Portland >Food & Dining > Beast
5425 NE 30th Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9721145.562421 -122.635001
Neighborhoods: Concordia, Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods
Not for the picky eater this meat centric prix-fixe only room is presided over by chef-owner Naomi Pomeroy. The open kitchen overlooks the dining room filled with just a couple of dozen (very lucky) diners seated at two communal tables.
The all female culinary team serves up perfect seasonal salads, crepes, mushrooms, pork belly, rabbit, bone marrow and foie--you name it--it's good! Old time classic desserts like chocolate cake and vanilla bean ice cream with salted peanuts even come off as something special. The prix-fixe brunch menu is a great value at just $35.
Naomi Pomeroy's intimate meatery is an original, a one-of-a-kind meattastic girl-powered rhapsody in meat. The Pride of Portland.
Dishing up Portland's best known prix fixe meal, you'll dine with a couple dozen strangers at this Concordia cutie's two communal tables while chef Naomi Pomeroy and team craft a steady stream of courses just steps from your seat. If dinner seems a bit spendy but you still want the experience, go for Sunday brunch. Vegetarians, keep an eye out for the occasion veggie & pescetarian suppers.
A Beast of a Night – After hearing much about the food at beast I visited their Website and reviewed the opening days, menus and all of the other information that one might want to know about a restaurant. All sounded good so without any other questions I ask the concierge at our hotel to make a reservation for three persons at the second seating on July 3rd.
We arrived 10 minutes early, opened the door and found the early diners sitting quietly eating their dessert at two communal tables. Wait, communal tables? The Website mentioned nothing about communal dining. The room was devoid of decoration and looked more like barn than a dining room.
Some of the diners seemed startled by our presence but shortly a waitress arrived and, with an air of disdain, informed us that we could either sit by the door and wait for the next seating or have drinks in the restaurant next door until we were called.
We proceeded to the Yakuza Restaurant next door quite upset by the idea of communal dining when we had anticipated a quiet dinner by ourselves with some conversation regarding personal family matters. After a few seconds consideration we decided to abandon Beast and have dinner at Yakusa (which turned out to be spectacular). The host acknowledged that this was not the first time that Beast patrons had balked at communal dining and offered to intercede with Beast management to cancel our reservation and hopefully avoid having to pay the $60 cancellation fee. The cancellation was taken but they charged my credit card the $60 fee.
Deceptive advertising, self important staff, communal dining, barn like atmosphere, inconsiderate cancellation policies all make one star too high a rating for this travesty of a restaurant. Yakuza on the other hand was a total delight and the antithesis of Beast.
tasty, but not all it could be – A little slow and I dont love a fixed menu...
The food I ate was good but not the best in town!
I would try it again- but there are lots of places in Portland....
Disappointing – We have been wanting to go to Beast for awhile now. The published raves were very inticing.
The food was ok but for the prices charged I would have expected more. It was also very cold with the door opening and closing. The dish washing also contributed to the noisy atmosphere. THE CHAIRS ARE THE MOST UNCOMFORTABLE I HAVE EVER HAD THE DISPLEASURE TO EXPERIENCE. The printing on the quarter page menu was so tiny that it was very difficult to read. What's with the loud 80's music.
All in all we were very disappointed and have taken Beast off our list.
Let go of the attitude – I feel sorry for the owner. Most people know the story of her ego maniac ex-husband who screwed over, unfortunately the photos of her that are in these magazines advertising the restaurant make her look bitter and angry. No need for attitude, be thankful and humble for your restaurant.
This is a very special experience – My husband is a real meat eater and me, not so much. I also was expecting, based on my experience at other restaurants of this owner, to encounter not so customer-oriented attitudes (bad chairs, bad music, snide service as the price for great food). So I made this reservation with reservations, taking one for the team because Beast was so highly recommended by a co-worker and my husband was very curious.
None of my fears materialized and I was completely impressed. It was one of the best meals I've ever had. The many but small bits of multiple flavors including the wine were gorgeously combined. A few things I skipped (dishing over to hubby) but I didn't feel short changed because there was so much and it was so good. The table service was polite, informed and very helpful (our table of three parties got along so well they had to boot us to set up for the next seating but the boot was given politely and we knew it was coming). It took them days to get back to me on the reservation and hubby was annoyed the bread took so long to arrive, but after that the timing was brilliant. If you drink wine at all do yourself a favor and splurge on the pairings -- I discovered two new favorites. Didn't notice the chairs, if there was music I don't remember -- we could hear and therefore enjoy each others company across the large table. In other words, the things that you hope to enjoy in a restaurant were the focus of the Beast team and were done very well.
