Cold, rainy. Perfect night for ramen in Portland’s Boke Bowl.
Staring off with their seasonal bun, squash, is a delightfully savory and sweet combination of several different cabbages and squashes with punpkin wrapped up in a rice bun with a rice vinegar sauce.
But the main event with all its porky goodness is the draw. House-made al dente noodles fill a large bowl of a thin but umami-rich (beef?) broth with pulled pork. Top it off with some braised pork belly and bok choy, and you have a delicious savory soup for a cool night, even if it isn’t a traditional rich fatty ramen.
Only downside? Closes at 9pm so get in early.
Upon recommendation of a local cousin, we tried School Food on a leisurely rainy afternoon. The nearest location of this modern Korean fusion restaurant was just steps from our Hong Kong hotel.
The menu was overwhelming. Not a single dish was familiar, and those could identify had a distinct twist. Eager to see how hey would interpret LA’s street truck mashups, I selected the Bulgolgi Quesadilla. It was decidedly different and I’m not sure if I liked it. Ground bulgogi with a little bit of jack cheese in a crispy tortilla and drizzled with a sweet teriyaki sauce. It needed something more, something spicy or tangy like sirracha or kimchi.
Always a sucker for soup, my wife went for the fried chicken ramen. The sauce was very thick, really a Japanese curry, but spicier. The fried chicken was tender, but didn’t add much to the dish.
To drink on such a hot day, we had a pitcher of Mango Athie (portmanteau of icee?), an iced mango juice and soda mixture that was very refreshing.
Was it great? No, but definitely a place we would try again to explore more of the bizarre menu! If only schools actually served food like this!
…. Update…. There’s a location on Western and Wishire in LA. We must visit after returning home.