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#1 averilpdx

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 01:02 PM

Hi All,

I read about this place in the Oregonian yesterday- sorry I'm too lazy/technologically challenged to find a link to the article but here's a link to the restaurant's site-

http://www.tanukipdx.com/


It looks really interesting/ different than other Japanese places in PDX . Iwant to try it soon but not sure when I'll be able to get there. Anyone been? Would love to hear about it and I'll definitely post when I try it.

#2 averilpdx

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 01:05 PM

Ok, here's a copy of the Oregonian article.

JAPANTOWN? -- Portland's selection of enticing Japanese restaurants offering alternatives to the now-ubiquitous sushi bar has just grown again. Tanuki, named after a shape-shifting Shinto spirit creature that revels in the consumption of fine food and drink, quietly opened earlier this week. Thirty-four-year-old Janice Martin -- so far, the sole employee -- has cooked all over the world, from a sheep station in New Zealand to longtime Chicago standouts, Charlie Trotter's and Tru. But this self-described Irish American girl who grew up in Cleveland's Little Italy says she developed the soul of a Japanese chef because the food has a "fine dining" feel "no matter how humble" a dish might be.

Tanuki is a tiny space in the manner of a Japanese akachochin, or small neighborhood corner pub, with room enough for only 15 to 20 guests who will find a regularly rotating regimen of regional Japanese dishes. Martin's culinary expositions begin with the food of Okinawa, which finds influence from Taiwan and Korea, tending toward spicier, more garlicky offerings than are common elsewhere in Japan. Tanuki's opening menu will include an Okinawan classic, andasu, a potent condiment traditionally served with rice, comprising fried minced pork belly, awamori (Okinawan brandy), miso paste, chilies and hot ginger all laboriously blended over high heat. Wilson also offers a daily batch of her fresh tofu, beginning with jiimami dofu, a custard-textured creation served chilled with a sweet, hot-and-sour peanut sauce. And to please the tanuki spirit, sakes as regionally focused as the food will be offered once Tanuki obtains its liquor license in a few weeks.

(Tanuki, 413 N.W. 21st Ave., 503-241-7667; lunch and dinner, Tuesday-Saturday; www.tanukipdx.com)

#3 Angelhair

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 02:29 PM

I am there as soon as they get their liquor license!

#4 Angelhair

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 02:30 PM

Looks like they took over the Mr. Moto location.

#5 ExtraMSG

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 04:48 PM

mczlaw's been talking about it since he was the one who did the article and made me keep my mouth shut. Everything sounds great. For those that don't know, it's by Quo Vadis. Zusman and I were supposed to eat there together twice but both times they were having problems with their electrical, so I'm still looking forward to a visit. He brought some of the andasu into the restaurant. I couldn't eat it because of the pork, but it smelled great.
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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#6 mczlaw

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 06:47 PM

Even with the tiny taste I had, the andasu was a heady and unique flavor that I enjoyed immensely. I can see moving up to injectable doses before long if the owner keeps it on the menu--which I'm guessing the won't given her intent to rotate at least parts of the menu as often as weekly and move on from Okinawa to other parts of Japan..

I am bustling around the Big Apple for a few days, so if the technical difficulties at Tanuki have been cured and anyone has a chance to pop in for a bite, please report.

Here's a Tanuki trivia question:

The current "Tanuki" is not Portland's first restaurant bearing that name. Name the person who opened the original; the style of cooking (beyond "Japanese"); the era and the location.

Dinner, my treat, at the new Tanuki to the person who furnishes (in my sole opinion) the most complete and accurate answer to the trivia question.

--mcz

#7 Quo Vadis

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 07:32 PM

Hey guys,

I hope to keep the andasu on but tragically haven't had a single order for it yet... so we'll see...

The power issues remain and seems like it will be awhile before I can correct it... but I have set up suzyhomemaker hotplates and am working off of those those there is hot food available now.

Just don't show up needing to get in and out in a hurry- those mothas take awhile to heat up.

For the time being the homemade tofu is out.... I just can't do it 'til the power issues in the kitchen get fixed.

On the other hand.... I have beautiful fresh true wasabi!
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

#8 polloelastico

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 08:21 PM

Sounds great. I will definitely stop by next time I'm in the neighborhood. QV - I won't bring my kid! Or my credit card.
“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” — George Carlin

#9 tammi

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 08:45 PM

Even with the tiny taste I had, the andasu was a heady and unique flavor that I enjoyed immensely. I can see moving up to injectable doses before long if the owner keeps it on the menu--which I'm guessing the won't given her intent to rotate at least parts of the menu as often as weekly and move on from Okinawa to other parts of Japan..

I am bustling around the Big Apple for a few days, so if the technical difficulties at Tanuki have been cured and anyone has a chance to pop in for a bite, please report.

Here's a Tanuki trivia question:

The current "Tanuki" is not Portland's first restaurant bearing that name. Name the person who opened the original; the style of cooking (beyond "Japanese"); the era and the location.

Dinner, my treat, at the new Tanuki to the person who furnishes (in my sole opinion) the most complete and accurate answer to the trivia question.

--mcz

I wish I had the answer but I did frequent Tanuki in San Francisco....Is there any relation?

