Like a Silicon Valley megacorp that keeps adding product lines, Smallwares always seems to have a cool new project to launch.

Back in 2012, when we crowed Johanna Ware's "inauthentic Asian" the runner-up to our Restaurant of the Year, it was a massive back bar, Barwares.

Then, late last year, it was weekend brunch—think house-smoked and -cured bacon coated in an earthy, mouth-numbing Sichuan spice or congee, Chinese sausage and little bits of savory granola on bright white rice porridge boiled until the grains have been all but atomized.

Photo: Nashcho
Photo: Nashcho

When the next door Red Fig restaurant closed down, Ware decided to do a summerlong pop-up patio party called Lil' Wares. The best item at Lil' was a General Tso's chicken sandwich that was essentially a Chinese po' boy of fried chicken bites with thin-cut mirin-soy broccoli slaw, Thai chilies, fried shallots and gooey sauce on a toasted hoagie roll. For now, that sandwich is lost to history.

But who knows. Maybe Ware will start parking a sandwich truck outside minor league hockey games, or maybe she'll start showing up with a stall at the Jade District Night Market.

Photo: Nashcho
Photo: Nashcho

Pro tip: One of our all-time favorite Portland dishes, fried kale with candied bacon, fish sauce and mint ($12), is a constant on the dinner menu. Get that.

GO: 4605 NE Fremont St., 971-229-0995, smallwarespdx.com. 5-10 pm nightly, 11 am-3 pm Saturday-Sunday (restaurant); 5 pm-1 am nightly (bar). $$-$$$.