1. Kkoki Korean BBQ
8001 SE Powell Blvd., Suite O, 503-327-8875, kkokibbq.com.
For meat lovers, Korean barbecue is the perfect DIY treat. A sister outlet to the Beaverton original, this new Southeast location is spacious, hospitable and delicious. And best of all, it keeps late hours. A solid ordering strategy begins with the selection of meats. In all, there is a truly impressive 19 barbecue offerings. Go with la galbi, marinated crosscut beef short ribs—or, if the big raise just came through, the prime rib-eye.
2525 SE Clinton St.
Oh, it's on now. After multiple setbacks—including a full relocation, from Cully to Clinton—one of Portland's first major Filipino restaurants is finally set to open Aug. 15. Chef Carlo Lamagna has been teasing the public for months with an Instagram page full of tantalizing images of adobos and bibingka, but it's not just food porn—anyone who's attended his Twisted Filipino Dinner Series knows his stuff tastes as good as it looks.
4611 E Burnside St., 503-206-5916, wajanpdx.com.
"Selamat Makan," reads the sign in the flamboyantly decorated dining room at this Indonesian newcomer, a phrase that translates to "bon appétit." The truth of that statement is self-evident. For the uninitiated, an order of nasi campur or nasi uduk sampler plates is a must. Those ready for the advanced course have plenty of options, a starter of rujak serut should be mandatory. Raw fruits and vegetables are anointed with palm sugar syrup and ground peanuts for an all-compass-point ensemble of sweet, tart, soft and crunchy. It's one of the standout local dishes of the year.
914 NE Broadway, 503-208-2172, hak-restaurant.business.site. 11:30 am-3 pm, 5-10 pm Monday-Saturday.
For anyone easily overwhelmed by the options at other Korean spots, Hak's relatively thin menu is a blessing. In the case of appetizers, it's an easy move to just try one of everything, but make sure to include the fried dumplings and seaweed salad. As far as the Grilled Meat section goes, the heap of beef rib-eye bulgogi is the clear showstopper, with a gentle, warm spice trailing right behind a burst of juicy sweetness from the tender, lightly charred meat.
5. The Star
1309 NW Hoyt St., 503-300-7827, thestarportland.com.
Portland might be overdosing on quality pizza at the moment, but if the pie can hold its own, hey, what's one more? The Star started in San Francisco, and its new Pearl District location is the brand's first outside the Bay Area. While known for deep-dish, the must-get item here is the cracker-crisp pesto chicken. A hypnotic, basil-colored spiral drizzled around the pizza compels you to drop whatever else is occupying your mouth at that moment and dig in.
Read the full review: Can Bay Area Franchise the Star Stand out in Portland's Crowded Pizza Market?