5-9 pm Monday-Thursday, 5-10 pm Friday-Saturday, 11:30 am-2:30 pm Friday. $$ Moderate.
[KOREAN] This is one of Portland’s best and most underappreciated Korean restaurants. The latter may be because of its subterranean location. Although BeWon is on busy Northwest 23rd Avenue, its 30-seat below-street-level dining room is easy to miss. The pre-meal banchan is fantastic—small plates of requisite kimchi, sweet black soybeans and thinly sliced fish cake as well as seasonal specials such as just-picked asparagus with plum sauce and quick-pickled spicy Asian cukes. Go for anything with the rich and oily black cod (a.k.a. sablefish). The maewoon tang black cod stew arrives simmering in a black cast-iron bowl brimming with cod steak, sweet potatoes, shiitake and crunchy greens in a delicious spicy red pepper broth. Share this and a plate of the sautéed bok choy and mushrooms (oyster, shiitake and crimini) and you’ll feel better about the world—even if a smooth jazz version of Cat Stevens’ Peace Train is playing in the dining-room. LIZ CRAIN.
Ideal meal: Sweet-potato noodles with sautéed shiitake and veggies, kimchi chi-ge (spicy tofu, pork and kimchi stew) and galbi (marinated and grilled thinly sliced beef short ribs).
Best deal: $24.95 han jung shik (prix fixe meal) seven-course dinner.