KIN-dred Spirits

Kin’s globally-inspired happy hour focuses on small plates and big flavors.

By Allison Jones April 29, 2011

We’ve all been there: stuck in rush hour traffic, idling behind a long line of cars trying to get out of the city. You’re really not looking forward to spending the next half hour staring at the bumper stickers in front of you, so why not stop for a drink? The next time you’re caught a few blocks from the I-405 on-ramp in the Pearl District, take a quick detour to Kin, on NW 14th just off Glisan. Chef Kevin Shikami’s Asian-inspired Happy Hour – a selection of small plates, wines, and beers served weekdays from 5 to 6 – is a great way to wait out the worst of rush hour.

Kin’s inviting reclaimed-wood tables, orchid blossoms, and paper lantern-inspired wall art bring the zen to happy hour. The flavor-packed menu adds a welcome punch to the peaceful spa-like decor, and the cocktail menu features some creative gems from shaker Chris Cooper. The best part? By the time you’ve finished your cocktail, those freeways will be smooth traveling.

Favorite nosh:

The steamed Chinese-style pork belly buns with spicy nappa slaw and fresh cilantro are crave-worthy ($6). Served like small tacos, the soft bun wrapped around a generous slab of seasoned and seared pork belly, they’re perfect for dipping into sweet plum sauce.

The corn and coconut wontons with sweet chili sauce are crispy, flavorful, and a satisfying vegetarian option. The large portion (about 6 large wontons) is a great value at $4, and pairs really well with an IPA (get a pint of HUB Organic for just $3.50).

Who doesn’t crave chicken wings? Kin’s version involves three huge wings slathered in sweet Malaysian-style sauce and grilled, served up with crisp green papaya slaw ($5).

Favorite sips:

A rotating selection of $5 glasses of wine – "white, red, and bubbles" – keeps things classy on the cheap.

The Joey 75, with Tanqueray, fresh lemon, and bubbles with fresh cucumber, a drink that will surely be a hit through summer ($9).

The Machito combines Hot Monkey Vodka, thai basil, fresh lime, and agave for a savory/sweet sip with a kick ($9).

Kin, Happy Hour Weekdays, 5 to 6. 524 NW 14th Ave

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