1. Kimura Toast Bar
3808 N Williams Ave., 971-266 8087, kimuratoast.com. 8 am-3 pm Tuesday-Sunday.
At Kimura Toast Bar, thick slices of shokupan, or Japanese milk bread, can be the stuff of a light breakfast, a savory lunch or a meticulously composed dessert. You can get your toast simply, with French Isigny St.-Mere butter, including such flavors as bacon-cheese or yuzu. You can get a cheese toast, with white cheddar or brie. You can even get it under a hot dog. And yes, you can get it with avocado—a straight-up concession to the Portland market.
2. Oma’s Takeaway
3131 SE Division St., 971-754-4923, omastakeaway.com. 5-10 pm Thursday-Sunday.
It's hard to say anyone can "win" in a pandemic, but Gado Gado found one heck of a silver lining, as its pivot to takeout is spinning off into its own restaurant. Oma's Takeaway will now occupy the space formerly home to Whiskey Soda Lounge and feature several of the playfully inventive Southeast Asian items Thomas Pisha-Duffly initially devised just to stay afloat during Oregon's COVID-19 shutdown, including five-spice tater tots served with curry ketchup and char siu pork shoulder.
8145 SE 82nd Ave., 971-319-1134, nacheauxpdx.com. Noon-7 pm Wednesday-Thursday and Saturday, noon-8 pm Friday, 9 am-3 pm Sunday.
At Anthony Brown's garishly teal-colored food truck, Mexican favorites get hitched to Southern food and Cajun-Creole flavors. You can find "Mexicajun" food in both Louisiana and Southeast Texas, but it's a rare concept in Portland, if not entirely unheard of. The "Nacheaux nachos" start with a big pile of fresh-fried chips and also feature carnitas that could just as easily be cochon au lait, while a cheesy "crunchwrap" comes stuffed with red beans, dirty rice and fried chicken.
4. Havana Cafe
901 NW 14th Ave., 970-400-8887, havanacafepdx.com. 11 am-10 pm Tuesday-Saturday.
Cuban restaurants are hard to find outside their native turf and nearby Miami. Havana Cafe remedies that with an unmissable rooftop experience in Northwest Portland. Start with a starch—either tostones or yucca frita—then go for a platter served with deceptively non-boring black beans and rice. Among a handful of choices, lechon con mojo may be your power move. It's a mound of ultra-tender, deeply flavored slow-roasted pork infused with garlic.
3808 N Williams Ave., Suite 127, 971-295-1645, eempdx.com. 11 am-9 pm daily.
The most talked-about Portland restaurant of 2019 had difficulty adjusting to the reality of COVID-19, but it looks to have found its footing in Phase 1 with a new grab-and-go window focused on its world-beating curries. The white curry with brisket burnt ends is a dish so rich and nuanced it's almost without precedent. And if you manage to snag one of its still-high-in-demand outdoor tables, 'tis the season for co-owner Eric Nelson's hypercreative cocktails.