By CHRISTINA COOKE
Fodor’s guide to Portland, Oregon
View on Fodor’s site here.
Disregarding culinary conventions, this visionary Alberta Street eatery serves up innovative dishes that’ll push your boundaries while also delighting your palate. Its simple menu of small plates (order 2-3 per person) influenced by Asian flavors and using European cooking techniques, combines unusual ingredients into dishes that work not in spite of, but because of their contrasts in flavor and texture. For example, the charred octopus, cooked to the perfect tenderness, is served with scallion pancakes and a salad of papaya, beans, and cashews. The signature dish, a mini wok containing crispy pig ears over mildly sweet coconut rice, is served with Chinese sausage, avocado, mint, and cilantro. Both dishes are well worth a try. The dining room is warm yet simple with white walls and concrete floors—a nice contrast to the boldness of the plates. The helpful waitstaff is available to guide and explain, easing adventurous eaters outside their comfort zones, where the payoff is big.