4546 SE Division St., 503-984-1580, malkapdx.com.
The long-awaited Malka is the restaurant version of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Each dish is a madcap mélange of a dozen or more ingredients that, on paper, couldn't possibly work together yet invariably do. While its visually engrossing dining room is shut down, many of chef Jessie Aron's highlight meals are still available for takeout, including creative creations like the Important Helmet for Outer Space, a rice bowl with too many ingredients to list here.
2. Sunshine Noodles
3560 N Mississippi Ave., 971-220-1997, sunshinenoodles.com. 11 am-3 pm Thursday-Saturday.
Sunshine Noodles is an avowedly irreverent, none too serious take on contemporary Cambodian food by Revelry vet Diane Lam. The corn pudding is a candidate for the city's best new dessert, but the lime pepper wings are the breakout hit—spicy and complex, they want for nothing except a beer, and perhaps a napkin.
3. Taquería los Puñales
3312 SE Belmont St., 503-206-7233, lospunales.com. 11 am-10 pm daily.
This tacho shop only opened this summer, but it feels like it's been serving the Sunnyside neighborhood for years. Every tortilla is made in-house that day, stuffed with an array of guisados—complex braises of meats and vegetables, including carnitas, barbacoa and chicken tinga. The classic tinga is a perfect gateway to the guisado style, and chef David Madrigal's version is subtly excellent.
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.
Read more: Nacheaux Introduces Portland to Mexicajun Fusion.
5. Dimo’s Apizza
701 E Burnside St., 503-327-8968, dimosapizza.com. 4-9 pm Wednesday-Sunday.
The menu at Dimo's Apizza is loaded with variations of the New Haven-style pies chef Doug Miriello grew up eating in Connecticut. But his new spot is aiming for a place in Portland's sandwich pantheon, too. The most recent addition to the menu is maybe the most impressive. It's called The Beast: whole top sirloin seasoned like brisket, cave-aged Gruyère and slathered-on aioli.