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Tasty N Alder is a Steakhouse For People Too Fashionable For Steakhouses

Yes, Tasty n Alder is busy at all hours, every day of the week. That’s because there’s never an inappropriate time for this food.

Though the term "modern steakhouse" conjures images of valet parking and professional athletes promoting vodka, John Gorham uses it more as a catch-all for his playful interpretation of traditional American cuisine. It's also clearly influenced by the international travels of the restaurateur behind Toro Bravo, Tasty n Sons and Mediterranean Exploration Company.

Small plates like the "Hmong-style" steak tartare ($14) with jalapeños, quail egg and airy shrimp crackers or the locally famous radicchio salad ($7) with lardons and chopped egg encourage sharing. The cuts of meat, primarily from Oregon farms, provide the hedonistic joy of sinking your teeth into a rare, juicy wagyu steak ($24) or apple-brined pork chop ($24).

Go back for brunch where the menu more than holds its own, boasting a sweet-savory spectrum from pillowy little chocolate potato doughnuts ($3) and silver-dollar lemon ricotta pancakes ($7) to pork schnitzel ($16, but definitely add a mug of Munich dunkel for $2).

And if you just need an escape from work, the midday menu lets you sit at the bar and snack on things like fries cooked in wagyu beef tallow ($3) and drink from a selection of precisely mixed cocktails for seven bucks, like the Brown Derby with bourbon, grapefruit and honey shrub. Yes, Tasty n Alder is busy at all hours, every day of the week. That's because there's never an inappropriate time for this food.

Eat: The small radicchio salad ($7), wagyu skirt steak ($24) and a couple of sides like sweet-spicy skillet corn cake ($5) and grilled broccolini ($8) make a perfect meal for two.

Drink: Like the food, the cocktails are mostly playful—and delicious—interpretations of classics. Try the Good Herb ($12) with gin, Suze, génépy and lemon.

Most popular dish: Ryan's Steak tartare with lean, flavorful Piedmontese beef. Raw meat at its finest.

Noise level: 68/100

Expected wait: Reservations are available only for parties of seven or more at the communal table. No brunch reservations. Grab a coffee or cocktail and expect to wait at least an hour.

Who you'll eat with: Delightfully baffled tourists, well-dressed couples and hungover 20-somethings.

Year opened: 2013

580 SW 12th Ave., 503-621-9251, tastynalder.com. 5:30-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 5:30-11 pm Friday-Saturday, brunch 9 am-2 pm daily, midday bar menu 2-5:30 pm daily. $-$$$.

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