I was thrilled to be part of Ryan Roadhouse’s first Nodoguro PDX Pop-up on April 28. I considered it a birthday present to myself. And, I was very happy with it. Perhaps I toasted myself with too much sake by the end of the evening, so I would probably cut back on that, but I would definitely want more of this exquisite food.
This initial pop-up was held at Yakuza Lounge since they are normally not open on Monday and Tuesday anyway. The weather was just warming up so it would soon be in the 80s, so they had the garage doors open to let in the breeze.
They had their full bar open and were offering their full drink menu, and when I arrived around 5:35 I asked Ryan to recommend a sake to start with. He said he is a big fan of Kimoto style sake which is more earthy while also being dry and crisp, and the method is more old-fashioned painstaking in brewing. Thanks so much for taking the time to give me advice to order the Dewatsuru Kimoto on your busy first pop-up day Ryan
For $85, you receive 9 courses plus tea service at the end, minus additional alcoholic drinks and gratuity for the servers. This time, the menu included the following:
Don’t let the fact it says sea urchin scare you. This was a wonderful mix of creaminess and a hint of the sea
Course 2: Albacore sashimi with water pepper Seriously, how beautiful is this. I could have eaten two of these plates, easily.
I think this was the dish which I liked, but not as much as the other courses because of the acidity and saltiness.
I don’t know where Ryan got this haccho miso, but I want it and I would just put a few drops on plain rice and be happy
I admit that after I finished eating this little palate cleanser of a course, I picked up the little bowl and drank down the rest of the dressing, it was so good.
My favorite course of the entire night. It was the one I was most looking forward to once I saw the menu, and it still exceeded my expectations. Simple, but elegant perfection.
Course 8: Sweet dashi omelet This seems like a no brainer, but if you’ve watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi, you know that in Japan you may be working for months just perfecting a perfect egg omelette like this.
I really thought the food this evening was exceptional. I was flashing back to my experiences while I was in Tokyo 2 years ago. For this dinner, every single plate was thoughtfully considered and composed in terms of flavors and textures for each individual course and the journey across courses, perfectly executed, beautifully plated. I look forward to eating more deliciousness from Nodoguro PDX and Ryan Roadhouse.
Check out the website to get on the mailing list to find out when the next pop-ups will be. You can also find Ryan not only at Nodoguro whenever they plan their next event (the next four are in June at Evoe), but the next time Ryan will be cooking for the public will most likely be a pop-up with Ippai and Will Harper as part of an Ippai Kaiseki Dinner Series, popping up at Roe/Block & Tackle on May 25th for $100 a person for 10 course Kaiseki with pairings. Thank you Alisa for recommending I get in on this Nodoguro event!