Oregon is home to a lot of restaurants and bars, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Portlanders aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's many food players to share their recommendations for a weekly feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
For bartender Brandon Lockman, there is one ingredient that has to be in every cocktail: craft. With that focus, he stocks his bar at Red Star Tavern with a passion for fresh ingredients, premium spirits, and creative spins on time-tested classics to create his menu. It all comes naturally to Lockman, who was born into the restaurant business: As a child, he and his brother would pitch in to help at the family's restaurant on the Oregon coast. Fast-forward to 2004, and he's landed behind the bar at Red Star Tavern; but when he's not working, this bartender might be holed up at his favorite "Little Korea" oasis in Beaverton: Spring Restaurant.
I was scrambling around trying to find a good Korean grocery store with kimchee and beef for a barbecue. I found G-Mart in an online search and noticed it had a restaurant upstairs. I went back a week or so later to Spring Restaurant and we were the only non-Koreans in there, so I knew we were in the right place. The space is incredibly authentic, where the menu is a wall of photos and you order by number. I like the bulgogi (pork, chicken, or beef), kimchee, kimchee fried rice, mandu, and I usually get something I've never had before. Every time I go, it's always an adventurous meal and incredibly satisfying.
· All Previous Dining Confidentials [Eater PDX]
Photo of Spring courtesy Momo B. via Yelp