In a recent interview with Food and Wine Magazine, Questlove described Portland as "my number-one favorite city in the world." We love you too Questlove! Your music rocks, your afro comb is cool, and you love Portland's food scene just as much as we do.
Next, the drummer for the Roots, the Grammy Award-winning band and house group for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, applauds Nike ("I'm a sneakerhead") and our record stores ("the best record stores ever"), then sets his sights on just what he thinks makes Portland unique: food trucks. Or rather, that culinary concepts are able to come to life so quickly in Portland—often in the form of food trucks.
To illustrate the point, Questlove drops this nugget of pure artistic insight into Ryan Roadhouse's Nodoguro, the wildly creative Japanese restaurant known for its "hardcore" sushi omakase, which runs 20+ courses:
"His concept is based on innovation and creativity and working within limitations. He cooks dishes that are based on the foods in other artists' fictional worlds, like the films of Studio Ghibli—which people call the Disney of Japan—or the novels of Haruki Murakami. Ryan and I connected on this. For the Murakami menu, he took a reference to pancakes with Coca-Cola on top and turned it into a dish of slightly carbonated buttermilk ice cream with a syrup that tasted like Coke, and poached peaches—canned peaches allegedly being Murakami's favorite food."
Along with other self-esteem-boosting compliments for Portland, the interview reveals a similarity Questlove has noticed between the creative processes of Roadhouse and moody film director David Lynch. Apparently, Lynch based a Twin Peaks scene in which coffee is brewed with a fish on a real-life event, and Questlove said, "The way David took something that actually happened and turned it to his creative advantage, that's the same way Ryan turned the Twin Peaks food into unforgettable dishes."
Questlove's new book on food, Somethingtofoodabout, was released earlier this month. In it, he features Nodoguro, as well as other of his favorite restaurants from around the world.