NE Portland's "micro-restaurant" development the Ocean has secured another big-name tenant, in the form of longtime Portland chefs and culinary instructors Caprial and John Pence. The duo has signed a lease to open a 600-square-foot fried chicken restaurant, named Basa Basa, in the micro-restaurant space.
According to John Pence, the concept is more than two years in the making. "We've been working on a single-subject idea and have gone through different things," he says, ultimately deciding on an Asian-inspired chicken wing spot named for a mythological Japanese fire-breathing chicken monster. (Pence notes that "when the fire-breathing chicken monster swoops down for its prey, its wings make the sound 'basa basa.'") The spot's limited menu will feature fried wings with the Pence's "special coating," tossed in one of three sauce options and served with sides like rice and macaroni salad. "Caprial and I have had a lot of Asian influence in the way we cook," Pence says. "We're just trying to stay with [the concept that] it's fried chicken and it's yummy. It's geared for everybody; everybody loves chicken." Asked what distinguishes their wings from other famous Asian wings in town, Pence says, "It's all about the crunch."
Basa Basa, like the Ocean's other previously announced tenants (which include Adam Berger's 24th & Meatballs); spot will cater mostly to take-out orders, though limited indoor seating — with stand-up bar counters — and outdoor patio seating will be available. According to Pence, all tenants are hoping for a mid-July or August opening, with plans to be open from 11am-11pm daily. More information as it becomes available.
· All Previous the Ocean Coverage [Eater PDX]
· All Previous Caprial + John Coverage [Eater PDX]