333 NE Glisan St., 971-302-6002, thesudra.com. Lunch and dinner daily.
Who knew, when the Ocean food mini-mall opened on Glisan, that by far the most successful and vaunted-after spot amid the meatballs and pies and hamburgers and tacos would be a pan-global vegan spot serving crazy-ass cocktails with beet juice or cardamom lemonade? But here we are: Deeply lentil-happy, Indian-via-Latin American eatery the Sudra is wonderful, a thumb in the eye to criminally underseasoned vegan fare. Each $9-to-$10 plate here is not only a full, balanced meal but a riot of flavor, from a red-lentil "kofta" to a black-eyed pea korma, served with a messy variety of veggies and rice and sauce and filler. Each ingredient is appropriately salted to bring out its flavor—but is also accompanied by pungent tomatillo chutney or cilantro-lemon sauce if that's your bag. Add a $3 carrot-ginger soup with each order—or for the same $3, take in perhaps the most wonderful straight-up kale salad in all of Portland.