[PURE EXPERIENCE] This tiny Chinese eatery across from the old A-1 Bird Baths may have been forced into changing its name from Five Spice by a Lake Oswego fern bar of the same name, but Pure Spice has turned out to be a better descriptor for their ambitions of "simplicity, seasonality and regionality." Sure, they've got the Megabucks scratchers on each table and the perfunctory American-Chinese classics (Tsao, sesame, orange) placed on the never-ending menu for walk-ins off the street. Pick instead among the clay pots or the house specialties including their famous scallion pancake and cloudlike housemade stretched noodles (now with egg!). The indulgently thick broths in the hot pots ($11.50) stew together rich meats and ingredients such as exotic bitter melon over savory rice, while the restaurant's most popular dish, Singapore pan-fried rice noodles ($9.50) can alone make the trip worthwhile, as all scenery melts into a glowing saffron mound of semi-sweet noodles dotted with salty pork strips and bits of vegetable. Repeat diners often ignore the menu altogether and order off the whiteboard. ENID SPITZ.
The whiteboard by the register lists what time the hanging ducks by the window have met their roasty demise.