This afternoon, Portland tastemaker Karen Brooks announced that Nodoguro is Portland Monthly's 2015 Restaurant of the Year. Brooks began, "Nodoguro has more eccentric characters than a Quentin Tarantino film," referring to the owners and staff, and she also remarked on the rotating themes, "which provide both inspiration and framework." Concerning chef Ryan Roadhouse's cuisine, she wrote:
July's detour into Wonderland brought waves of playing cards across the chef's counter and a seriously down-the-rabbit-hole menu. Melons danced in smoky tea and frozen maple milk, a turnkey tin of tuna was flavored with Alice's "pig and pepper," fir trees were spun as cotton candy. [...] Bubbling beneath each meal is the hidden complexity (and ego-free calm) of Roadhouse's cuisine. He's well armed with modernist tricks but never lets on—even on the plate.
In the final paragraph, Brooks highlighted the restaurant's addition of two weekly "'Hardcore Omakase'" sushi nights," and she concludes the piece with a quote from "Mike the Fireman," one of the regulars at Nodoguro: I think I just found my last meal; you know, the thing you eat before you're put to sleep. This is it.
Did Portland Monthly get it right? Tell us what you think in the comments.
During summer 2014, Nodoguro opened in the space formerly EVOE inside of Pastaworks on SE Hawthorne.