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May 22, 2014 05:21 PM

Need help with Asian/Indian recs - limited mobility

We will be in Portland on a Thurs - Friday in July. We really wanted to try Pok Pok, Bollywood Theatre, Biwa or Bamboo sushi, but my spouse has very limited mobility, none of these places take reservations and we're afraid of long lines - standing around is not an option. Do these places have a bar area where we're likely to find a seat or other spots to sit and wait? Or do you have any alternatives that are truly special yet might not be too busy or would take reservations? We are staying downtown and will have a car, but don't want to drive too far afield. Thanks!

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  1. Well, Biwa is down a flight of stairs, so if that is an issue, take it off the list. If not, the food is great and so is the sake list, go very early, or call ahead and see if they can accommodate your needs.

    Bollywood Theater's SE Division location is very large and they do have bar. There is sometimes a line at the register (you order at the register, they give you a number and you go find a table) but your spouse could find a table first while you stand in line and order, or sit at the bar while you order. The menu is as it appears online, so you can decide your order before you go.

    Pok Pok and/or Bamboo Sushi (and really, I'd go to Boxer Sushi for the omakase or sit at the counter at Hokusei over Bamboo Sushi anyday), well, I would call them and tell them your situation. Not taking reservations is not the same as accommodating someone with a disability. You might find that they would be happy to help out. They both have bars, but they are small and often crowded (especially if there are no tables available).

    Another tip that might help - if you don't mind eating before 6pm (or getting there before 6pm and having a slow drink as the room fills up ;o), most places aren't that busy at 5/5:30 and you can usually walk right in and get a table.

    I would call and see if Boxer Sushi would give you a reservation (though they have a nice small seating area where you can wait and they will serve you beer or sake) before I'd go to Bamboo. It's a great deal for $45, and you can just sit back and enjoy some beautiful fresh fish.

    I'm not a huge Pok Pok fan (other than the wings, which are, admittedly, great) but I really love Chiang Mai, a small place on SE Hawthorne. They might entertain a reservation, I am not sure. I am sure, though, that the Khao Tod Naem Kook has crack or something like that in it...because it is crave-worthy. Everything on the specials menu is great, and they have the best khao soi in town, IMO.

    Lots of folks love PaaDee and the new sister tasting menu/multicourse next door, Lang Baan. I would definitely recommend that you look into those options.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JillO

      I want to point out that Biwa has back entrance without stairs that folks with limited mobility can use.

    2. Pok Pok Noi might be a better option than the original. I drive past it frequently around 5 when they open, and seldom is there a line of any kind. There are tables outside you can wait at before they open, and parking will be much better since it is a quieter neighborhood.

      1 Reply
      1. re: metalocity

        Thanks to both of you - This is exactly the kind of information and advice we need. Not sure exactly what we'll do yet but we have a much better idea of what our options are!

      2. East India Company is incredibly good and waiting would not be an issue. There are 3 or 4 stairs at the entry. Very authentic Indian food.