The wealth of genuine Asian flavors and fun approaches that animate the country’s best food cities has lagged in Portland. That’s changing. This year welcomed a taste of Korean coffeehouse culture, some world-famous Shanghai soup dumplings, and a wave of warm, boisterous neighborhood spots that often doubled as proud love notes to family recipes and cooking traditions that dot Asia and the Pacific Ocean. Local diners are more open, and chefs are responding. “We’re taking risks and being real,” says Ed Sablan, who cooks Chamoru cuisine, the indigenous foods of Guam, at his new digs inside a Northeast Portland beer hall. “Nobody is asking for french fries.”

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