Portland will soon order Hawaiian-Japanese ramen alongside whiskey highballs in Southeast Portland. Popular ramen cart Hapa PDX is opening its very first permanent restaurant this August, complete with an extensive whiskey menu, sake, and bowls of its topping-stocked G Special or Makana ramen.
Owners Sarah and Michael Littman began serving ramen out of their cart in 2013, combining Japanese and Hawaiian ramen traditions inspired by their years growing up Hawaii. The cart serves a sturdier, chewier ramen noodle (meant to withstand the trip from the cart home) with bowls of tonkotsu, shoyu, miso, and its hearty and silken shaka broth.
The cart quickly developed a following, holding a spot on Eater Portland’s ramen map and becoming a favorite among noodle devotees. Now, the Littmans are moving into the space once home to Shut Up & Eat, 3848 SE Gladstone Street. Set to open August 2, the new digs will include a no-joke whiskey bar, including Japanese whiskys, bourbon, and rye served up and in a number of highballs, given extra oomph with house guava or lychee sodas. The bar will also sling overflowing glasses of Japanese and Oregon sake.
The kitchen won’t just stick to ramen — the restaurant will buff up the menu with poke and a number of “chichai” plates, or small plates meant to pair with whiskey and sake. And Barley Pod frequenters shouldn’t worry — the cart will remain open. Stay tuned for more information about the restaurant’s menu.