Portland’s “stray chefs,” Peter Cho and Johnny Leach, don’t like to be tied down.
In May, their pop-up restaurant switched from hot dogs (they were originally ‘Stray Dogs’) to Korean fried chicken, despite a strong reception and growing interest in the trendy ballpark format. Their take on Korean comfort looks like cold buckwheat soba noodles in a clam and pineapple dashi, crunchy fried chicken coated in spicy gochujang or fermented black bean, and black sesame corn bread, crowned with a melting medallion of charred scallion butter. It’s very good, but don’t get used to it.
Cho tells Eat Beat that Korean fried chicken won’t be the main concept when they officially open their brick-and-mortar inside the Ocean micro-restaurant complex at NE 24th Ave between Sandy and Glisan, the current staging ground for their private dinners. While they work out their modus operandi for a tentative November opening (right now, it’s simply: “Peter and Johnny Cook Dinner”), the duo plans another month of Stray Bird dinners through September. Reserve your spot while you still can.
Click the slideshow above for a taste of their Stray Birds menu, and for a sneak peek of their upcoming space.