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#41 ricechaz

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 09:43 PM

Tried out Boke bird tonight to celebrate my niece's birthday. Chicken was excellent. Nice combo of super crisp skin and moist meat. Great for carving up and eating in the buns (bao). Found a great combo of a little bit of chicken and a chunk of pork belly with a dash of the aioli in the bun. As posted earlier, pickles are perfect. Had the wonton noodles which had a nice chew but a little bland. Would have been nice to have a spicy noodle instead to contrast the slightly sweet/salty flavor of the chicken, but that's just a personal preference. Smoked tofu was a nice side dish with a good helping. Agreed, twinkies a little dry and lacking filling but the apple fried pie was fantastic. I could eat 2-3 of them. The crust was buttery, flaky and thin. Much thinner than what you get at Whiffies (which I think is the gold standard around here). Filling was perfect.

BTW, they've eliminated the reservations for Boke bird. We had maybe a 15 minute wait for a table of 5.

We will definitely be back.

Forgot to add, the kimchi was okay. I've had much worse and much better (Thanks, Tanuki). Grateful, they are not trying to serve up the the sour stuff.
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#42 ExtraMSG

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 07:37 PM

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Been to Boke Bowl a couple times now in the Water Avenue location.

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They seem to have put a lot of money and thought into the design of the place.

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Huge hood for a ramen-ya. I actually came close to taking that space for Mi Mero Mole. I'm both jealous of the location and how busy it is and glad that I didn't go into debt to do so.

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On this visit, both of us ordered the ramen with fried chicken. We also ordered kimchi, fried pears, steamed buns, ice cream, and housemade twinkies/ho-hos. We were sent the cauliflower and brussel sprout dish with some pork belly.

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It's good kimchi, but a little sweet for me. I prefer the kimchi from both Biwa and Tanuki more, the former more zesty, the latter more funky.

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I really enjoyed the fried pears. I didn't know what to expect, but any expectations were exceeded. They're sweet, but balanced by sesame and vinegar. Really nice little snack.

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Got an order of the buns, which I described up-thread. They're nice, especially with Boke's house sriracha to unsweet the hoisin.

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I talked about the cauliflower and brussel sprouts up-thread as well, but they're still delicious. Pork belly may be unnecessary, but so is foreplay. I still enjoy both.

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Ramen comes with house noodles, a bit of choy, pork shoulder, chopped scallions, some squash, etc. I think the broth has a nice rounded flavor with a lot of depth. I do think it's lacking salt, but they insist that's intentional and have soy on the table for those that like it saltier. I don't know. It's gamble. I think most people won't realize it's lacking salt and will just bitch that it's not very flavorful. It has enough richness it needs the salt to bring out the flavor, imo. I can't remember ever adding salt or soy to a broth, but I did here. Once I did, the flavors really bloomed and I recommend doing so to anyone who finds its flavor flat.

The noodles have been inconsistent. On my first trip to the permanent shop, they were great -- toothsome but tender matching the heartiness of their broth and add-ons. On the second visit they were a lot softer, much like the ones I had at the popup. Not sure why, but I hope they dial it in and they're always as good as that middle visit. Even at their worst, though, they're still good noodles.

The fried chicken is so good here, I think it's a necessary add-on. I think the bowl would be big enough by itself, but it's plenty with the chicken -- even if on this trip we had a lot of other food (though we didn't eat everything). The chicken is juicy and has a great crust. I'd be tempted to order multiple bits and eat it like the best chicken nuggets ever.

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Just in case you need a key.

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The miso ice cream didn't really work for me. Too savory. I think they'd be much better off with something like green tea, ginger, plum, or some other equally appropriate Japanese flavor that's more accessible to a broad range of palates since they only offer one type.

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The ho-hos and twinkies were better, but a little dry and the flavors a bit flat. None of the sweets were worth the calories for me.

But that's okay because I don't generally have a hankering for sweets after a Japanese meal, especially at lunch, and the savory dishes are delicious.

There's a lot of douchebaggery on Yelp (as with Wafu and Mirakutei, it only has *** 1/2 stars) about Boke Bowl. Most of the * and ** ratings seem to be from people who visited Japan once or lived in LA or SF and had a very particular style of ramen often and want Boke Bowl to do that. Lame. (And makes me grateful once again that I chose to do unfamiliar Mexican food.) The stuff is objectively good -- the quality of the ingredients, the skill with which they've been cooked. I, too, would like some more traditional options in town that nail the styles, but places like Wafu and Boke Bowl are making delicious bowls of soup; I wish these fuckers would get that rather than trying to insist all ketchup should taste like Heinz.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#43 philthyanimal

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 09:38 AM

that chicken does look pretty nice

#44 Flynn

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 01:23 PM

The duck ramen. Best bowl I've had there. Delightfully smoky and deep broth.

