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August 28th, 2013 REBECCA JACOBSON | Bar Reviews
 

Expatriate: Well Traveled

bar_3943(expatriate)EXPATRIATE - IMAGE: Bethlayne Hansen

No sign marks the entrance to Expatriate (5424 NE 30th Ave., 867-5309, expatriatepdx.com), but you won’t need Lonely Planet to find it. There’s the odd assortment of national flags in the window—Cuba, South Vietnam, the Federated States of Micronesia—and it’s directly across the street from Beast, Naomi Pomeroy’s French-leaning, pig-worshipping restaurant. The cocktail lounge, which opened in mid-July, is run by Pomeroy and husband/barman Kyle Linden Webster. It’s a place that strives for worldliness with its restroom copies of Murakami, Mexican devotional candles and ornate silver flatware (ordered off Etsy, according to Webster). But for the most part, Expatriate leans decidedly eastward, particularly in its impressive but pricey drinking snacks. Aside from a nod to Portland’s original celebrity chef, James Beard—$4 gets you an onion-and-butter sandwich—the rest of the menu draws from Pomeroy’s time in India and Southeast Asia, such as a salad of crunchy green papaya, sweet cherry tomatoes, crispy shards of fried shallot and herbaceous, fermented Burmese tea leaves ($12). Webster’s cocktails (all $10), meanwhile, are boozy, citric and often fruity. The rum- and Curacao-based Shanghai gets a medicinal sweetness from grenadine and a lingering anise kick from Kubler absinthe. By night, Expatriate’s midnight-dark walls and drippy red candles are sexy. By day, the bar looks a bit like a stripped-down, spiffed-up version of Southeast’s Roadside Attraction, complete with a golden arch salvaged from a Chinese restaurant and Japanese lucky-cat figurines wedged among the bottles of alcohol. You get the sense, like a traveler newly arrived in a foreign land, Expatriate is still finding its bearings. 

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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