Photo of Boxer Ramen courtesy Avila/EPDX
WWeek visits Micah Camden's noodle joint Boxer Ramen and reports that it "delivers quick, hard jabs," with several dishes deemed total TKOs. Of the half-dozen dishes on the Boxer menu, Martin Cizmar decides the sesame greens (Swiss chard "sliced into pencil-width ribbons and sopped in nutty, rich sesame oil and rice-wine vinegar") are his favorite, while the vegetarian ramen is considered tops of the noodle soups. Pork belly in the Spicy Miso ramen "can be either far too fatty to blithely chomp or burnt down to salty nubs of unadulterated joy."
There are a few quirks: Boxer is cash only, with no to-go containers, and "weekend lines have been a hindrance." But ultimately, among Camden's string of successes — Little Big Burger and Blue Star among them — "Boxer Ramen is probably his greatest creation yet." [WW]
Meanwhile, the Portland Tribune seeks out two of Portland's more gimmicky bars: The Modern Man's train-themed speakeasy, which in true speakeasy style, "had no sign in front," and SE Morrison's light-therapy haunt Lightbar. The bad news first: Reviewer Anne Marie DiStefano is struck by the "crimson glow" of Lightbar's room, but doesn't stick around long enough to see the color change "because our cocktails were so bad that we couldn't finish them." A horseradish vodka drink lacked kick; a smokey Manhattan "recalled the experience of pouring water on a campfire and having the damp smoke billow in your face."
The Modern Man, however, provides a palate cleanser where the whiskey sour provides a "really first-class take on a classic cocktail." Much is made of the space — which evokes "the waiting room of a Victorian train station" — but ultimately, the consistent cocktails best show off the spot's attention to detail. [Tribune]
· All Previous Weeks in Review [Eater PDX]