A word of advice: At Soro Soro, eat the eyes first.
Before you freak out, no, this twee dessert cafe does not serve anything that was once or currently alive. Nonetheless, it's always disconcerting to have your meal staring back at you, even if the irises are only made of white chocolate. Sure, that chocolate cheesecake made to look like a frowny bear face might not have a family, but plunging a spoon straight through its cute little head still produces pangs of guilt, if only because it feels like destroying a 5-year-old's home ec project. Scoop out those sugary pupils right from the start, and it's a lot easier to convince yourself that the treat belongs in your stomach and not on a kindergartner's Pinterest page.
Then again, just about everything at Soro Soro seems devised by a precocious grade schooler with an eye for interior design. That might describe half the businesses that have opened in Portland in the past few years, but this place—which is Korean-owned, and takes cues from the country's coffee-shop culture—keeps it precious down to the smallest details, from the heart-shaped straws to the cactus in the windowsill topped with a tiny sun hat. Orders arrive on handsome wooden platters lined with frilly doilies, the drinks accompanied by bite-sized cream puffs served in miniature ceramic skillets. And would you be surprised to learn that much of the décor has a cat motif?
For the adoraphobic, it sounds like a dainty nightmare. But the owners put just as much care into the preparation as the presentation. The rose latte ($4.75) reaches the ideal level of floral flavor—subtle but definitely there, without tasting like a bath bomb. And those anthropomorphized cakes aren't just Instagram fodder. The peanut butter crumble ($5.50), in particular, is perfect, dusting slightly crunchy pebbles atop a pillow-soft foundation. Just don't let the serving sizes fool you into thinking you can polish off more than one in a sitting. Get a few to go, but don't wait too long to finish them off—the longer you gaze into those googly eyes, the more you'll want to keep them as pets.
GO: Soro Soro Coffee and Dessert, 2250 E Burnside St., Unit C, 503-265-8236. 10 am-6 pm Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am-4 pm Sunday.