Tanaka Japanese Bakery Opens in Bridgeport Village

Find fluffy, Japanese-style bread — and delicious sandwiches made from it — at the new Bridgeport Village Tanaka location. 

Courtesy of Bethany Marcel

When I told my family we were visiting Tanaka, the Japanese comfort food spot, featuring katsu (breaded, deep-fried cutlet) sandos and pastries, the excitement was palpable. This is the second location for Tanaka, part of Bridgeport Village’s $35-million renovation. 

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The space was warm and inviting, with a plethora of potted green plants and a small case of baked goods at the front. The entrance (including the counter where you order) can get chaotic on weekends, so families might want to look at the menu ahead of time. We chose to sit outside on the cozy, dog-friendly patio, where overhead heat lamps provided ample warmth. Pro tip: Be advised that the patio overlooks the new Bridgeport Village play area — a possible temptation for restless young kiddos. 

Courtesy of Bethany Marcel

Our order came quickly. My husband ordered the spicy pork sando ($14).  Naturally, I became jealous and asked for a bite. The pork was tender, and the subtle sweetness of the katsu sauce plus the crunch of the cabbage perfectly balanced the richness of the pork. The heat built, but it never overwhelmed. The toasted shokupan (Japanese milk bread) was good, but it didn’t stand out as much as it does untoasted. I ordered the classic chicken sando ($14). The chicken was lightly breaded and well-cooked, and the yuzu egg salad was so flavorful I would have happily eaten an extra helping on the side. 

My 5-year-old daughter, Emory, wasn’t in the mood to try the katsu nuggets ($8 for 6), so she opted for her go-to, the kids’ grilled cheese ($6). It was a better version of the classic white bread and yellow cheese sandwich, great for picky eaters. When I asked our grilled cheese connoisseur for her critical review, she said, “Really good, and the bread is extra heavy.” I tasted her sandwich and discovered she was spot-on. The grilled cheese was denser than usual. Always trust the expert.  

We shared an order of french fries ($5) and were pleased to see that the serving-size was plenty for all three of us to share. “Hot and crunchy,” my daughter said. What more could you ask for from a fry? She refused to try the curry aioli — a shame because the fries dipped in the aioli were exceptional. “Addictive,” said my husband. “I can see myself craving this.” 

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For dessert, we split a strawberry fruit sando  ($7). My daughter took one bite of this Japanese whipped cream sandwich and her eyes grew wide. “It’s creamy and delicious,” she said. The light, fluffy shokupan stood out more here, and the whipped cream was subtly sweet and plentiful, with slices of strawberries layered on top. Seeing that they sold bags of shokupan at the front counter for $5, I realized we could make fruit sandos more affordably at home. When we finished, we licked our fingers and agreed that our future likely holds a bounty of whipped cream sandwiches. 

Courtesy of Jonathan Marcel

As we were leaving, my husband admired the cups of sake as well as a yuzu lager on tap. We began scheming about when to come back for a date night. The server took notice and said, “Come for breakfast and we’ll have yuzu cream doughnuts.” Our curiosity was piqued. Unfortunately, they don’t open until 10 am. As a parent, I’ve lived several lifetimes before then. And yet, that didn’t stop us from returning a few days later to try the yuzu cream doughnut ($4.50) and good coffee bun ($5). The pastries were fantastic — the doughnut had a pleasantly chewy texture, and the light yuzu cream exploded when you took a bite. The coffee bun was like a really good espresso had turned into a cream-filled bun. I have a feeling we’ll be back to Tanaka for many more meals — including 10 am pastries.

If you go

Tanaka Bridgeport Village, 7237 SW Bridgeport Rd., Tigard
Open daily, 10 am-8 pm. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Bethany Marcel
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