Portland >Food & Dining > Blue Olive
500 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9720945.526306 -122.694390
Neighborhoods: Northwest District, Neighbors West - Northwest
Food and service is outstanding! Am from Los Angeles so I have great Mediterranean food at my disposal and the Blue Olive topped my list.
BEWARE, some of the reviews below are for a different restaurant!
Came here before my grandmother's funeral on a hunch that it may be good by the look of the place after just driving around. My expectations were exceeded.
We came in before they were open and they seated us anyways. The chef wasn't there, but we started with hummus, cucumbers, bread and a nice wine which was all lovely.
So many good things on the menu made it tough to decide. I don't eat lamb, but it just sounded delicious so I went for it while my dad ordered the Moussaka. OMGoodness it was all fantastic.
An added bonus was that our waitress was so interactive, engaging and attentive. It was exactly what we needed before the sad upcoming event.
In addition, I have a disease that makes me intolerant to allergens. This was the first restaurant where I did not have cross-contamination issues.
Am wondering if some of the reviewers were there on an off day because I would highly recommend this place and then some!
Great new bistro in NW Portland – We happened into this place tonight as there was no room in the inn for us anywhere else. It was a delightful experience. They serve Greek and Turkish influenced dishes that are reasonable in price, spicy without being hot, and well presented. The wait staff is knowledgeable and friendly--our server, Janelle, is a holdover from a previous incarnation at that restaurant and has definite and reliable opinions about what's best on the menu. Best of all, the meals are quite reasonable. I recommend sharing one of the dishes for two on their menu that provide a variety of tastes.
Please note that some of the reviews on this page are for a different restaurant called "Malaga." I can't find this restaurant in Portland. They are not the same. The cuisine is totally different.
disappointed! – The second worst dining experience of my life. We were so excited to finally try Malanga. Unfortunately, the menu was limited and both of our entrees were nearly inedible. The snapper was clearly not fresh, and quite tough. The vegetable stew (the only veg. entree despite what I had been told on the phone) was overly smoky with tough, dry vegetables. Both dishes were unbearably salty. We ate part of our meals simply to be polite - like when you eat at someone's home and don't want to insult your host. The Taro fritters were mediocre but served with no condiments and therefore were rather plain. The only saving grace was a pleasant server.
Classy Little Place! – Service was great, very friendly. Never left waiting. Great place for cocktails!, the lounge is way better atmosphere than the main dining area. Little "spendy".. but worth it. Cheapskates, don't bother. Artwork was fantastic, would go back in a minute!
Average Fare, Overpriced, Good Garden – Malanga serves good (slightly above average) Cuban/Carribbean meals but at lofty prices. The menu's forte is in its drinks rather than its food as there were far more cocktails to choose from than entrees. Service was prompt and friendly. Outdoor seating in their garden was an absolute delight on a nice day. No kid menu was offered, so we had to choose from appetizers on the menu. In a nutshell, a great place to have a few drinks on a nice day, but I don't think I'll be going back for the food.
So many dishes to try! – My wife and I have been to Malanga a few times, trying a different item on the menu each time. My favorite is the Picadillo, a beef/green olive hash with a hint of sweetness. Combined with black beans and rice, it's a great meal. The rice pudding for dessert is light and satisfying, finishing a meal without being too heavy.
Colorful Cuban hot spot spices up upper Fremont. – The Scene
An oasis of style and adventure, Malanga shines with vivacious murals adorning its fire-red and cerulean-blue walls, while amicable servers guide the uninitiated. Beyond its various dining rooms, a garden haven allows diners to enjoy their meal alfresco, enveloped by lush greenery.
Chef Eric Laslow executes Cuban fare here as successfully as he does understated elegance at Laslow's Northwest. Homey dishes sizzle with exotic flavors, like tender chicken stewed with sweet rum, olives and potent garlic; and savory tomato stew swimming with snapper, calamari and shrimp, enlivened by zesty lime undertones. Sumptuous Spanish ham croquettes ooze thick, creamy sauce with each succulent bite. Side your meal with either crunchy twice-fried plantains or sweet potato mash. Enjoy saucy cocktails like the 151-enhanced mojito or the frosty strawberry colada.
Pambiche who? – We felt like Cuban, but we didn't feel like waiting for a table at Pambiche, so we gave Malanga a try--and are very glad we did! The service was great, with an attentive waiter who had on-the-mark suggestions every time. We ordered a roast pork and stewed chicken dish, and both were so dee-lish, we ended up swapping plates mid-dinner so we could enjoy each other's entree. Desserts were yummy--especially the Malanga pudding, and there's an extensive cocktail and coffee list as well. Definitely worth the trip!
One visit – With only one visit I was moderately pleased. The Spanish jamon empanadas were great; the chickpea stew was so-so. The highly recommended Bistec was excellent, but for $12.50 a bit overpriced, especially since 1/2 the plate was black beans. Ambiance was nice; try to get an outside seat when it's warm. Server was very pleasant, but also very slow and forgetful.
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