Photo of Trifecta Tavern courtesy Avila/EPDX
WWeek is the first to file a print review for Ken Forkish's very anticipated Trifecta Tavern, and the verdict is mixed: "Three months in, Trifecta still feels like it's settling into its foundation." Reviewer Martin Cizmar seems to strongly prefer starters and desserts: He was "enthralled" by a few simple starters, including a kale salad, skillet potatoes, and "smoky" Brussels sprouts "which had fire, heat, sugar and bitterness in perfect proportions." Carrot cake provides a "perfect finishing note," chocolate souffle arrives "fluffy on top and gooey in the middle."
But the negatives seem to cluster around larger, savory dishes: Roasted marrow bones are deemed a complete failure, served "far too rare" with a bitter topping that "concoction outmuscled everything pleasant on the plate." A successful game hen is presented in contrast to a previous, less tasty menu version; while another recommended plate, the double cheeseburger, is praised in passing as containing "pimento cheese and a bun baked just a few hours before service." Ultimately, Forkish himself provides the metaphor for his restaurant: As he stands at the pass, Cizmar writes, "he appears almost-but-not-quite comfortable. One senses he's not alone." [WW]
With his tenure winding down, the Mercury's Chris Onstad get healthy with a visit to the Sudra, the all-vegan micro-restaurant inside the Ocean complex. Onstad describes the vegan take on Indian fare as "very much earnest, young, bulk cooking," though he notes that isn't necessarily a bad thing, describing the spot as "respectable," "healthful," and a "serviceable detour from the burgers and pizza that dangle from the fingers of every other shop owner in town." Pro tips: Portions are massive and kale "flavorfully dressed," and you should probably go straight for the poori plate and its korma (described as "maybe the best single item in the restaurant"), where "flavors benefit greatly from unity."
Other items are alternately described as "mild" or "overreaching" or, in the case of the cocktails, "bonkers" (several "achieve the overall composition of a slap-dash hot-day punch.") Ultimately, the spot boasts enough "professional restaurant flourishes and finishes" in its healthy fare: "I'm happy to be reminded that eating with an eye to the long view needn't be associated with total sacrifice." [Mercury]
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