American Local is a mashup of down-home 'Merican vittles and Japanese izakaya fare—both things Portland adores, as you'll see throughout this guide. The menu at this 2-year-old small-plates spot begins with skewers of various shapes and sizes, including simple fried chicken skin ($3) that can be excused for its saltiness given the kitsch factor, grilled octopus ($8) and knockout flank steak ($11). Oysters are available, though they've got nothing on the a tiny tower of raw albacore ($12) that looks like a deconstructionist sushi roll layered with avocado and a hot, crisp rice cake. Even the less-successful dishes—a serrano-laden fruit salad ($7) and a Sriracha- and maple-glazed pork belly skewer ($8) with enough salt to kill a deer—offer up innovative flavor combinations designed to pair with $1 per ounce house sake or a killer salted caramel old fashioned ($10). If you want more traditional bar food, the kitchen makes a solid burger loosely modeled on In-N-Out's Double-Double and a stellar macaroni-meets-jalapeño-popper bar snack coated in panko.

TheAmericanLocal_1Pro tip Resist the calls of the other dessert destinations on Division and get the bacon beignet. It's better. And cheaper.

3003 SE Division St., 954-2687, 5:30-10 pm Tuesday-Saturday, 5:30-9 pm Sunday. $$-$$$