#45 polloelastico

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 08:26 PM

Had a couple breakfast bowls here since my initial visit. The stock on the seafood miso really hit the spot. I didn't detect much in the way of miso, but I did get huge flavors from dashi and caramelized fennel - it was very satisfying and "rounded" for lack of a better description. It was topped with the fried basil leaves, which isn't something you'd normally see in a ramen-ya, which clearly Boke isn't trying to replicate. Same solid noodles. Smallish portions still.
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#46 ExtraMSG

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 03:18 PM

Got a chance to have Boke Bird a couple weeks ago. I'm not going to bother discerning whether their "Korean fried chicken" is actually Korean fried chicken, especially since they are pretty clear about not claiming authenticity in their foods. So I'll just go through what we had.

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My wife hadn't had the fried pears, which I've talked about up-thread, so we had to get some of those.

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When you order the bird, it comes with pickles and kimchi. I've talked about these up-thread as well.

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We got a half chicken. As per the tradition, the fat was well rendered from the chicken and the skin very well crisped, much like peking duck. It was sitting in a tart soy-ginger sauce and covered with fried onions and scallions. The flavor was delicious. Really enjoyed the smokiness, especially with the soy-ginger sauce.

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It comes with pancakes and their house-made mustard...

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...which are well-matched with the crisp-skin chicken, again, like peking duck.

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Even better, we were brought out some of their sriracha pre-blending. Oh, man, this was good. I've always liked less-processed sauces like this where you can get a taste of this or a taste of that and then a taste of everything.

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We also got some of the veggie (fennel dashi) ramen, which I hadn't had. The broth had an excellent, lightly sweet and aromatic flavor. The mushrooms went surprisingly well in it and I really enjoyed the rice cake dumplings. Some of the noodles had been cooked a little haphazardly and clumped together, as you can see, but most were toothsome without being gummy.

Tasty meal. Very good chicken.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#47 EvaB

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:47 PM

That chicken does look good! Is it always available or is a sometimes-thing?
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#48 vj

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 12:15 PM

It's a thursday night thing.

#49 redleaf

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 10:11 PM

Huge hood for a ramen-ya. I actually came close to taking that space for Mi Mero Mole. I'm both jealous of the location and how busy it is and glad that I didn't go into debt to do so.


I can't tell you how many times I've passed up eating there because there is just no parking. Today I was determined, but I had 10 or 15 minutes to circle and find a spot. I actually wondered where everyone else who showed up for lunch was parked.

#50 ExtraMSG

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 10:18 PM

Most people for lunch there can probably walk. There are a lot of underserved workers in the area, which is probably why Bunk Bar opened for lunch after resisting it so long. The new streetcar lines makes it a lot easier to get there (if you can convinces Portlanders to walk four -- what would be one in any other city -- blocks).

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#51 jennifer

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:42 AM

I can't tell you how many times I've passed up eating there because there is just no parking. Today I was determined, but I had 10 or 15 minutes to circle and find a spot.


Not to mention the pile after pile of glass along the curb of Water & the side streets where car windows were obviously punched out. We usually find a spot 2 - 3 blocks out. Not too bad, just sketchy.

#52 superdog

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:28 AM


I can't tell you how many times I've passed up eating there because there is just no parking. Today I was determined, but I had 10 or 15 minutes to circle and find a spot.


Not to mention the pile after pile of glass along the curb of Water & the side streets where car windows were obviously punched out. We usually find a spot 2 - 3 blocks out. Not too bad, just sketchy.


At night, I choose to park East of the building instead of North. There are quite a bit of "activities" underneath both the Hawthone and Morrison bridge, which made me uncomfortable to walk by myself in the middle of the night.
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#53 vj

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:30 PM

I went to Boke Bird tonight and got the chicken. OMG, it is as good as the photos profess -- crisp skin, luscious flavorful moist meat.

A plate of the Boke tofu & eggplant went to the table next to us - that looked absolutely scrumptious. I can't wait to try it. I just wish you could buy a smaller portion of both it, and the chicken.

