Bamboo Sushi revamps menu
The local, sustainable favorite overhauls its tried-and-true dinner, lunch, happy hour, and cocktail menus with 15 new share plates, three new signature rolls, local foraged seaweeds from the Northwest coast, and fresh wasabi grated tableside. That includes an “Ocean Farmer” roll with garlic butter crab, seared (farm-sourced!) kampachi, momiji, and ponzu, and a more composed dish of house-smoked King salmon in a black garlic barbecue sauce, roasted squash, and upland cress. Another big change: all of Bamboo’s nigiri rolls are now “yakumi”—essentially flavor-enhanced nigiri—gussied up with things like jalapeno-shallot relish, miso-herb pesto, and yuzu juice with truffle salt. (Don’t worry, purists, you can still get sashimi and nigiri “neat.”)
Park Kitchen gets back to its roots
Chef Scott Dolich’s North Park Blocks bistro Park Kitchen has been quietly churning out local farm-inspired fare for 15 years. But Dolich, who pioneered the menus that garnered the spot many of its national accolades, has spent most of the past decade out of the kitchen. He occupied his days acting as the restaurant's operations manager and mentoring an impressive list of chef talents, including Holdfast’s Will Preisch and Joel Stocks. That all changes this week, when Dolich steps back into the kitchen at Park, bringing a new focus on vegetables, Mediterranean preparations, and a strengthened relationship with cult Canby farm Your Kitchen Garden. “During the day, I’ll be executing R&D on new menu items, taking care of butchery and braising, and be directly in charge of ordering [from farms and ranches],” says Dolich, rattling off plans for a salad of salted rhubarb, almonds, green strawberries, and chervil, as well as his take on Italian spring classic risi e bisi. “Over the past seven years I’ve gotten a tremendous amount of enjoyment coaching [other chefs] in Park Kitchen’s brand of creativity, [but] I lost some of what brought me the most joy,” he says. “I’m rededicating my energies to what I love most about restaurants: great food.”
Nong’s opens new West End location
Portland’s Queen of Carts has opened the brick-and-mortar version of her downtown food cart (which could be demolished to make room for a new 177-room hotel). The new space at 417 SW 13th Ave (formerly Heart Pizza) is just big enough for five stools, two mini-booths, and a streamlined ordering process: enter your order at the swiveling iPad and wait for your bundle of chicken, rice, and addictive garlic-ginger sauce to emerge from the kitchen. Note: Nong’s SW is only serving khao man gai, not the expanded Southeast Portland menu with pork-braised cola and peanut sauce chicken. You will, however, find beer on tap (including a special "Nong’s" beer from Breakside) and wine. Nong’s SW is open everyday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.