Johanna Ware's pan-fusion playground of zoomingly intense flavors has returned to Northeast Fremont. Along with old favorites like the candied kale and the pork-and-sichuan peppercorn chawanmushi, there's the deceptively complex tuna tataki and a kimchi pancake underlaid with tender bites of octopus.
2. Holdfast Dining
Holdfast, 2131 SE 11th Ave., 503-504-9448, holdfastdining.com.
One of Portland's first breakout pop-up restaurants, Holdfast has made a seamless transition to permanence. The $140 ticket includes the prix fixe meal, drinks and tip, which makes it one of the most affordable of Portland's innovative fine-dining destinations. Recent standouts include house-cured salmon roe beneath minuscule threads of smoked salmon; olive oil-poached baby octopus with Castelvetrano olive puree; and a boneless duck confit.
3. Sugarpine Drive-In
1208 E Historic Columbia River Highway, Troutdale, 503-665-6558, sugarpinedrivein.com.
Situated at the gateway to the Gorge, the vibe at Sugarpine is almost that of a camp mess hall, until you remember camp food was never this good. The pulled-pork sandwich is a balancing act of smoke and sweet, and the waffle grilled cheese is oh-my-God good.
4. Casa Zoraya
841 N Lombard St., 503-384-2455, casazorayapdx.com.
One of Portland's best dining bargains sits on North Lombard, wedged between a mobile phone shop and a leather bar. The menu at this Peruvian-focused eatery isn't nearly as long as that at Andina, but it takes each dish seriously. The standout is the lomo saltado criollo ($20), a tender, stir-fried sirloin dish in a thick, flavorful sauce that's both spicy and sugary.
5000 SE Powell Blvd., eatsuperdeluxe.com.
The hype surrounding Micah Camden's new drive-thru venture has neared In-N-Out proportions. The flagship single deluxe burger has a thin patty, but that allows the edges to brown for a satisfying crunch. It's reminiscent of an old-school Arctic Circle burger slathered in Original Fry Sauce.