Food News & Events

Taste Two Top Chef Contestants’ Cooking, Cloudforest Chocolate Temporarily Closes, and Street Disco Announces Brick-and-Mortar

Plus, chef Luna Contreras of Chelo begins a summer-long residency at sambal maker Sibeiho.

By Katherine Chew Hamilton April 28, 2022

The massive chocolate bar in Cloudforest's shop window, closing after April 30

Image: Karen Brooks

Prepare yourself for a full week of eating. Get your last fix for now before beloved chocolate shop Cloudforest says goodbye to its current location. Plus, eat some of the best taquitos Portland has to offer, slurp vegan ramen, grab Singaporean-Mexican fusion bento boxes and burritos from Chelo and Sibeiho, and say hi to Top Chef Season 18 contestants Byron Gomez and Sara Hauman at natural wine hotspot Bar Norman

Safframen, a Vegan Persian Ramen Cart, Reopens April 28

This ramen cart used to be parked at the now-closed Shady Pines vegan cart pod, serving the likes of corn ramen with Umi noodles and sumac tofu, or onigiri with feta and pistachio. Now, after months of pop-ups, it’s got a new home at the Carts on Foster (5205 SE Foster Rd). The soft opening takes place April 28 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Cloudforest’s Current Location Closes April 30

We were enchanted by chocolate maker Cloudforest’s latest shop, located at 727 SE Morrison St and decorated with a massive, 100 percent real chocolate bar hanging in the window that melts before your eyes. The hot chocolates with homemade marshmallows torched right in front of you, ice cream, chocolate bars, Nutella-like Magic Spread, and pastries make this shop a drive-worthy destination for chocolate lovers. Sadly, the location will be closing on April 30, though owner Sebastian Cisneros plans to reopen in another location.

Chelo Starts Up Collaboration with Sibeiho April 30

Chef Luna Contreras, who’s currently popping up across the city as Chelo, is starting up a summer-long residency this weekend at sambal maker Sibeiho (740 NW 23rd Ave). Along with Holly Ong, Contreras will prep bento boxes with pickled veggies, sautéed veggies, seven-grain rice, and proteins like ‘rojo’ chicken (braised thighs with annatto, lime leaf, coconut, English peas, and sesame) or mapo tofu made with Sibeiho sambal. There will also be burritos available with both protein options. Contreras will also offer some of her fantastic baked goods, such as pandan Basque burnt cheesecake, seasonal tres leches cake, or churro doughnuts with five spice and chocolate ganache. This Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. will be the first day of the pop-up, with burritos and baked goods available for walk-up only; future hours will be Thursday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. for walk-up and preorder.

Free Salsa Class with Lines Dance Academy at the Portland Mercado April 30

While not strictly a food-related event, Lines Dance Academy, a Hillsboro-based dance school, is offering a free salsa class at the Portland Mercado (7238 SE Foster Rd) from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Register online via the Portland Mercado’s website, and maybe grab some kibis or mole amarillo to refuel afterward. 

Two Top Chef Contenders Appear at Bar Norman May 2

Fan favorites Byron Gomez and Portland’s own Sara Hauman are throwing a special event on May 2 at wine-focused Bar Norman (2615 SE Clinton St) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The two chefs will be preparing four different snacks for purchase, made using products from Tiny Fish Co., Hauman’s new line of sustainable, PNW-sourced tinned seafood. Snacks include sesame balls with rockfish, octopus musubi, geoduck toasts with lettuce and sundried tomato, and smoked mussel hummus; wine will, of course, also be on offer.

Street Disco Pop-Up Will Become a Brick-and-Mortar This Summer

Street Disco has been popping up at spots around the city, from drinking snacks and steak nights at Deadshot to wine bar nights at Cup and Saucer with French-influenced food to Cuban sandwiches and Nashville hot chicken at 5 and Dime. Yesterday, the multifaceted duo announced that they would be opening a brick and mortar restaurant and wine bar sometime in summer 2022, with details to be announced.