Japanese, Pacific Northwest, Vegetarian
Price Scale

Ohaiyo gozaimasu!! The greeting rings out as you step through the door at this tiny, serene café. You don’t often hear the words in Portland, and it’s generally a reassuring sign that you are in the right place. Japanese families and in-the-know locals come for Naoko Tamura’s Oregon-inspired Japanese comfort foods. Bento is the star of the lunch-only menu: light, healthy, artful, and fashioned with farm-fresh ingredients. The chalkboard overhead reads like a road map of respected Oregon producers. Each lacquered box contains five compartments holding thoughtful bites: sweet omelet, silky tofu, market-fresh greens, rice (white or brown), and a changing main attraction, from lightly fried wild Oregon lingcod to farm-coddled chicken in a tomato braise. If you’re still hungry, the miso soup is fantastically perfumed, and the browned strips of pressed, gooey, rice cake “mocheese” are terrific.

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