Where to Eat This Week

Xiao Ye turns a simple snack into a surprising texture- and taste-balanced experience.

Xiao Ye (Aaron Lee)


3832 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-764-9478, xiaoyepdx.com. 5–9 pm Monday–Thursday, 5–9:30 pm Friday-Saturday.

Despite its Chinese name, Xiao Ye is not a Chinese restaurant. The food is, in fact, difficult to characterize beyond eclectic. Xiao Ye translates to “night snack,” but the connotation of simple, thrown together nosh is pretty far off the mark. That is, unless the snack maker happens to be a talented, thoughtful industry professional who understands flavor and textural balance and takes the time to make sure dishes are executed to a consistently high standard. Start with the mini madeleines ($9.50), and try Jolyn’s Favorite ($23)—spaghetti noodles enhanced with Taiwanese black vinegar, which adds a surprising depth.


7937 SE Stark St., yaowaratpdx.com. 5–10 pm Monday–Saturday, 4:30–9 pm Sunday.

An eponym for Bangkok’s Chinatown and its source of culinary inspiration, Yaowarat is the newest spot from chef Earl Ninsom, a national James Beard Award finalist and the force behind Eem, Hat Yai and Langbaan. Yaowarat offers Chinese-Thai dishes, a list of bountiful noodle and fried rice delights, like Kuay Teow Kua Gai (wide rice noodles stir-fried in chicken, pork fat, steamed egg, and chiles). Pair it with grilled squid, then cap the meal with pandan and thai tea custards, and you’ll be walking down Yaowarat road in your mind in no time.


250 NW 13th Ave., 503-841-6406, jankenrestaurant.com. 4–10 pm Tuesday–Thursday, 4–11 pm Friday–Saturday, 4–9 pm Sunday.

You may not have seen a green leaf in weeks, but inside this buzzy Pearl District spot, there’s a never-ending blossoming cherry tree. Do your best to book a seat underneath the centerpiece and enjoy the food and people watching in equal measure. The glitz of Janken will distract you from the dismal drips outside: Get swept away by the smoke billowing out from under a cloche lifted tableside to reveal a pineapple mezcal cocktail; splurge on scallop nigiri topped with uni that provides the essence of the sea. And if you’re really looking to go full-on summer, order bingsu for dessert, the Korean condensed milk snow with a texture that’s somehow fluffy and crunchy, disappearing on your tongue as quickly as a passing memory of sunbathing on Sauvie Island in July.


2727 N Lombard St., 503-206-5313, elyikeoaxaquenoysusazon.com. 10 am–9 pm daily.

Yique, a regional Oaxacan goat stew, rivals any soup out there. This little hole in the wall in Kenton is putting out yique, moles and other specialties that send you straight to the Southern Mexican state, home to a lot of the country’s finest cuisine. Think of yique (also spelled yike) as a meeting of pozole and birria consommé, topped with an ample amount of tender goat. Unlike pozole, the hominy in yike is broken down, a process done in house by the mother-daughter duo who own the restaurant. With guajillo pepper and spiced consommé, it’s a heartening bright orange bowl that provides more insulation than Smartwool.


2934 NE Alberta St., assemblybrewingco.com. 11 am–10 pm daily.

The first Black-owned brewery in the state just opened its second location this month, meaning more Portlanders can munch some of the best Detroit-style pizzas in town. Assembly Brewing is named in honor of the auto factory assembly lines that have powered co-founder and brewer George Johnson’s hometown of Detroit for decades. Customers at the new Alberta Street location can expect whole square pies, five by-the-slice options (including one for vegans), salads, and Parmesan-coated breadsticks. Drink offerings include eight taps for Assembly beer, locally made hard cider, wine, and a handful of cocktails and spirits. Assembly serves what might be the most authentic Detroit-style pies in the area thanks to Johnson’s training with late award-winning pie baker Shawn Randazzo and development of a proprietary dough recipe, which results in a thicker than normal crust with exceptional crunch.

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