Crunchy-fried mandu, beefy ramyun, and sticky Korean fried chicken have arrived at NE Sandy’s favorite food hall. Sari, a mini-restaurant from the man behind Akasaru, serves Korean classics in the Zipper space once home to the recently closed Wares.
Co-owner Mike Kim opened the restaurant with Tommy Shin, who owns several restaurants throughout the Portland area. The two wanted to offer a number of Korean staples including bibimbap, Korean dumplings called mandu, and the Korean-style ramen known as ramyun.
Ramyun often refers to packaged instant ramen like Shin or Buldak Bokkeum Myeon, but Kim’s ramyun stand uses on Korean ingredients and broths for its Korean noodle soups. For instance, the restaurant’s “dwen-jang” noodle soup uses the Korean fermented soybean paste doenjang, which goes in a mushroom-based broth with seaweed, tofu, and a soft-boiled egg. The restaurant also makes a ramyun with a beef and chicken broth, which arrives topped with brisket. Both soups can be served spicy or mild.
Beyond the noodle soups, the restaurant offers two styles of bibimbap, with an option of tofu or bulgogi ribeye, as well as Korean fried chicken: Using a South Korean recipe, Kim quickly fries the chicken and then tosses it in a choice of gochujang chili glaze or garlic soy sauce. As for the beverages, Sari has taps dedicated to Portland’s Stormbreaker and the Korean lager Cass, though the restaurant would like to start offering soju-bombs if possible. Sari is open at 2713 NE Sandy Boulevard.