Power Couple – Elena and Ryan Roadhouse

The owners of Nodoguro talk about their multicultural wedding, raising kids in the restaurant biz and a nightmare-inducing meal featuring live squid.

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Elena Roadhouse
Co-owner, Nodoguro
Founder, Eleusis, wellness concierge, toxin-free cleaning products
Born: Ussurisk, Russian Federation

Ryan Roadhouse
Executive chef, co-owner, Nodoguro
Born: Sterling, Illinois


How we met
Sushi Den, Denver

E.R.: “My friend Robert and I were regulars. One day my friend spotted Ryan, who was a new sushi chef, and asked him on a coffee date with us.”

 “A very flamboyant guest joined me at the counter accompanied by Elena. I agreed to join them for coffee. Then I sort of stalked her for a couple years.”


E.R.: “He had a very soft smile — so inviting and comforting.”

“Kind and shy but full of fire.”

Barcelona, Spain

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E.R.: “A blue sunny sky in the middle of December, a funny Catalan priest and a Russian tradition of taking a bite from a loaf of bread to determine who will rule in a family.”

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R.R: “Elena tricked me with the Russian bread-bite tradition. I basically unhinged my jaw to take a monster bite, and she simply lifted what was left of the baguette off the plate. “


Marital dynamic

Two water signs — Pisces and Cancer. Ryan never stops perfecting his craft, and I am a jack of all trades who loves everything unusual and innovative.”

“We are complementary opposites in a very similar way.”

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Why we love our jobs

E.R.: “I love seeing people happy. When I see my regulars, my heart flutters.”

 “Being our own bosses and seeing so many awesome people who support our place.”

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Sasha, 11
Arsyeny, 9

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 Day in the life

“Pick the kids up from school, pick up ducks for the restaurant, get ice cream, drop duck off at the restaurant, play volleyball in the yard, make dinner, watch a movie, kids off to bed. Then I’m off to the airport for Japanese fish pick-up. Back to the restaurant for short prep session.”

“We include our professional life into our family life — our children are with us picking special plants and pottery pieces, going to the farmers market for the restaurant. We choose the themes and ideas for the menu based on art exhibits we attend and movies we watch.”

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Vacations in Seattle

E.R.: “Find and visit Bruce Lee’s grave or take a water taxi to Alki beach to have a coffee by the beach and look for sea glass; visit all the cacti inside the Volunteer Park Conservatory. Never miss a macchiato at the original Vivace. We also always check the Seattle Art Museum and the public library.”


E.R.: “To see my soaps and cleaners in the bathrooms of Portland restaurants, and teach people around me about endocrine system disruptors in home and body care.”


R.R.: “To continue being a chef/craftsman who is pushing ahead, but more importantly, to give our children the best life we can and be a part of it.”

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Memorable meals

E.R: “Shish kabob in the middle of the Siberian winter after cross country skiing.”

R.R.: “Biku restaurant in Fukuoka, Japan. Saga beef with crushed daikon and fermented yuzu, which we ritualistically re-create every month on our Supahardcore menu. Then I had live spear squid with a rare local citrus and salt. Later that night, I had a nightmare: I was the human squid being eaten live. I got out of bed and wandered the industrial area. At 4 a.m., I stopped for a bowl of tonkotsu ramen at a street stall and called it a night.”

A version of this column appears in the June 2018 issue of Oregon Business. To subscribe, click here.