We don't know whether it's something as tragic as the recent tsunami or something as sublime as the recent blooming of the cherry blossoms, but we have Japan on the brain. And on the palate. And on the liver.
Seriously, our "where to eat and where to drink" seems as if it's topical, but trust...it's the newest goodness we've found this month and we're enjoying as a matter of happenstance.
That said, here's where we'd normally giveaway something willy-nilly, but today you must click here and donate to the Red-Cross Japanese relief fund and you could win a free Emperor's Cut at HairM. We'll randomly pick among the donors who forward us at email@example.com his donation confirmation (and when we say randomly, we don't mean the biggest donation).
When it comes to going out for a light, casual meal (you know, the kind that won't render all the alcohol you've ingested useless?) there's always tapas. A culinary trend that doesn't always sit
well with our stuff-our-face sensibilities, it's perfect if what you're after is something more communal in which the meal isn't the focal point, but rather an ancillary part of a night out with friends for something else (see calendar to your right).
What's great, though, is that it doesn't always have to be of the Spanish variety. So we were enthusiastic to say the least when we heard there was a second Japanese tapas/ramen joint in town. Would it stack up? Well, after sharing several small plates which were all creative and delectable we decided, unwisely, to try the ramen soup. The small plates were so much more filling than we had anticipated and the soup too good to stop eating that we pretty much went into a self-induced food coma for the rest of the evening.
What did we dream of during our quazi-slumber? Why, our next visit to Mirakutei of course.
536 East Burnside Street
Love Via Crepes
In keeping with our Japanese/Casual dining obsession this month, we had to bring you news of this recently-opened gem off of 23rd.
Love via Crepes is about the best rendition of a true Japanese-style crepe that we've found on the west coast. What is a Japanese crepe, you ask? Well picture a French crepe...now take that down to a more casual milieu, fill it with a few of about 50 different fillings (raw, not cooked) and wrap it into a cone shape (these are mostly sold off of carts in Tokyo) and prepare for bliss. The place delivered with awesome service, casual setting and, again, the best crepe this side of the Seine.
Could it get any better? Well, they also serve waffles, so there's your answer right there.
We believe it was eighth grade when someone in the P.E. locker-room pointed at us and exclaimed, "hey…my dad wears those kind of underwear". Yes, we were early converts to boxers, but all that freedom just felt…right.
Cut to decades later and the effects of gravity during that time and in what some consider a stroke (bad choice of word?) of doing things backward, we find ourselves a bit more drawn to the support and comfort of something more, ahem…fitted. Granted, for some of the more masculine among us, seeking out tight-fitting, and professionally designed under-things can be a bit intimidating…and that's just via catalog. So when we walked into the new flagship store for famed underwear designer Benjamin Black on NW 23rd, we felt a wee bit uncomfortable, but we're firm believers in being able to get outside your proverbial comfort zone, if it will transport your undercarriage to the literal comfort zone.
And that's exactly what this store offers; top-shelf swimwear and under-things that will provide comfort for you and eye candy for her…provided you've been hitting the gym hard enough to pull it off.
Shwood:: When it comes to eye-wear in the past 20 years, we've been fairly successful at avoiding trends; even opting for wire frames in an age and town of Rivers Cuomo look-a-likes.
Sunglasses? Not so much. We bent to the recent aviator trend accordingly…but this year we break away. Going for the classic wayfarer style that Jack Nicholson rocks court-side at Laker games, but in the tre' organic Zebra Wood, our Shwood Canby's are going to be instant conversation starter as soon as the sun decides to come out.
My Tailor:: If you appreciate looking good and spend money to do it, stop with the brand names already. That $150 Prada shirt might have great stitching and great fabric, but unless you were the exact person the designer had in mind when they made it (and you weren't) then you'll want a custom job.
Go to My Tailor and punch in your measurements, pick some fabrics and styles of your choosing. In a few weeks, you'll receive shirts starting at $60 that are 100% YOU. They'll even throw in a free monogram to let people know. Though, we feel the fact that they contour your body perfectly is sufficient.
Wine Tube:: Living in a Pearl Condo or just tight on space (as most of us are apt to be in PDX)? Yeah…us too. We're resigned to the fact that the square footage in our home just doesn't warrant a wine cellar. What's a boy to do…Ikea? Never!
The remedy? The functional and modern by RosenDahl is an achievement in design that lets you showcase your latest vino-finds while utilizing space better than submariner. Not a wine guy? See our imbibe advice, grab some rare 22's and enjoy.
Grooming:: Taxes, Spring Break, Women…whatever the reason for your grey hairs they are making you look older than need be. If you have pondered the do-it-yourself hair color box at the grocery store…step away! MiN New York offers a professional demi-permanent product which means it tones down the grey with a natural look so you don't walk around like you took a spray can to your head. Try it out this month at HairM and save $10.
Style:: With warm weather fast approaching it's time to broach the subject of going sock-less with business attire. It's a fashion choice for the bold (and tanned-ankled) to be sure. May we suggest the more attractive, but still dynamic, alternative? Invest in some creative and breathable socks that will "pop" under both the dark suit and khaki's you'll be in this summer.
Imbibe:: Sometimes a brewery just out does itself. With the sales of Halo and Hef holding steady, Widmer has had the time and energy to focus on their Brother's Reserve line, which as of this month includes the Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale. We could go on and on about this, but suffice it to say it'll knock your socks off. We hope you try it at select stores and the very few taps...it is truly limited.
Financial:: We promised last month we'd have a good tip for spending the money you'd save. Well, maybe next month we'll indulge, but for now…it'd probably best to help out our Tsunami-challenged brethren across the Pacific (see intro to this issue).
April Calendar of Events
All Month:: Quit looking like your father. Grey Camouflage $10 off at HairM all month.
7th:: Get down to Widmer Brothers Brewing to commemorate the end of Prohibition on this date in 1933. They'll be live art, pairings and an unveiling of some new stuff. Prost!
8th:: Forget about 80's nights at the dance clubs. While we love when a dj spins the classics, we'd rather hear the stylings of a band like Pink Noise doing 80's-style originals in full Flock of Seagulls hair-dont's.
12th/13th:: Named Best Musical last year, the Broadway production of Billy Elliot comes to the Keller Auditorium and we found out where to get discounted tickets to this Elton John-scored tale of how you just can't keep a good man (or boy) down.
19th:: See a legend still doing legendary things (albeit under the radar) at the Schnitz when Robert Plant comes to town with his Band of Joy. North Mississippi Allstars opens as an unexpected bonus.
22nd:: Falcon Art Community Open Studio Event, 6-9:30pm. Enjoy libations and live music as you take in the work of some of Portland's best artists and their studios.
27th:: Nothing, and we mean nothing, makes for a better date night than good comedy. Check out Entertainment for People at the Woods and learn firsthand that laughter is the best aphrodisiac. And if that doesn't work, they'll have cupcakes.
Always:: We're total brunch junkies (brunkies?), so we vow to bring you an awesome spot every time we find one. This month? Hands-down at Aquariva. The build your own bloody mary bar (!!!) and view of the Willamette alone are reasons to go.
All Month:: Ok, the Kentucky Derby isn't until Early May, but you'll want to get started on shopping for your duds now, because we'll be letting you know soon who has the best gathering. Hint: There's a prize for best dressed. Consider this a heads up.
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