Bamboo Sushi SW
404 SW 12th Ave., Downtown
Bamboo Sushi has four locations across Portland's quadrants: SW, NW, NE, and SE. Each location varies slightly; they all have a casual vibe and really good sushi (in addition to hot Japanese dishes). You can make table reservations, but seats at the sushi bar (always fun) are first-come first-serve. What makes Bamboo stand apart is their commitment to the sustainable way: they don't serve fish from endangered populations; their seafood is caught by fishermen who operate under environmentally ethical principles; and their grass-fed, hormone-free, and free-range meat comes from ranches in Oregon/Idaho. True to their word, Bamboo Sushi uses renewable energy sources, reusable teak wood chopsticks, biodegradable to-go containers, and so on.
1014 SW Stark St., Downtown
Though it’s on the first floor of the Ace, Clyde Common doesn’t feel at all like your typical hotel bar. Jeffrey Morgenthaler is one of the city’s best bartenders, and happy hour is one of the best times to be here, when cocktails like the Southbound Suarez (a boozy horchata with tequila and Becherovka) and the Bourbon Renewal (a mixture of bourbon, lemon, cassis, and bitters) are $6 each. Not to downplay this worthy dinner destination—the menu is a very Northwestern celebration of unusual ingredients like nettles, spring alliums, burnt yogurt, and fiddlehead ferns.
215 SW 6th Ave., Downtown
While its sister restaurant, Le Pigeon, may be better known, Little Bird has the same great food with a touch more casual vibe. The interior is pleasant but not overdone, with a mezzanine that stretches out over the bar, and dramatic, rounded mirrors flanking the wall in the main dining room. The menu is all classic French comfort food from the palourdes (a French clam dish) to the double-brie burger to the crème brûlée.
Tasty n Alder
580 SW 12th Ave., Downtown
Tasty n Alder is not your typical steakhouse: after all, their Korean bulgogi strip steak is pretty much beyond. If you aren’t feeling up for a steak, you’ve got options: baja tacos, peking duck cooked on a Spanish-style plancha grill, and a variety of locally-sourced seafood. Their brunch menu is just as eclectic, offering everything from Korean bibimbap to classic steak and eggs. If you’re craving a change from the usual Bloody Mary or mimosa, indulge in their cognac-spiked chocolate milkshake.
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