Langbaan was once a quiet place—a spot where in-the-know diners would wait up to six months for one of Portland’s most elusive prix fixe meals, then sit in hushed reverence when it finally arrived in front of them.
Now, dishes from that same exclusive Thai kitchen are accessible in broad daylight: on the street, à la carte, and without a reservation. Since July, when pandemic restrictions forced Langbaan and sibling PaaDee to build an outdoor dining space, their patio footprint has ballooned to include sectioned-off open-air “rooms” that sprout off the main deck, plus two-top tables beside an urban symphony of motorcycle vrooms and ambulance wails on East Burnside.
The kanom krok—crisp, sweet, soupy scallop poppers that were once the amuse-bouche of the private dining experience—can now be had simply by swinging by and ordering a six-pack. It’s just one of Langbaan’s “drinking snacks,” small bites at the front of the menu that presuppose you’ll be getting alcohol.
And you will: perhaps a Paadee Colada Slushie—sour, with umbrella, and properly textured ice crystals that require enough suction to draw them through the cardboard straw. Or maybe the smoky Adult Thai Tea, which comes frothed, looking like freshly juiced carrot but tastes more like a milkshake.
6 SE 28th Ave., 971-344-2564, langbaanpdx.com. 3-10 pm Wednesday-Sunday.