Posts Tagged 'japanese'

Here’s to the New Year!

A New Year, A New Cheesy Japanese Flick

A New Year, A New Cheesy Asian Flick

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Best Asian Appetizers (so far) in P-Town

In my meanderings around Stumptown, I’ve made it a point to eat at as many of the city’s myriad Asian restaurants — from Chinese to Vietnamese to Thai to Japanese.  And while I’m nowhere near having visited all of them, here are my bets for the best appetizers offered by our humble town’s Far Eastern eateries:

Tasty!

Tasty!

PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps – Cool, crisp lettuce leaves stacked atop its own plate, await tasty fillings and select sauces, to create an incredible handheld masterpiece.  They have a vegetarian version but I am partial to the chicken, quickly cooked and lightly spiced.  They even have gluten-free!  Don’t kid yourself into thinking you’re eating something infinitely healthy, though, because of the lettuce.  Limit yourself to two and you should be fine.  This will also ensure you have enough space in your tummy for other delights to come.

Pho Dalat’s Salad Rolls – Compared to those served at many of the Thai or Vietnamese restaurants I’ve frequented in the greater Portland area, Pho Dalat’s salad rolls are, by far, the largest.  One plate, which contains two rolls sliced in half — making it a perfect appetizer plate for two to four people — is a meal in itself.  The peanut sauce it’s served with enhances the rolls’ light, textural taste.

Sungari’s Cold Noodles with Sesame Sauce – A true appetizer in its strictest term, this small bowl of chilled, cooked rice noodles, lightly tossed with the restaurant’s secret sesame sauce, and topped with a medley of crisp, julienned vegetables, aptly begins an epicurean fare.  Incidentally, Sungari also has its own version of a lettuce wrap, but I prefer PF Chang’s mainly because theirs look healthier.

Thanh Thao’s Fried Tofu – One would’ve ventured to surmise that the Japanese or Chinese would make the best fried tofu dish, but an unassuming Viet/Thai restaurant along upper Hawthorne, in my opinion, takes the top prize.  Served with a light fish sauce in which to dip the adequately soft yet crispy wedges, this Fried Tofu offering is delectable with a capital D.

Koji Osakaya’s Tori Kara-age – There’s nothing more 1980’s American than McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets.  In the same vein, there’s nothing more Japanese than the delicious tori kara-age from the geniuses at Koji Osakaya.  These deep-fried, seasoned chicken bites satiate your poultry cravings, and, despite their being deep-fried, are actually quite light on the palate and the arteries.  Again, moderation is key, but no one would blame you if you scarfed down an entire plate by your lonesome.

I’ve only scratched the surface of Portland’s Asian eateries, and I know that there are many diamonds in the rough waiting to be discovered.  I’ll write a follow-up to this appetizers list when I’ve gotten more material about which to report, but my next entry would focus on entrees.  What better to follow appetizers with!

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Bullet Thoughts // 10.04.08

  • I’ve been taking the bus on Saturdays and Sundays for the last couple of months now and it’s been a satisfactory experience overall.  Oh, sure, there’s the usual downsides — strange people, strange smells, and the waiting, waiting, waiting — but the biggest plusses have been the economic and environmental impacts.  On the economic, I’m filling my gas tank once every two weeks rather than weekly these days.  When I used to drive everywhere on the weekends, all the short trips do such a number on my gas tank.  (I don’t even want to think about the wear-and-tear on Mitsu (that’s my car).  Also, as a work benefit, I was able to purchase a year-round “Superpass” on TriMet for a mere $35.00 that allows me to go virtually anywhere in Portland that utilizes the city’s public transportation system (which is basically “everywhere in Portland”).  In contrast, a monthly pass would generally cost $86.00 per month.  Ordinarily, outside of work, this is definitely a bargain, especially if one uses PT very regularly.  For weekend PT users like myself, the $35 year-round “Superpass” is not only a bargain, it’s a fuckin’ steal.  Anyway, the environmental impact is that I am one less car on the road on the weekends.
  • So, this supposedly very rainy Saturday was anything but.  As soon as the rain stopped this morning, I went for a run, and boy was it perfect!  It was a bit cloudy and cool — perfect conditions for a long run, in my book.  Then, I took the bus downtown and just hung out and took in the sights.  Oh, it rained now and again, but that was thankfully while I was in the confines of a coffee shop or bar the library.  Tomorrow looks to be about the same in terms of the weather.  I should be able to go on another run, and am certainly looking forward to it.
  • While showering this morning, I noticed the inscription on the shower head.  It stated 2.5 gal p m, and I was mortified.  It meant that for every 8-minute shower I take (yes, I timed myself…), I actually use 20 gallons of water.  That’s 7,300 gallons of drinking water per year.  Or properly hydrating over 14,000 people per day.  Oh, sure, hygiene is important, but that number is still quite staggering.  The traditional Japanese bathtub — called the ofuro — typically uses anywhere between 50 to 100 gallons of water per bath, depending on size.  This means that each Japanese uses 18,250 to 36,500 gallons of drinking water annually.  That’s 4,651,322,531,000 gallons of drinking water expended for Japanese hygiene.  That’s over four quadrillion gallons of drinking water.  I don’t mean to pick on the Japanese; I’m just using them as an example for my awesome math skills.  But is our hygiene really worth that much?
  • Guinness is damn good beer.

It’s Hucking Fot!

“Atsui! Atsui!” my imaginary Japanese-speaking dog yelped as we walked down Hawthorne in the sweltering heat.  “Urusai!” I yelled back at him (in my head, of course) and he promptly shut up.

It’s effin hot in the city. There are parts of the world that would kill for weather like this. But, for Portlanders like me who don’t have air conditioning in our homes– because why the hell would we when it’s hot only two months out of the year?– these nice summer days are almost unbearable.  I stay indoors (i.e. in movie theatres, bars, etc.) as much as I can, which is sad because I feel like I waste the beautiful days.

A horrible thought just came to me: With the global warming trends, I wonder if we’ll get more hot weather like this in our temperate city for a lot longer time period.  In which case, I should really think about getting air conditioning.

This heat is making me talk crazy.


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