Co-Owner Gabe outside Noraneko
I'm spoiled. We have such good food here in the Portland area. And thanks to Gabe Rosen and Kina Voelz, we have two more fun and distinct places to eat. The duo, their chef and the hard working team recently opened Noraneko, a small ramen shop in the Central Eastside Industrial District (within walking distance of OMSI). Delicious foods and a menu that is "just right" - not too big and not too small. The best part? At least for me - the tea selection!
The pleasures of friends and well-brewed tea
Disclosure: I happen to be friends with the woman who designed the tea service, and she did a fabulous job! She started by curating a small but wide-ranging selection of teas. See the menu here (scroll down). Then she trained staff on how to brew the teas properly. Honestly, I don't expect good tea when I go out and it's such a fine thing to find it!
Noraneko is under the Hawthorne Bridge at 1430 SE Water Avenue. Open daily 11 - 2; Happy hour 4 - 6.
Tea served in a gaiwan
And just last week, the same enterprising couple opened Kotori. It's a yakitori, a Japanese style of food specializing in grilled chicken and seasonal veggies. My favorite thing about this place, and there are many, is that it's taken a gravel, underused corner and turned it into something fun. Show up with a couple of friends and be adventurous! On the corner (SE 9th and Pine) near the parent restaurant Biwa. Open through late September on Thursdays - Sundays, 4 pm until sunset.
Kotori, a place for Japanese yakitori