1. Eem

3808 N Williams Ave., Suite 127, 971-295-1645, eemportland.com.

The restaurant from the superstar trio behind Hat Yai, Matt's BBQ and the Shipwreck cocktail pop-up has finally arrived, and it somehow manages to exceed all expectations. The white curry with brisket burnt-ends is a dish so rich and nuanced it's almost without precedent, while the chopped BBQ fried rice is another mashup that's bafflingly simple yet unbeatable in flavor.

(courtesy of Anna Stancioff)
(courtesy of Anna Stancioff)

2. Tope

15 NW 4th Ave., 503-770-0500, thehoxton.com.

Finally, Portland's rooftop bar scene is making some headway. Tope's perch on the ninth floor of the Hoxton Hotel offers an excellent vantage of the city's eastside that pairs well with bar's playful cocktails and casual noshes. Avoid the tacos and go for the tlayuda, a "Oaxacan pizza" that's one of the better communal foodstuffs you'll find at a post-work chips-and-margaritas joint.

(Magnus Holmes)
(Magnus Holmes)

3. Mac’d

5145 SE McLoughlin Blvd., 503-995-8448, getmacd.com.

At this build-your-own mac-and-cheese window, ordering is a linear process similar to Chipotle's. A bowl is assembled by choosing a noodle type, one of six sauces, and various toppings and mix-ins like broccoli, chorizo, truffle oil or hot dog. The three prefab options are excellent, and while the DIY ingredients are hit or miss, with some extended tinkering, it shouldn't take long to create a craveable customized dish.

(Justin Katigbak)
(Justin Katigbak)

4. Delores

1401 SE Morrison St., 503-231-3609, delorespdx.com.

BJ Smith has made a career of solving problems no Portlanders knew they had. In the case of his latest venture, Smith gives extensive thought to what an upscale Polish restaurant would look and feel like in New Portland. The smoked kielbasa with Brussels sprout sauerkraut ($15) shows Smith has done his homework. If you've got a little old Polish lady in your life, this is guaranteed to put a smile on her face.

(Laurel Kadas)
(Laurel Kadas)

5. Bullard

813 SW Alder St., 503-222-1670, bullardpdx.com.

Top Chef made Doug Adams into a celebrity, but up until Bullard's December opening, his ability to conceive a credible menu and run a restaurant of his own awaited proof. Well, here it is. For an admirer of Texas barbecue, the most impressive offering is Bullard's beef rib, a Flinstonian affair that arrives with spoon-tender rib meat, no-bullshit "fresh flour tortillas," pickled jalapeños and mild roasted tomatillo-lime salsa.