Fans of Lanai Cafe are saddened by the closing of the cute, cheap little Vietnamese restaurant on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, which was owned and preened by Kim Phan for 19 years. (Many of Lanai's loyal customers have been emailing and calling Miss Dish in the last few weeks requesting a parting toast to Ms. Phan, a sign that she fed her diners in more ways than one.) When Miss Dish asked Phan why she closed down the restaurant Aug. 27, she replied "Maybe I take a break after 19 years." But don't imagine she's going to retire; Phan plans to offer Vietnamese cooking classes at her home, and she also hopes to sell her sauces. Phan is hosting an open house at her home behind the restaurant at 3135 SE Hawthorne Blvd. from Aug. 28 to Sept. 2 so customers can say goodbye and interested parties can sign up for her cooking classes.
Looks like it's bedtime for Baobab. The spirited West African restaurant's windows are all papered over and the sign was down. R.I.P.
Miss Dish is pleased to plug a fundraising event for the Portland Public Market that she can get behind. Careful readers of Miss Dish's screeds will recall that the finicky one dished the last fundraiser, which cost more than $1,000 per person, as a tad too elitist for what she hopes will be a wholesome, humble market. This fundraiser--called the Picnic Basket Social--is more her cup of chai. Local restaurateurs are putting together 100 picnic baskets full of goodies. Each basket feeds two. Call 546-1280 to reserve a basket at $50 each. On the east steps of City Hall on Sunday, Sept. 8, those who paid for a basket will be able to choose one (you won't know which chef made which basket). Fun for all ages!
Looks like 750ml, the wine bar and shop in the Pearl that's morphing into a restaurant, has set a date to open in its new incarnation. On Sept. 4, expect a new 750ml with small plates--including many vegetarian selections and a cheese program--courtesy of chef Josh Shartzer (formerly of Paley's Place). Beyond adding a new menu, 750ml has also done a fancy redesign of the space. Check it out at 232 NW 12th Ave., 224-1432.
Perhaps Miss Dish would be remiss in not mentioning that the annual Bite of Portland is taking place this weekend. But does that mean she has to mention how the overpriced nibbles and press of hungry flesh keep her far away? No, that would be unDish-like, and anyway it's all for a righteous cause (the Special Olympics). Plus, there are some chefs with cred offering cooking demos (Eric Laslow and Jason McHugh of Paley's, to name a few). Nosh away at Waterfront Park from noon to 10 pm Friday to Monday, Aug. 30-Sept. 2.
By the time you read this, the Vat & Tonsure should be open at its new home at 911 SW Taylor St.