Best Restaurants 2017: Step into the Light

Behold the Most Elegant—Dare We Say, Delicate—Ramen on Portland’s Scene

Kayo’s Ramen Bar isn’t out to overpower you. And that’s a good thing.

By Zach Dundas October 12, 2017 Published in the November 2017 issue of Portland Monthly

1117 best restaurants kayo ramen lkes5k

Kayo’s vegan ramen with tofu

Image: Michael Novak

Ramen! Ramen! Ramen! Listen, we’re all for it. But the ramen boom sometimes feels like one of those signifiers Portlanders are supposed to embrace—like woodworking, or beard oil—to demonstrate our artisanal machismo. Just a bunch of hearty lumberjanes and ’jacks, guzzling porky tonkotsu in the rain! Kayo's Ramen Bar takes ramen in a gentler direction, brewing elegant, nuanced broth in the lighter assari style to bathe the springy coils of house noodles (“Noodle #47, because it took 47 tries over three months,” as the menu notes). All the same, the fiery TanTan bowl leaves no doubt this is serious ramen. No need to get aggro.

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