1. Gado Gado
2137 E Burnside St., 503-477-4393, gadogadopdx.com.
Ex-Han Oak chef Thomas Pisha-Duffly and his wife Mariah's Indonesian soul-food pop-up is running for a few more Thursdays at sandwich spot Sammich, and it's proven well worth the buzz. The menu centers on just a few bowl-based dishes that do an exemplary job showcasing what the couple does best—pan-Asian stoner food that's as richly multidimensional as it is satisfying.
Read the full review: At His Gado Gado Pop-Up, a Han Oak Alum Serves Playful Pan-Asian Creations.
50 SW Pine St., Suite 102, 503-206-4114, kalepdx.com.
The Japanese-style curry and rice at Kalé tastes like you grew up eating it, even if you didn't. The dish morphs into something transcendent when covered in cheese, or "Doria" style. It somehow traps the depth of flavor, and simultaneously amplifies it while morphing the texture into something greater than the sum of its parts.
Read the full review: Japanese Curry Spot Kalé Only Does One Thing, and Does It to Near-Perfection.
704 NW 21st Ave., 971-865-2176, bhunarestaurant.com.
Bhuna is a boon to the Portland area's small but vital group of worthwhile Indian restaurants. The former pop-up's emphasis on Kashmiri specialities means adequate meaty choices, the pinnacle of which is rogan josh, which begins with chunks of tender lamb swirling around in a rambunctious, elaborately spiced sauce.
Read the full review: Acclaimed Pop-Up Bhuna Finds a Permanent Home for Its Addictive North Indian Cuisine.
970 SE Madison St., 971-229-1492.
The menu here is a classic Vietnamese-American deli/soup-shop hybrid, with a range of banh mi, pho and vermicelli bowl offerings accompanied by varying broths and proteins. There are surprises, however—the Crunchy Salad is a pre-dressed bowl of cabbage in a wonderful fish sauce and honey vinaigrette. Crunchy, savory and sweet all at once, it's the best dish here.
Read the full review: Xinhxinh Excels at Vietnamese Classics, but It’s Got Some Surprises for You, Too.
5. Rabbits Cafe
115 NE 6th Ave., 971-229-0357, rabbitscafepdx.com.
Sanjay Chandrasekaran is behind some of Portland's freshest and most flavorful vegan restaurants. At the newly opened second location of his breakfast-and-lunch spot, flavors and textures are heaped together with wild abandon. The Zia ($6, $9) is one of the most enthusiastic salads you'll ever eat—barbecue soy curls, green chiles, beans and corn, on top of crunchy, tahini-smothered kale.
Read the full review: Two New Vegan Restaurants Expand Portland's Plant-Based Offerings.