it under a heat lamp, or they cooked it too long before bringing it to me. It wasn’t very warm, so I suspect the former is true. In either case, there is no excuse. For the price of that meal and the way that restaurant bills itself, it should know how to prepare salmon.
The rest of the food doesn’t stand out one way or another to me. It was fine, I think. The miso soup was hearty, as miso soups go. My baby liked the rice I gave her.
Oh, one funny thing happened. The server came over and asked if I wanted anything for the baby. I told her she would just have milk. The server said “Oh, we don’t have milk.” “Well, I do!” I told her. It was funny. I will give Koji this, the servers were very attentive. It may have helped that we were the only customers in the place, but that doesn’t negate that they did a good job.
Unfortunately, I don’t recommend Koji. Because the same type of food can be found elsewhere in Portland, including downtown, and also because I have had salmon at other Japanese restaurants just up the street from the downtown Koji whose prices are not as high. The other Koji location on NE Weidler was better than the downtown location, but again, there is another Japanese restaurant only a few blocks away where the food is just as good and it costs less.