Many of the best dining experiences in Portland right now are exclusive, limited-engagement pop-up dinners. Here are our favorites.

Beast

5425 NE 30th Ave., beastpdx.com.

(Hilary Sander)
(Hilary Sander)

In a town that prides itself on how it starts weekend days, Naomi Pomeroy's four-course, communal-table Sunday brunch is one of Portland's most singular morning meals. You'll be seated at an enormous dining table in an airy space to enjoy dishes that remain classically "brunch" but refined in preparation and concept. An Oregon blueberry clafoutis with creme fraiche and maple-glazed bacon effortlessly walked the tightrope between sweet and savory, as much a delicate twist on bacon and eggs as it was an ode to blueberry pancakes, while perfectly grilled albacore served with blistered seasonal vegetables and sauce verte played a beautiful contrast to its eggy forebear. WALKER MACMURDO

Hours and prices:

Brunch is $35, served at 10 am, 11:30 am and 1 pm Sunday. Drinks and pairings sold separately. Dinner is $102, served at 6 and 8:45 pm Wednesday-Saturday, and 7 pm Sunday. Drinks and pairings sold separately. Beast does accept walk-ins if there's space availible at the time of the seating. If you're wondering if you might be able to snag a table, call 503-841-6968 to ask.

Farm Spirit

1414 SE Morrison St., farmspiritpdx.com.

If you're served a course that's pretty much just a whole carrot at Farm Spirit, you won't feel underwhelmed. Chef Aaron Adams makes "just vegetables" that taste impressively vegetabley, from intensely savory carrots bathed in extra carrot juice, to earthy potatoes served with cultured vegan yogurt, to flavor-compressed tomatoes. The 10 and 15 course tasting menus, at 5:30 and 7:45 respectively, are all-vegan menu and change according to whatever's best at the farmers market that week. But the Cascadia-only ingredients rule means the menu requires a little extra ingenuity, like a ganache made from black garlic or the "noodles" for the ravioli that are hazelnut-infused disks of chard. SHANNON GORMLEY

(Nikki Unger-Fink)
(Nikki Unger-Fink)

Hours and prices:

Dinner is 5:30 and 7:45 pm Wednesday-Saturday.

Tickets vary between $60-$80. Wine and non-alcoholic pairings are available. The booze-free flights ($27) include kombuchas and kefirs. Wines tend to be natural. There's a reserve wine pairing option ($65) for extra-fancy vegans.

Fusspot Chicken

337 NW Broadway (in the KitchenCru space), fusspotchicken.com.

The crunch on Fusspot's Korean-style fried chicken is so audible as to be startling, a Foley sound *CRUNNNNCHHHH* that you normally have to pay ad executives several thousand dollars to create in a studio. Among Portland's pop-ups, Fusspot is the cheapest ($12) and the most generous—four pieces of lightly battered and expertly brined fried chicken topped with a sweet gochujang sauce, served with sesame slaw and lightly dressed slices of cucumber. It will fill up most diners. WALKER MACMURDO

Hours and prices:

Dinner is from 5 to 7 pm every first Saturday of the month. It's $12 per serving. Tip and beverages are separate.

Han Oak

511 NE 24th Ave. (behind the Ocean food court), hanoakpdx.com.

(Thomas Teal)
(Thomas Teal)

In Korea, it's not uncommon for country homes to have walled gardens used as an extension of the living space—in other words, they look a lot like the space housing Han Oak. I only know this because of the couple sharing the long, blond-wood table at Peter Cho's newish spot, which sits behind a reddish-orange door leading to the bowels of the Ocean food court. Han Oak is an impeccably designed, modern-minimalist space—my wife started shopping for its lamps while we waited for our smoked short rib in ssamjang sauce. Han Oak is making most of the same dishes you'll find at the better Beaverton Korean spots. Meat-wise, the experience is comparable. But by keeping a small, set menu, Han Oak is able to deliver exquisite versions of noodle dishes like hand-cut kalgooksu in rich chicken broth, dumplings stuffed with pork and bathed in black vinegar, along with rice cakes and bulgogi. I strongly prefer the dinner to brunch, and suggest budgeting for soju and Stiegls. MARTIN CIZMAR

(Thomas Teal)
(Thomas Teal)

Hours and prices:

Dinner is 6 to 9 pm Friday and Saturday, with seatings every 30 minutes. Sunday brunch is 11 am to 2 pm, with seatings every 30 minutes. All meals are $35, but the dinner price does not include gratuity. Drinks and appetizers are separate.

Holdfast Dining

537 SE Ash St., No. 102 (inside Fausse Piste), holdfastdining.com.

(Emily Joan Greene)
(Emily Joan Greene)

In an intimate, elbow-barred space inside a working urban winery, Will Preisch and Joel Stocks create bespoke, post-Spanish modernist meals whose idea of beauty is sublimity as much as deliciousness. A spot prawn may hide beneath a polar cap of melon frozen with nitrogen, while a smoked cod dish may be flanked by four different takes on fennel—puree, pickle, chip, and slightly wilted strand, a Rashomon of fennel that is as much art as food. The alcohol pours were exquisite on our visit—whether Eyrie Vineyards pinot noir or a rare R. Zabala cider from Basque country—if sometimes a bit baggy on the pairings. Each night, however, the parade of delicacies will also include baked goods like a honeycomb-topped corn madeline—and maybe a fermented brown-rum bread—that bypass preciousness in favor of simple ecstasy. If they ever hang up their tweezers, Preisch and Stocks have one hell of a career ahead of them as bakers. MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Hours and prices:

Dinner is at 7 pm Friday-Sunday. $90 includes nine courses and five drink pairings. (If you don't drink alcohol, you get swanky juice.)

