Sunshine Noodles — Diane Lam’s Northwest Portland restaurant and bar — will close on December 18, according to a Friday Instagram post; chef Diane Lam is moving to San Francisco. Sunshine Noodles is one of the few Portland restaurants serving Cambodian food, including dishes like lort cha and kuyteav, often called Phnom Penh noodles.
“This was a tough decision to make, as I have learned from and grown so much from this experience,” the closing announcement post reads. “When I started Sunshine Noodles, I was passionate about bringing Cambodian cuisine to the Portland community. After over a year, I feel that we earned a place in your heart.”
Sunshine Noodles started in 2019 as a pop-up, serving dishes like turmeric pancakes and Phnom Penh noodles with Mian’s David Sigal. At the time, Lam was working as a chef de cuisine at Revelry, the Korean American restaurant from lauded Seattle restaurateurs Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi. After the restaurant closed, Lam returned to her pop-up, moving into the kitchen at Psychic Bar in North Portland. The “residency” focused on pandemic-era takeout, eventually serving bowls of beef noodle stew and catfish curry on the bar’s patio. The pop-up was resoundingly a hit, garnering a following for Lam’s lime-pepper wings and rotating roster of soups. In December of 2021, Sunshine Noodles opened as a sleek Slabtown noodle bar, bringing back some of the pop-up’s hits as well as spring rolls, sundaes, and fun cocktails.
Lam grew up in California, and has lived and cooked in San Francisco in the past — she spent time in the kitchen at the perpetually buzzy, Michelin-starred State Bird Provisions. It’s unclear where she will be cooking when she moves to the Bay Area in the near future.
Sunshine Noodles will end its regular service on December 14, instead offering a tasting menu on December 16, 17, and 18. The $75 dinner includes greatest hits from past menus and pop-ups, like the lime pepper wings and snow salad, as well as dishes like cod souflee in banana leaf and bavette steaks with nuoc cham.
Sunshine Noodles is located at 2175 NW Raleigh St., Suite 105. Read the full closure announcement below:
Updated Tuesday, December 13 at 1:28 p.m.: This story was updated to include details on the tasting menu service.