The Suburb’s Best: Du Kuh Bee Korean Noodles

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12590 SW 1st St & Watson, Beaverton • 503.643.5388

Hours: Mon-Thurs 4pm-1am, Fri-Sat 4pm-2am

One of the biggest downsides when I quit my job as an accountant for McCormick & Schmick’s Restaurants a few years back to take a job at a tech company in Hillsboro was that I would have to leave the amazing food scene downtown. We had so many incredible lunch options – from all of the food carts (my favorites being Nong’s Kao Man Ghai and Addy’s Sandwich Bar) to the more leisurely sit down lunches at Andina, Paragon and the Heathman. There was never had a bad lunch.

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Working in the Hillsboro area is almost a complete opposite experience, especially now that I’m at Intel in the small town of Aloha. Set off the glorious TV Highway, you can find plenty of fast food, lots of greasy chain restaurants, and some sketchy-looking Chinese food. Not exactly my idea of a good time.

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So if I ever hear someone mention a quality restaurant in Hillsboro or Beaverton, my ears perk up. That was what happened a few months back when I heard about Du Kuh Bee, a Korean restaurant in old town Beaverton that was touted as having some of the best noodles. Sadly, like most good places around the westside suburbs, they are not open for lunch but I realized it would be a perfect place to meet a friend for dinner on my way home. Continue reading »


Trifecta Tavern: A Carboholic’s Dream

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726 SE 6th Ave & Alder St • Trifectapdx.com • 503.841.6675

Hours: Daily 4 – 10pm (as of Jan 2014, expected to be open for breakfast/lunch once 6th Ave construction ceases)

Oh man, it has been a busy few weeks for me. That whole “year-end as an accountant” business has kept me running around like a maniac a little bit (ok, by running around, I mean staring at a computer screen for many, many hours in my grey cubicle). But fortunately I’m pretty much done now. And that means, it is vacation time!

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I’m off to Park City for an awesome girls weekend. Lots of skiing in Utah powder, celebrity stalking at Sundance Film Festival, and general relaxing are all on the agenda for the next few days. I am counting down already – just a few more hours till our plane takes off!

Despite all the craziness the last few weeks, I was able to squeeze in a dinner outing with two blogger friends, Rachel of Love, Rachel and Jane of In the Pink and Green. We decided to try out the new Trifecta Tavern, owned by Ken Forkish of the Ken’s Artisan Bakery amazing-ness.

I love Ken’s Artisan baguettes and pastries, so I had no doubt that I would like Trifecta. And sure enough, they didn’t disappoint. Especially because every course was served with bread. That is a perfect way to win your way to my heart. Carb overload? Perhaps. Totally worth it? Without a doubt.

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Trifecta is situated on a somewhat sketchy looking street, just off the Morrison Bridge. Admittedly, it isn’t the most trendy neighborhood or beautiful part of town, but once you step inside Trifecta you are whisked away from all that. The interior is warm, cozy and spacious. Four-person booths line the walls, opposite the large bar, open kitchen, and wood-burning oven.

Service is always a really important aspect to a dining experience in my opinion, and our night at Trifecta was wonderful. Our waitress was friendly and helpful with her recommendations. Food was brought out quickly. I also totally loved that the water was served in a giant growler, which were left on the table (since I drink a ton of water, I always like that).

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Amazing Ken’s baguettes served with their house-churned butter (Diner’s note: bread is complimentary and is served with olive oil, but the butter is an additional $3. It is certainly good, but unless you love butter, maybe just stick with the EVOO.)

So onto the food, the menu was enormous. I am not sure why, but I was expecting the menu to be somewhat limited, with just a handful of appetizers and a selection of pizzas or something like that. However I was beyond wrong. There were so many small plates, entrees and sides that all sounded delicious. It took us a good ten minutes to narrow down our choices.

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Caramelized brussel sprouts with a spicy sausage.

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Warm ricotta cheese and grilled bread.

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Mussels in a white wine sauce.

Seriously! The bread was larger than the sausage. Amazing.

Seriously! The bread was larger than the sausage.

Housemade sausage, caramelized onions and peppers, and a giant loaf of baguette. Genius.

After stuffing ourselves with dinner (ok, ok mostly bread), we made our way to the dessert menu. With Pastry Chef Eve Kutterman, who was formerly at Castagna, at the helm and it being owned by Ken Forkish, I knew the desserts would be great.

Fortunately, Rachel and Jane were also excited about the desserts, so we got three to share.

After a week of an insane chocolate craving, it was finally satiated with their bitter chocolate souffle. It was perfectly baked, light and airy with warm, incredibly rich chocolate inside. Then topped with toffee ice cream. My only problem was that it needed more ice cream.

