Nakwon's silken tofu stew and sides in Beaverton, Ore.
Rich as Portland’s restaurant scene may be, those who crave Korean food might do better to look elsewhere. Beaverton, a fast-growing Willamette Valley suburb just west of Portland, is home to many excellent, affordable Korean eateries where entrées generally come with an assortment of side dishes such as seaweed, cucumber, and kimchi (spiced, fermented cabbage). Here are three of the best spots.
Up a narrow staircase from a ground-ﬂoor grocery store, Spring warms winter patrons with gam ja tang, beef broth with thick chunks of carrot and potato. When summer weather returns, cool buckwheat noodle dishes with veggies and egg appear on the menu. 3975 SW 114th Ave., (503) 641-3670.
A highlight at the spare and unassuming Nakwon is soondubu chigae, a ruddy, chile-suffused stew of soft tofu, meat, seafood, and vegetables; an egg cooks on top. Watch out, it’s spicy. 4600 SW Watson Ave., (503) 646-9382.
Don’t let the strip mall location bias you—the dishes at Hae Rim stand out, especially the spicy cod and the scallion-ﬂecked seafood pancake. The latter is as crispy as hash browns on the outside and as creamy as custard within. Fans of red meat should order the kalbi: marinated, grilled short ribs. 11729 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy., (503) 671-9725.
Photography by Robbie McClaran
This article was first published in January 2011. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.