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.
1639 NW Glisan St., 503-227-2154, beetrootmarketanddeli.com.
Jewish delis aren't unheard of in Portland, but there's not exactly one on every corner, either. Starting this week, though, there will be one on the corner of Northwest Glisan Street and 17th Avenue. Beetroot comes from a former Los Angeleno and will have a fully stocked deli case, plus kugel, matzo ball soup, smoked fish and everything else East Coast transplants took for granted back home.
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.
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 open. 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.
5. 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, clean, 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.