#54 ariel88

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 05:05 PM

Went to Boke Bowl for lunch today. Tried the pork ramen w/ fried chicken add-on and a mixed order of buns - fried chicken, pork belly, and pork. Everything was delicious and even better than I expected, but the chicken... wow. It ranks as one of the best pieces of fried chicken I've had in town, for sure.

We'll totally be back to eat our way through the rest of the menu.

#55 Jill-O

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 11:42 AM

Kept forgetting that they are open on Saturdays for lunch. Well, last Sat. when the GF said, "I'm hungry..." around 1pm, I remembered! We were both glad I did.

She had ramen, I had a shrimp rice bowl. We got the fried pears, pork belly buns, and soft serve for dessert. Then the folks sitting next to us gave us a twinkie (he bought them, she said, they're not vegan! and offered it to us ;o). Way too much food for 2 people, I took home most of the pears and one of the buns which was a nice snack before class last night.

I really liked the rice bowl. I love pickled things and there was a lot of different pickled things on top of seasoned rice and some other veggies and some very tasty cut up shrimp in a semi-spicy coating (not crispy, just not liquidy like a sauce). It was $10 but well worth it. I'm not a huge fan of shitake mushrooms, but I love them pickled, I learned. The house made sriracha sauce was delicious.

I loved the pears (GF, not so much). Savory and a bit sweet, fried, yet tasting similar to dried pears...LOVED them.

I'm not that big on soup, but the ramen was good. Loved all the veggies in there, liked the noodles (like Wafu's better). Thought it was a decent portion for the price.

Didn't love or even much like the twinkie - too much cake, not enough filling, and didn't love the filling.

Liked the soft serve, a bit salty but nice texture...but $3 for that small cone? Really?

Overall, I really like the place. Gotta try the bird night next...

P.S. - The siu mai they made for Taste of the Taste (and they hosted the event, which was super nice of them!) were delicious...if you are going to Taste of the Nation (and you should!!) make sure you stop by their table!
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#56 Quo Vadis

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 12:15 PM

The house made sriracha sauce was delicious.


I keep saying to myself when you post stuff like this "I remember her back when...." :w00t:
In fact, while I never send you gals out anything on the "extreme" end of our spicy scale I've sent you out some pretty firey things. Way to go!
Methinks I am like a man, who having struck on many shoals, and having narrowly escap'd shipwreck in passing a small frith, has yet the temerity to put out to sea in the same leaky weather-beaten vessel, and even carries his ambition so far as to think of compassing the globe under these disadvantageous circumstances-Hume

#57 Jill-O

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 02:04 PM


The house made sriracha sauce was delicious.


I keep saying to myself when you post stuff like this "I remember her back when...." :w00t:
In fact, while I never send you gals out anything on the "extreme" end of our spicy scale I've sent you out some pretty firey things. Way to go!



Heh! I know it! I have come a loooong way.

There have been times Sue and I are sharing something and she says, "Wow, this is spicy!" and I think, "Hmmm, really?!" ;o)

The interesting thing is now I can really discern the flavors I like that are associated with chile peppers and the like. For example, I don't really care for the taste of jalapenos all that much...they're OK, but I really prefer almost any other pepper. Love the fruitiness of habanero and scotch bonnets (though they are pretty hot), do not like the smokey taste of chipotle at all, which makes sense because I don't like them unsmoked (aka jalapenos).

What is amazing is that it only took about 6 months for me to acclimate palate-wise. I was motivated though, I knew I was missing out on stuff.

Still hate cilantro and I hate cumin in large amounts (I kind of avoid Indian food). I believe what they say about hating cilantro being genetic, it absolutely makes me gag...my body is clearly telling me not to swallow it.
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#58 goodbyeohio

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 12:22 PM

Swung by today for lunch, noticed they have added a 'Rabbit' ramen to their menu. $17! Pretty sure it's the first time I've ever seen ramen in that price range. Didn't try it, need to dip into the kids' college fund and return another time.

In related news, fennel broth with chicken add-on still killing it.
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#59 LionRock

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 12:57 PM

Swung by today for lunch, noticed they have added a 'Rabbit' ramen to their menu.


I believe that the rabbit is on special (for the time being) and not yet a full-time part of the menu. Per their Facebook, it's rabbit dashi, rabbit confit and rabbit meatballs. I'd like to try it, but I guess I'll have to see if it's still on the menu the next time I can make it in.

#60 Flynn

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 01:12 PM

I really enjoyed the duck ramen, and I think it was $16-$17. Worth the stretch.