Portland >Cabinets > Aja Pacific Kitchen
3449 NE 24th Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9721245.548142 -122.641408
Neighborhoods: Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, Alameda - Irvington
THIS PLACE IS CLOSED – Nov 2010
Went to try this restaurant based on Citysearch's reviews and the place is closed and taken over by another restaurant.
Neighborhood haunt offers Asian fusion menu where meat and seafood are the stars. – In Short
Couples and groups sit at wooden tables in the dimly lit dining room decorated with paintings and photos by local artists. The place is often packed and quite lively. The eclectic menu reflects many Far East regions and include adventurous entrees such as the curry-flavored chicken, served with a sweet apple-pear chutney, and the flaky salmon cooked on a slab of cedar board.
Pleasant Surprise, Reminds Me of Hawaii's Pacific-Asian Cuisine – Great combinations with more of a Korean influence, e.g., the Kal-bi skewers and pickled garnish. I really like the rockfish and favor the appetizers to the salads. The bread is awesome! In all, the food is unique and complimented by a fair selection of wines including a good Rex Hill pinot noir. And if you like coconut in your Creme Brulee, it goes well with coffee.
Great place! – Their happy hour is great! Service is good, it's not loud so you can actually hear your friends. I love this place even though not everything on the menu is my favorite, but then how many like EVERYTHING? The scallop cigars are ingenious and one of my favorite appetizers anywhere. For larger parties, call to get the "big table" in a separate (ish) room at no additional charge.
Good Food, Great Happy Hour – Consistently great food, highly recommend the soups. The happy hour goes until 7 and includes some of the better appetizers a la carte. Atmosphere is very warm and welcoming while still being quietly classy. The service is great, very friendly and accomodating. Never sat there, but they have a more private area for larger groups, too. All in all, a great place to have a romantic dinner or just relax after work.
Monthly Dinner Group – Our monthly dinner group had dinner at Aja Pacific Kitchen on 2/18/06. It was one of the most memorable dining experiences we've had. All agreed that food was excellent with nice presentations. Of 6 diners, we ordered 5 different menu items; not one person was disappointed. The Scallop Cigars was a unique, fantastic appetizer--I could have made a meal out of them. The lemon grass ice cream was a light, refreshing dessert. The services was excellent and substitutions from the printed menu was not a problem.
Mediocre Food in a nice setting – Aja tries to serve up an eclectic Asian/Pacific NW fare but fails miserably. The Asian Beef Salad was a medicre assortment of greens thrown together with beef in Kimchi sauce strewn on top.The Wasabi mashed potatoes and "wild" mushrooms was OK but nothing to write home about.
The service was great and the waitstaff were attentive without hovering. The space was nice as well.
Portland restaurants have some tough competition for the diner's dolllar. Save your dollars and give Aja a pass!
What more do you want? – I would recommend the first-time visitor to consider going with at least three other people so you can sample the appetizer menu. Standouts include the Duck Martini, Scallop Cigars, Porcuppine Shrimp (filo dough, NOT coconut) and Smoked Ota Tofu (possibly one of the BEST things I've ever put in my mouth).
I can't say enough about the quality of ingredients and care with which the food was prepared - and the smoked Ota Tofu was RAVED about by all members of our party.
One negative thing - there is no reason to marinade a good cut of steak... lay off the marinade and SEASON the meat instead. That being said, it was still really good.
Entree standouts include the cioppino, pork loin, Ota tofu, cedar planked salmon, Grandma Thayer's meatloaf... all very reasonably priced. The most expensive thing on the menu is about $17, with appetizers in the $4-8 range.
Best New Restaurant in a very long time – If, like me, you are not a food critic, you simply gauge restaurants on the deliciousness of the food, the mix of choices, the service and how hard the whole experience hits your wallet. Pacific Kitchen is the best new restaurant to open in Portland in a very long time.
Once a month for several years now, I go out with a group of six friends. Three usually want seafood, two meat, and one vegetarian. Consequently, some of us usually wish we went somewhere else. Not this time. We all left very impressed. And, we'll all be back.
good enough to eat – farely new to the north east area and hearing about this new restaurant, wanted to check it out for myself. while the wait staff are all students and still learning their trade, they made myself and my family feel very comfortable, no stuffy attitudes that you tend to get here in portland. no one was uptight and pretentious, which is what i have gotten use to in my short stay here. the food portions were fabulous, as were the flavors, i highly recommend the korean pork, it may take a little longer but the dish was worth the few extra minutes.
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