About Us

Biwa is a popular izakaya that everyone likes for really great sake, sashimi, small dishes, grilled food and the best nice atmosphere...the drinks are a generous sake list, shochu and izakaya inspired, modern and classic cocktails. The family-like staff are wonderful and the food is direct, fun, local and delicious and an expression of our love for restaurants, the spaces we inhabit and the amazing everyday foods and table culture of Japan. Biwa has been open since 2007 and is a very proud part of Portland's vibrant restaurant fabric. We are also open late and lighthearted.


Gabe Rosen & Kina Voelz

Kina and Gabe are the owners.

Gabe has dreamed of running a restaurant since he was a little kid so he moved to Oregon to go to cooking school in the late ‘90’s, got a Japanese degree, moved to Japan, came back, and then he and Kina opened Biwa in 2007.

Kina, enchanted by the way the spaces around us effect our lives in ways we don’t even begin to understand and probably never will, moved up to Oregon and then over to Stuttgart Germany and then back to Oregon to study architecture, then met Gabe and went to Japan, and then opened Biwa and also became an architect.

Somewhere along the way (2015) they also opened a ramen shop, Noraneko.

This is just part of the story, of course. Kina and Gabe are also really nice and they like cats, textiles, ceramics, gardens, camping, pizza and chicken.


Noraneko - Our Sister Restaurant

Noraneko (which is Japanese for stray cats ^..^ ) is Biwa’s sister restaurant located under the Hawthorne Bridge (right on the river!), very close to OMSI. It is a traditional ramen shop with the focus of serious and amazing ramen, gyoza and karaage (fried chicken) served by energetic nice people in headbands with a good beer selection. There is still so much to say about ramen, you know?