One of Portland’s best vegan restaurants is opening a new location on North Mississippi. The Sudra, a celebrated vegan Indian restaurant with a New Mexican twist, will serve brunch, desserts, and thali plates later this year.
One of Eater Portland’s essential Portland restaurants, The Sudra has found a new location in the brand-new Revere building on the corner of Fremont and Mississippi. The new restaurant will expand on the restaurant’s current menu of kati rolls, lentil kofta bowls, and chicken-less tikka masala, eventually serving expansive meat-free brunches and happy hour snacks inspired by Indian street food.
Owner Sanjay Chandrasekaran, who also owns Rabbits Cafe, recently closed his North Portland Sudra location in St. Johns. “I had decided that we had given it three years in St. Johns, and our sales haven’t really gotten much better since we opened,” Chandrasekaran says. “I had already decided to close St. Johns, but I decided I wanted to move it. We wanted to stay in North Portland but move it closer in.” He hopes to open the restaurant within two to three months, getting started in late summer or early fall.
The Sudra combines flavors of India with New Mexican ingredients, from pickled Anaheim chiles on poori plates to green-chile-topped salads. Thali plates come with deeply flavorful black-eyed pea korma and red lentil tamarind stew, as well as things like simply dressed kale in tahini or roasted beets. The restaurant was also an early adopter of creative non-alcoholic drinks, combining chai and ginger juice in the Nanda Devi and lining a cucumber-and-lemon house soda with a chile-salt rim.
Chandrasekaran, an Indian-American chef who grew up in New Mexico, opened the first Sudra almost six years ago after grappling with the decision. “I was nervous about how it would be received,” he says. “When I first opened the restaurant, it almost felt dishonest to do traditional Indian food. I grew up cooking with my mom, but she learned to cook after she left India. So even the way she cooks is... Indian, but we grew up in New Mexico, so there was always green chiles in our food. Which is awesome.” The menu has shifted into more classic Indian fare, while still retaining a bit of its quirkiness. “Over time, I felt like I was to starting to connect with my Indian culture through cooking,” he says. “This isn’t dishonest, this is actually a way for me to connect with being Indian.”
• The Sudra [Official]
• The Revere [Official]
• Previous Sudra coverage [EPDX]
• Vegan Indian Mainstay The Sudra Has Said Goodbye to St. Johns [EPDX]