Tusk blasted into Portland this summer like a shot of vitamin D, a breezy, glass-walled, feel-good-rocking California dream even a shaggy-sweatered Portlander could embrace. Hanging over the bar, the restaurant’s muse says it all: a Speedo-clad Keith Richards, back-floating in a pool. The mode is spiritually Middle Eastern, freethinking in form, and deep in Oregon farm connections. The kitchen’s daily-changing salads, lamb tartares, and rose-petaled feta plates reveal the antidote to Portland’s usual blood sausage/mac and cheese gout aesthetic: healthy, visual, super-fresh, and super-local. Hummus is shockingly light, like garbanzo whipped cream. Oven-fresh whole-grain pita tastes like the missing link between buttered wheat toast and pizza char. Pig? It’s relegated to a mere three inches of a hibachi skewer. At Tusk, meat is but a nibble, a garnish. Chef/co-owner Sam Smith is exciting, his thinking modern but free of deconstructions and foams, powered by shockwaves of whole spices. And he’s just getting started.