Dining Out review: Longhouse
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays.
Info: 888-711-5664, ilaniresort.com
Where: Ilani Casino Resort, 1 Cowlitz Way, Ridgefield.
Health Score: The Ilani Casino Resort does not fall under the purview of Clark County Public Health.
Why: The Longhouse is among the seafood dining options at the new Ilani Casino Resort on the Cowlitz Indian Reservation.
The casino provides a place to dine after most of Clark County’s restaurants close for the night. The menu at Longhouse is ocean-fresh, sushi focused with authentic noodle dishes and a signature, noodle-wrapped meatball. A variety of sake and Asian and craft beers along with signature cocktails are also available to accompany dishes.
What I tried: My dining companion and I tried the Pork Shumai, the Ilani roll, tako and the spicy red miso ramen with pork belly. To drink, we tried the cocktail special of the evening, My Pimm’s Hand, made with Pimm’s orange liqueur, orange blossom, lime juice, basil, cucumber and ginger beer. The cocktail was uniquely fragrant, refreshing and just slightly carbonated.
The Pork Shumai are Chinese pork dumplings. Each meatball sits in a buttery noodle cup. These were especially tasty and savory with an interesting coarse texture. A thick Thai chili sweet soy dipping sauce is served with the dumplings, which really kicks them up a notch.
The Ilani roll consists of fresh spicy tuna, avocado, spicy mayo, seared tuna, eel sauce and sesame. The results is a delicious array of flavors. I especially enjoyed how the delicately sliced and seared tuna topped off the roll; warm and cool ingredients joined for added interest.
The tako was appetizingly fresh and served atop a pile of shredded daikon.
The miso ramen was piping hot with al dente ramen noodles. Within the spicy red miso broth was yu choy greens, kikurage mushrooms, enoki mushrooms and negi green onion. The pork belly add-in consisted of three small slabs which were soft cooked.
Menu items beyond what I tried: Oysters on the half shell are available. Tempura vegetables and shrimp are on the menu. Big Eye Tuna, Uni, Scallop, Unagi, Albacore Tuna, Snow Crab, Ora King Salmon, Hamachi, Tobiko, Ebi, Tako, Masago, Amaebi and Ikura are also listed. Pho completes the noodle options. The Surf & Turf sounded delicious. This selection is comprised of tempura lobster, avocado, seared Wagyu beef, ponzu mayo, sliced garlic and green onion. The Hama Hama roll made with spicy hamachi, avocado, jalapeno, seared hamachi and Sriracha sounded intriguing. Albacore, snow crab, eel, salmon, toro, big eye tuna, and wagyu beef may be added to any roll. A daily special menu provides a handful of options beyond the regular menu.
Atmosphere: A large salt water aquarium framed in multicolored led lights is a focal point of the restaurant and supports the ocean-inspired decor. The bar seats up to 40 people, and tables for two stretch along the wall for the length of the long rectangular space, with each table defined by Salish artwork on the wall. Blue tiles and natural cut timber create a soothing foundation of color accented by black, elongated pendant lights. The top of the bar has a river-like feature accomplished by a hollow space that spans the length of it’s 40 feet and is aglow with a concealed blue light.
Other observations: I found the service at Longhouse to be very professional and friendly, the atmosphere casual and comfortable, and the food outstanding. I also thought the prices were in line with freshness and quality.
Cost: Starters range from $4 to $12. Nigiri and Sashimi (2 pieces each) cost $7 to $15. Noodles are $10 to $13. Rolls start at $8 and top out at $18. Surf & Turf is $29. Chef’s choice selections are $28 to $75.