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Rachel, to my sweet tooth horror, had never had carrot cake. So I sort of insisted that she get that. Instead of the typical cream cheese frosting, it was served with a not-as-sweet sour cream frosting.

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Lastly, we got the baked lemon tart with a financier crust and bitter almond ice cream. The name and description was a little misleading, it was more like an almond cake with lemon slices on top. But nonetheless it was really great. It paired especially well with the souffle since it was buttery, tangy and not too sweet.

For my favorites, of course being a total carboholic, I loved all the bread. But other than that, I’d probably pick the brussel sprouts. And the chocolate souffle, oh man that was good.

To finish off the night, Trifecta even delivers your bill with fresh, sea-salted caramels. Such a delicious way to end the night.

Hopefully the pastry side will open up soon, so you can get pastries, breads and that incredible souffle at all hours of the day.


Nine Incredible Courses from Holdfast Dining

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Brice and I finished out 2013, aka the year of food extravaganzas, with a dinner at Holdfast Dining. And let me just say, that was probably the best way to end a year of good food. Truly, one of the best dinners I’ve ever had. Creative menu, beautiful presentation, fun atmosphere, personable chefs, and of course delicious food.

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If you haven’t heard of Holdfast yet, it is a new pop-up dinner started by Chef Will Preisch, who has an impressive resume including Le Pigeon, Park Kitchen and the Bent Brick. The dinners are held every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at KitchenCru, the culinary incubator in the Pearl District.

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Having the dinners at KitchenCru is an unusual dining experience, but one that is super fun – set inside a small professional kitchen with one chef’s counter for about 12 guests, you can watch other members work on their craft while enjoying your own meal.

The night we were there, we watched Pinkleton’s Curious Caramel Corn popping lots of popcorn in old-fashioned machines, Bowery Bagels prepping for the next day, and Remedy Wine Bar whipping up appetizers for their space across the street.

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And obviously also you get to watch Will and his sous chef who’s also named Will plate the courses with finesse.

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With nine courses, there were plenty of opportunities to impress and the Wills did not disappoint. Yes, you did read that right, there were NINE courses. Sure, they were small but that is pretty incredible.

To make things even better, four of the courses were dessert courses. That clearly was a quick way to win my heart.

Will’s food is clever, modern, and strikingly beautiful. He twists traditional flavors and ingredients to create new textures and flavor profiles. When he describes the dishes, you can tell he has fun when thinking up and mastering these elaborate course dinners, which makes the whole meal that much more approachable.

First course: Scallops, buttermilk, apples, leeks, pine, green coriander

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Second course: Crab, sunchokes, egg, brown butter broth

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Third course: Foie gras, maple, sherry, onions, star anise

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This was Brice’s favorite by far. I thought it was good, but a bit too rich for more than a bite or two.

Boston bown bread

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This unique bread was a surprise addition to the 3rd course, and possibly my favorite thing all night. It was moist, flavorful and rich from the molasses and rye flour. Interestingly, the bread doesn’t have yeast and it isn’t baked, but rather it is steamed. Will adapted his recipe from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. (I found a similar recipe from Simply Recipes that I would love to try sometime.)

Fourth course: Sweetbreads, cauliflower, black trumpets

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I was surprised how much I loved this dish. I hadn’t ever really had sweetbreads that I have liked, but these were really flavorful, had a beautiful texture and the black trumpet mushrooms on the side were fantastic.

Fifth course: Pork, celery root, brussels, red eye gravy

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Sixth course: Cornbread madeleine, lardo, parmesan, honeycomb

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Seventh course: Frozen yogurt, honey

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This was a honey three ways – frozen, powdered and raw. The variations of flavors, textures and temperature was fun and unlike anything I have had before.

Eighth course: Buttermilk panna cotta with winter citrus

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This was the other contender for best dish of the night. As Will’s take on an Orange Creamsicle, it was really smooth and creamy panna cotta, served with citrus in different forms: marmalade, curd, and finger limes which have a fun Pop Rocks-like quality to them. (If you haven’t tried finger limes yet, check them out!)

Ninth course: Candies

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Two perfect little bites to finish off our meal – a soft caramel with sea salt and a shortbread cookie.

So now that you’ve read all about my meal at Holdfast, you hopefully are dying to go as soon as possible. In order to do that, check out their website for availability. Though be forewarned that the secret about Holdfast is out, so dinners sell out quickly. So an even better idea: sign up for their email newsletter which will notify you when the next batch of dates open up. Be sure to read your email and buy your tickets promptly!

But trust me, even if you can’t get in for a few weeks (or months), it is 100% worth the wait.

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