The food arrived on plates. Otherwise, nothing was predictable in a year when Portland dining cracked open old cuisines and fresh ideas in entirely new ways. Rigorously old-school Thai recipes went underground, Russian classics got positively giddy, and even ritualistic Japanese kappo cuisine got free-style and farm-grown. Mostly, in 2014, the best menus were invitations to plunge into cooks’ personal worlds—deliciously, without a crumb of pretension. Pull up a seat.