HunnyMilk

40 NE 28th Ave. (in the La Buca space), hunnymilk.com.

(Hilary Sander)
(Hilary Sander)

Salty or sweet? HunnyMilk solves the eternal dilemma by giving everyone a little of both. Having recently moved from the cramped Hogan's Goat Pizza space to the much larger La Buca, chef Brandon Weeks has expanded his cooking crew and refined his menu. Available dishes change, but look for the barbecued pork rib served over grits and chimichurri, or the croissant doughnut sandwich. The biggest revelation on a recent visit was the obscenely rich Oreo waffle, served with white chocolate mousse, chocolate drizzle, whipped cream and a sliced and bruleed banana. MARTIN CIZMAR

(Hilary Sander)
(Hilary Sander)

Hours and prices:

Brunch is from 9 am to 2 pm Saturday and Sunday. It's $20 for coffee, a savory dish and a sweet dish. Tip, appetizers and booze are separate.

JolieLaide

6 SE 28th Ave. (in the Langbaan space inside PaaDee), jolielaidepdx.com.

(Thomas Teal)
(Thomas Teal)

Over 10 courses, chef Vince Nguyen, former sous chef at Portland's Castagna and San Francisco's two-Michelin-starred Coi, builds a harmonious meal that's ambitious in flavor and preparation and beautifully restrained in composition. Nguyen pairs intense, unusual flavors—sour and bitter grated black lime, sour and salty pureed umeboshi, and vividly herbaceous oils of sorel, bay and juniper—with simple preparations. A highlight: a slice of sweet potato caramelized to rib-eye savoriness and pillow softness, served with a pear puree as abstractly peary as Clear Creek's eau de vie. WALKER MACMURDO

Hours and prices:

Dinner is 6 to 7:30 pm Monday. Tickets are $80 plus gratuity. Drinks served separately.

Langbaan

6 SE 28th Ave., langbaanpdx.com.

No one can deny that Earl Ninsom's Thai fine-dining spot is one of the best restaurants in town, although it's another question whether you'll be able to eat there. Unlike its stunningly excellent counter-service cousin, Hat Yai, our favorite Thai restaurant to open in years, reservations at Langbaan are booked a hilarious six months in advance. But if you score a table on a cancellation like we did one fine day this year, you will encounter a regional rotating menu with some of the most meticulous constructions and bold flavors you've ever had at a Thai restaurant in America—including preparations that will stretch your notion of what Thai food even is, like Peking duck served with turnips and sunflowers, and ling cod with Chinese-style chimichurri. WALKER MACMURDO

Hours and prices:

Dinner is $70, served at 6 and 8:45 pm Thursday-Saturday, and 5:30 and 8:15 pm Sunday, with an optional $30 drink pairing.

Mae

5027 NE 42nd Ave. (behind Old Salt Marketplace), maepdx.com.

(Thomas Teal)
(Thomas Teal)

Maya Lovelace had me at the iced tea. Her twice-weekly supper club in the backroom of the Old Salt meat market serves up sassafras sweet tea, a flavor missing from the West Coast recipe box, which immediately transported me back to the hollers of ol' Virginny. From there, it's a parade of lard-fried joy paired with Lovelace's vivid storytelling—cornbread with a hint of crispiness on its shell, outrageously gooey mac 'n' cheese, and a spicy-sweet succotash stuffed with market-fresh produce. MARTIN CIZMAR.

(Thomas Teal)
(Thomas Teal)

Hours and prices:

Dinner is $35-$65, severed at 6 and 8:30 pm Monday, and 7 pm Wednesday. Sunday brunch is $40, served at 10 am and 12:30 pm. It's BYOB, so bring a nice bottle of wine or, if you want, a 40.

Nodoguro

2832 SE Belmont St., nodoguropdx.com.

(Thomas Teal, pictured at Nodoguro’s old location)
(Thomas Teal, pictured at Nodoguro’s old location)

After their move to the former Genoa space earlier this year, Nodoguro chef Ryan Roadhouse and his wife, Elena, have retained the intimacy of their former Hawthorne space, all hardwoods and dim lights, while moving distinctly upscale. An evening at Nodoguro is more like an 11-act play than a simple dinner. A recent Pokémon-themed menu, dubbed "Memory Card," started perfectly with buttery albacore sashimi dressed with citrus and a fruity Spanish olive oil, almost like a declaration that, yes, they can do traditional fare faultlessly. Subsequent dishes featured bream two ways, the tender whitefish buoyed by a quenelle of grated daikon atop a lightly curried broth and buckwheat berries, and an ethereal tamagoyaki, each layer of the savory-sweet omelet identical in width. Be prepared to get your socks knocked off. BRIAN PANGANIBAN.

Hours and prices:

Sousaka (11-course dinner) is $95, served at 6:30 pm Wednesday-Sunday. The "supahardcore" sushi dinner is $125, served one weekend per month.