#10 Quo Vadis

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 06:03 AM

Bring your credit card Pollo!

I have nothing against them (aside from OUTLANDISH merchant fees)- the only reason I almost opened without was that the service I was planning to use was jerking me around and I had to scramble to find a new one. We're all set for Visa, Mastercard and Discover. American Express will have to wait until they stop trying to charge me 26cents a transaction + 3-4%.

Non pork eating persons may find my current limited menu a bit challenging but with luck, time and a great electrician I hope to expand the menu back to its original size soon.
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

#11 tonyajonemiller

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 07:55 AM

I'm really dying to try this place and H is going to be in NY this week. Anybody want to do lunch or dinner in the next couple of days?
Tonya (NSFW)
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#12 averilpdx

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 08:45 AM

Arghh- I always wish that I had more time to write more detailed posts, but w/ my little guy around it's rather challenging, so I'll just give a quick one.
I did get to Tanuki on Sat. and I am one of those non-pork eaters ( I felt badly b/c Janice brought me a free bowl w/ the miso/pork condiment and I had to refuse it). I had 2 types of gyoza (the ones w/o frog) and a big plate of the bok choy. Everything was very tasty, but when I found out the conditions under which she was cooking I was even more impressed. I loved that she had a nice wooden vessel in which she was growing pea shoots that were clipped off right at the time of cooking the bok choy and added to the dish. I will be very curious to try more of her cooking. I did get a chance to speak to the chef/owner for a little while and she was amused at some of the "facts " in the Oregonian article- esp. the claim that she cooked at a sheep station, which she did not. I really enjoyed meeting her and wish her the best of luck. I will definitely be back. It's exciting to me that someone is trying to do something different in terms of Japanese food, which is def. my fave.

#13 Amanda

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 08:49 AM

I think I'd prefer to wait till they have it all together. Sounds like it's pretty good, though.

Best regards,

Amanda

#14 superdog

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 10:20 AM

Holy crap, I'm so there! Quo Vadis, congras! AMEX get important mostly when you have some coporate catering and that all they have for paying you. Can I bring a glass of wine from next door if you don't have a liquor license yet?


Cheers,
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#15 mczlaw

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 08:15 PM

I did get a chance to speak to the chef/owner for a little while and she was amused at some of the "facts " in the Oregonian article- esp. the claim that she cooked at a sheep station, which she did not. I really enjoyed meeting her and wish her the best of luck. I will definitely be back. It's exciting to me that someone is trying to do something different in terms of Japanese food, which is def. my fave.


I wrote the article about Tanuki b/c I too am excited about a different approach to Japanese food, which I enjoy a great deal.

As for my "facts," they were taken from my "notes." I don't have them with me at the moment here on the road, but I spent at least a half an hour talking with the chef and jotting down what she told me and recall "New Zealand," "out of the way" and "sheep"--which I shorthanded to "sheep station" based on my knowledge of NZ and my travels there many years ago. Apologies for the error in nomenclature if that is what occurred. If there were any material errors in my story--as "averilpdx" suggests--I would be surprised to hear of them since I strive mightily provide readers with accurate, timely and interesting information based on solid reporting.

--mcz

#16 Twitch

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 08:40 PM

I noticed last week when I was parked outside on my way to work. Definitely going to have to try your gyoza.

#17 Quo Vadis

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 05:50 AM

No worries Michael... I lived on a cattle and sheep farm while I worked as executive chef first at Hotel du Vin in the Bombay Mountain, then at Mollies in St.MAry's Bay, then as consulting chef for Frenzigroup LTD.

It only came up because I had customers coming in all day asking me how I came to learn Japanese cooking at a sheep station- having not seen the article yet (too busy making those pesky gyozas) I was a bit startled.
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

#18 Quo Vadis

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 09:15 AM

Holy crap, I'm so there! Quo Vadis, congras! AMEX get important mostly when you have some coporate catering and that all they have for paying you. Can I bring a glass of wine from next door if you don't have a liquor license yet?


Cheers,
Ellen


I wish I could let you but the OLCC says no... and right now the word of the OLCC is as the word of God to me.

If they'll let you eat my food next door though I would be happy to send it over there.
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

#19 boy_asunder

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 04:31 PM

Here's a Tanuki trivia question:

The current "Tanuki" is not Portland's first restaurant bearing that name. Name the person who opened the original; the style of cooking (beyond "Japanese"); the era and the location.

Dinner, my treat, at the new Tanuki to the person who furnishes (in my sole opinion) the most complete and accurate answer to the trivia question.

--mcz


I can't possibly answer this question, but I will point out that there was an outfit in Super Mario 3 that was called the Tanooki suit. You could turn Mario into a statue.

I'm so happy to add to the discourse.

#20 ZenBoy

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 04:43 PM

The Tanooki Suit was... well, based on the Tanuki creature, a "raccoon dog" with giant weaponized testicles (hint: Mario wasn't going to be swinging his tail originally to break blocks) that can turn himself into a statue to avoid being caught. I wish I were making this up. There is a statue of a tanuki in my grandma's back yard that I wish I had taken a picture of when I was down there.