Eat Globally in the Pearl

Expand your culinary horizons with a memorable meal at these outstanding Asian restaurants.

It’s no secret that Portland excels when it comes to cuisine of the Pacific Rim. Right in the heart of the Pearl, Sinju Sushi Bar & Grill (1022 NW Johnson St, 503-223-6535, stands out for both its bright, flavorful food and its art-filled dining spaces, which include elegant tatami rooms. We’re fond of the ahi tower with a creamy wasabi sauce and the crispy chicken katsu, but you’ll also find an extensive selection of creative sushi rolls, including the playfully named Quack You, with duck confit, confit onions, duck jus, and smoked hazelnuts.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year in the Pearl District, the popular—and sustainability-minded—Chinese restaurant Sungari Pearl (1105 NW Lovejoy St, 971-222-7327,, known as Seres prior to a recent rebranding, is perfect for anything from a light lunch or happy hour bite to a leisurely, romantic dinner. Don’t miss the lobster-and-chicken shumai, and note the considerable selection of perfectly seasoned meat dishes, including Hunan pork in black bean sauce.

Pho Van Fresh (1012 NW Glisan St, 503-248-2172, has earned a deservedly stellar reputation for fragrant bowls of pho, grilled pork sausage rolls, and fresh, colorful cocktails. Along with the more recently opened Bambuza Vietnamese Kitchen & Bar (100 NW 10th Ave, 503-477-6641,, with its festive bar and tasty vermicelli noodle bowls and bânh mì sandwiches, locals have some terrific Vietnamese food to choose from in the Pearl.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg, as you’ll find plenty of other great Asian eats nearby, from a local outpost of famed Pok Pok to Bruce Carey’s long-running pan-Asian bistro, Saucebox.  – Andrew Collins | Photos by Michelle Mitchell