Hollywood district recommendations?
I've just moved to northeast Portland, the Hollywood district specifically. I'll certainly explore the city's other neighborhoods, but does anyone have any recommended places to eat and/or drink right here in Hollywood? I like all types of food, especially authentic Mexican, Thai and Vietnamese. I also have a soft spot for Hawaiian food because I lived there as a kid.
As someone who loves a great burger, I heartily recommend Killer Burger. My son calls this place "the Voodoo Donuts of burgers", and he's pretty much spot-on.
For the love of your personal diety, DO have the peanutbutter pickle bacon cheeseburger. Do NOT let the name deter you. Think Thai peanut sauce, over beef... now put in in a bun instead of on rice... still with me, right? Yeah. It's like that...
If you want to talk strictly Hollywood (37th to 47th Ave, north of I-84, south of Thompson):
- Shandong is probably the best overall restaurant. It doesn't win points with the authenticity police but is a very good neighborhood Chinese takeout (or sit-down) joint. Recently added pork soup dumplings to the menu that were quite tasty, and their handmade noodles are excellent.
- Moon and Sixpence is a great English pub, and IMHO has far better fish and chips than the oft-mentioned "best F&C in town" Horse Brass.
- At the very edge of Hollywood is Killer Burger, which is renowned for their peanut butter and bacon burger.
- Hama Sushi.
- Fleur de Lis Bakery.
I would not recommend:
- Columbia River Brewing was easily the worst place I've been in Portland in a long time (bad food and worse beer) when I went there in their first few months in business, but some recent chatter on pf.org was far more positive. Go figure.
- Wild Tiger Thai, if it's actually still in business. (I heard rumors of an Indian place going in around 42nd and Sandy, and Wild Tiger's location is the only one that would seem to fit.)
I will also mention:
- Tony Starlight's won some sort of "Best Burger" thing a couple years ago (limited to businesses in the Hollywood/Beaumont/Alameda neighborhood), but I've never been. I will say that it has lasted longer than almost every business to occupy this location in 15 years.
- Too bad Poor Richard's just closed, because it was like eating in a time/space warp that transported you to the Midwest circa 1965.
- My Canh is decent Vietnamese but it's been at least a decade since I've eaten there. There are certainly better options not far from Hollywood.
- Chameleon has been open for-e-ver, but I've only been once. It was fine but just didn't click with me. FWIW, they do get 4.5 stars on Yelp across 30 reviews. Perhaps you could take one for the team and report back!
- Pal's Shanty apparently does good things with fried seafood, but again I've never been. It's been on the list for a while but I guess the urge for fried seafood doesn't strike me that often.
Those are great tips, Jeff, thanks. I just picked up Willamette Week's restaurant guide, which also gives Shandong a good review. I had a nice bowl of soup at My Canh the other day and relatives speak well of Moon and Sixpence and Chameleon -- though they say Chameleon is a tad expensive for what it is. Give me a few months to try the options and I'll get back to you!
1801 NE 39th Ave, Portland, OR 97212
You're welcome. BTW, just outside Hollywood is Gustav's/The Rheinlander, the former of which has been a favorite of ours for years. (The latter is also good but just induces too much of a food coma.) Gustav's does seem to go through quality cycles though, so if you try it and don't have a good experience, try it again 6 months later. They've recently upped their game on the German beer service, perhaps because Prost (on N Mississippi) showed them how it's done, or perhaps a local distributor is doing a better job with pushing authentic glassware and service techniques.
My time in Hollywood is over -- I've moved to Forest Heights of all places. But my impressions of my 3 and a half months there is that, yes, Shandong is the best overall restaurant. Killer Burger is very good -- I'm just not that into burgers. I like Hama a lot, My Canh is just OK. Du's Teriyaki (maybe we're leaving Hollywood here) is very good, as is Pho An for pho. I still want to try Pal's Shanty for fried seafood and Moon and Sixpence for fish and chips -- my small circle of Portland friends and relatives are not into such things, so I will have to try them another time. As with Gustav's!
Among the things I will miss about Hollywood is the proximity of Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. On Friday evenings in November and December, Whole Foods had a happy hour with $3 white wine and $1 oysters! Heaven ...
Noho's Hawaiian Cafe recently opened on NE 46th-ish and Fremont. I haven't been yet but I have heard great things, especially about their macaroni salad.
Fancy mexican definitely check out Cha Cha Cha on Fremont as well. For excellent cheap Mexican I would check out El Burrito Loco #3 on NE 82nd (don't ask where #1 and #2 are, I have no idea!).
For Thai food I generally like Sweet Basil Thai on NE 57th and Sandy. There is also a new Thai place just a few doors down from them that I have heard good things about as well.
For Vietnamese you have to go to NE 82nd, anywhere between Hawthorne and Powell...There are several Pho places usually packed with Vietnamese people, go there! Also, if in that area, check out the Fu Bon Market (right off of Division), they have great food and an interesting array of seafood.
Hawaiian place on Sandy, haven't been yet, think it's Ohana.
Great fish place: Cabezon.
Un-recommendation for Viet: Yen Ha. They served me shellfish that was not at all fresh. Never again.
Kesone Thai: Laotian & Thai at NE 25th & Sandy.
Bahn Mi at Binh Minh on 68th & NE Broadway.
Your best bets for Thai & Viet are either out of the 'wood on Sandy in the 60's or 70's, or north of there at Siam Society or Pok Pok Noi.
Late edit: Top-flight bake shop called "Bakeshop" 54th & Sandy soon to open. Owner Kim Boyce won James Beard award for her book. Find her stuff at Ristretto.
2703 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211
Grain & Gristle next to Pok Pok Noi is worth checking out. They do a great $20-two-fer special (even if you go alone, you can get another meal out of it and drink 2 beers there!).
Also, for a seriously downscale but addictive experience: Du's Grill. http://www.dusgrill.com/
Stay away from the noodles, it is all about the grilled meat (I prefer chicken or beef) with the rice and the iceberg salad. They get a good char on the meat and it tastes way better than any other teriyaki joint. It's nothing special, yet it is the best of it's ilk you will find anywhere. And if you love Hawaiian, the rice and sweet sauce will be right up your alley.
3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR
5365 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97213
I second both recs. Grain & Gristle also is doing some pretty delicious brunch on weekends and their mussels are very good as well. Du's Grill is also great for the few things they do extremely well (best in P-town IMO, but like Jill-O said, no noodles). Grilled chicken teriyaki, rice, iceberg salad w/poppy seed dressing...delicious, cheap and big enough for leftovers as well.
5365 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97213