It's hard say anyone can "win" in a pandemic, but when your gambit to stay afloat post-coronavirus shutdown proves so popular it eventually spins off into another permanent restaurant…well, we have to at least say you found one heck of a silver lining.
In April, after the governor ordered bars and restaurants across Oregon to close, acclaimed Indonesian spot Gado Gado shifted toward a more casual takeout model called Oma's Takeaway, with a revamped menu that maintained the playful inventiveness that made owner Thomas Pisha-Duffly one of Portland's most talked-about chefs when Gado Gado opened in 2019, and WW's Newcomer of the Year in our annual restaurant guide.
Now, Oma's Takeaway is getting its own brick-and-mortar space at 3131 SE Division St. inside the former home of Whiskey Soda Lounge—the semi-official "waiting room" for the original Pok Pok location up the street—which closed in June.
According to a press release, the starting menu will include "seleda nanas, pineapple salad with red grapes, celery, cashews, palm sugar and tamarind dressing, five-spice tater tots served with curry ketchup, char siu pork shoulder with pan fried noodles, pickled ginger and scallion, and ayam goreng berempeh, spicy fried chicken marinated in red curry with toasted coconut, shrimp paste, crispy peanut, and candied anchovy."
Pisha-Duffly and his wife and co-owner, Mariah, also inherited two slushie machines and a soda fountain from Whiskey Soda, which they'll use to make signature boozy frozen drinks and a trio of housemade sodas.
The only bummer? Their burger—one of the local hits of Portland's initial takeout wave—does not appear to be part of the permanent menu at the moment.
Oma's Takeaway begins dinner service tomorrow, with outdoor seating only for the time being. If you're still not in dine-in mode yet, you can still order takeout through the website—it's in the name after all.