Photos of Lang Baan, Holdfast courtesy Avila/EPDX
The Oregonian's annual restaurant guide Diner 2014 doesn't hit stands until this Friday, but the meatiest part has been revealed online: In lieu of naming an official Restaurant of the Year, the Diner staff has given "Portland's pop-up dining scene" the honor, focusing mainly on Will Preisch and Joel Stocks's Holdfast Dining and Rassamee Ruaysuntia and Earl Ninsom's Lang Baan. The argument: "Portland's pop-ups have turned the city into the Noah's Ark of fascinating, unusual cuisines, many of which are absent from cities twice our size," a fact particularly stark "in a year with no true breakout restaurant."
Also name-checked in the collective ROY win: Limited Company, Ippai, Nodoguru, and the P.R.E.A.M. Pizza Night at Ned Ludd. "In the age of the pop-up," writes critic Michael Russell, "it's easy to wish you were in two places at once." Meanwhile, four brick-and-mortar restaurants round out a Top Five list of Best New Restaurants: Ataula takes the runner-up ROY spot for capturing flavors "that local Spanish food fans despaired of ever finding in Portland." Trifecta Tavern, Davenport, and Maurice land in the #3-5 spots, respectively. The full Diner 2014 will be available on newsstands Friday.
· The Oregonian's 2014 Restaurant of the Year [OregonLive]
· Portland's best new restaurants: Diner 2014 [OregonLive]
· All Previous Oregonian Coverage [Eater PDX]