Saturday, January 15, 2011

Portland Part 3: Japanese Garden & Toro Bravo

One of Diana and my favorite parts of the Portland trip had to be the ***GORGEOUS*** Japanese garden, reknowned as one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan.

The well manicured garden featured niches of moss, bamboo walls, small waterfalls, shade and sun.  It was nice to stroll around the 5.5 acres to walk off our meals while basking in all of the beauty.  

For anyone considering visiting Portland, the Japanese Garden is an absolute must.  The Rose Garden across the way is also a neat scene too.

For dinner, we enjoyed Spanish-style tapas at Toro Bravo.  We shared the following four plates:

Salt cod fritters with aioli.

These fritters are divine!  Nice, light crisp shell with a supersoft center.

Spanish anchovies fried with strips of fennel and lemon.  The anchovies were so fresh and not the least bit fishy.  I could not believe we were eating pieces of fried lemon - they were sliced so thinly and crisp!  The red sauce was a nice accent to the dish.
Griddled flatbread with truffle cheese and arugula.

This was good, oh-so-truffley, but if I had to pick again, I'd probably not order this for probably the wrong reason. The bread was a bit thick and filling - I'd rather save the stomach space and order two other dishes!  Like the next one below...
Squid ink pasta with hazelnuts, anchovy syrup, roasted red peppers and a raw egg.  This has to be my most favorite non-doughnut thing we ate during the whole trip.  That anchovy syrup is what I want to drink everyday !  Diana and I also liked popping the yolk and smothering its creaminess over the pitch black pasta.
For dessert, Diana and I could not pass on the fresh made churros and chocolate.

The presentation was on point, but the execution was a bit over-done.  The churros were super hard, unadorned with any cinnamon and sugar.  The melted chocolate was definitely the saving grace here.

Toro Bravo is definitely a must for any Portland visitor - the menu is expansive and great to share among great company!  Try to come at an off-peak period; the wait can be a bit long, although totally worth it.

611 Southwest Kingston Avenue, Portland, OR 97205
(503) 223-1321

120 NE Russell St # A, Portland, OR 97212-3791
(503) 281-4464

1 comment:

  1. have to admit that i was scared to try the squid ink pasta, but man was it the best decision ever ! :)