They call it tapas, but John Gorham's flagship operation feels like a communal indulgence, not the often-underwhelming small-plate experience. The menu is a flurry of flavors that reads from left to right like a short story, starting with small bites like the bacon wrapped date with honey ($2), passing through hearty tapas like aioli-drenched potatoes bravas ($9 for the recommended shareable portion) and fried spinach anchovies with fennel and lemon ($10), before finally landing on the collection of raciones, the figurative and literal meat and potatoes of the menu.
There, you find jamón-wrapped chicken ($17) and the restaurant's trademark coppa steak ($11, $20), a piece of neck meat cold-smoked and dry-aged for days. There are a few musts, however: You can't leave Toro Bravo without experiencing the bacon-wrapped date or the squid-ink pasta ($14).
Pro tip: Make a reservation if you plan on rolling more than two deep. Otherwise, the wait is best spent enjoying absinthe upstairs at Secret Society.
GO: 120 NE Russell St., 281-4464, torobravopdx.com. 5-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 5-11 pm Friday-Saturday. $$-$$$.