We'll be back.
Wow! Best Meal of My Life... – Several months ago I began laying the groundwork for my birthday. "Honey," I'd muse to my husband, "have you seen the Portland Monthly magazine. There's a great article in there about this new restaurant called - of all things - Beast. Apparently, it's been named co-restaurant of the year."
Then every so often I'd bring it up again, stating how we really should try it...you know, so when we have friends come in from out of town, we'll know whether or not to recommend it. Wink, wink.
Finally, October 3rd rolls around - the big day - my birthday. Hubby says get dressed, we're going to dinner to celebrate. Where, oh, where are we going. Drum roll....TADA! BEAST! Yes, he has been listening to me.
First, the ambiance is fantastic with soft lighting and romantic candles. We sat at the larger of the two communal tables, and our tablemates were great. You can definitely have a quiet conversation between yourselves when wanted, and then join in on some of the other conversations around the table if you like. The issue below about the restroom is completely off base. There is a curtain IN FRONT of the door. This allows a person to enter the restroom without everyone in the restaurant needing to look in.
The food, oh the food. Naomi Pomeroy is a genius. I have never had a finer meal in my life. Each course was delicious (and paired perfectly with a glass of wine). The cream of cauliflower soup literally popped with small trout roe adding a salty bit to every silky, delicious bite. The charcuterie plate was OUT OF THIS WORLD. I have become obsessed with the foie gras bon-bon, and two weeks later I still cannot get it out of my mind. Every single item on the plate was delicious. The rest of the meal was just as lovely. Nothing too overstated, nothing too bland, just like Goldilocks, everything was just right. Oh, and the service rocked.
Will I be going back? Duh! Now I'm off to conquer brunch this Sunday.
Over Rated Not recommended – Went there for a friends birthday, the food wasn't all that great and there were issues where an owner running a good business should have knocked the bill down, but none of that was done. It is only human to help others out when a mishap occurs, there was no sympathy, just the large bill with no comp at all. A true owner would have put a little out to make sure the business comes back, there was no effect in making sure everything was going alright. VERY DISAPPOINTING!!
Over-rated – I had been looking forward to trying this restaurant as it has been getting rave reviews in the local magazines so I took some friends for a special night out.
The dinner itself was good, probably a bit rich and unusual for my simple palate, but well prepared and overall good. It is a fixed menu which I knew and was fine with, but you get what you get and can't request anything different. Our server was very nice and just attentive enough.
Now for the not so good: I had read in the other reviews that people were complaining about the chairs and how uncomfortable they were. That hasn't changed, the chairs are probably some of the most uncomfortable I have ever sat in. When we mentioned that to the staff at the end of the meal their reply was: "Oh, yea, we have heard that before." So why on earth have they not done anything about it?!
The bathroom was directly behind my friend's seat, so she had to endure people walking around her to get to the facilities, which by the way are only divided from the main dining room by a curtain, no door. Just a toilet behind a curtain. I say move the diners away from the potty area and invest in a door for actual privacy.
The music in the room during our meal was bad 80s rock which got louder as the evening progressed, to the point that we had to yell at each other to be heard. It really detracted from an otherwise very nice ambience in the restaurant. When we mentioned that to the staff at the end of the meal, suggesting instead some quiet classical music or something along that line we were told: "Oh, we always play that and we get tired of it." So their desire for loud music to keep them entertained while they worked super-ceded the comfort of the patrons. And they were snotty about it. What is with that attitude?! i will not patronize an establishment has so little regard for the comfort of the paying (and it was not cheap) customers and then treats them rudely when they make suggestions for improvement.
mediocre at best – Don't waste your money. Restaurant of the year???? not even close!!! While the ambiance and setting are nice, the food is very average. The wine pairings were so-so, the reds very overdone for the meal. The hanger steak was bland, the soup good, and the rest of the meal - forgetable. Don't waste your time or money.
second time was a disappointment – First the Yukon potato and garlic soup had me excited, if this had been the tone of the meal, then Beast would have done for summer fare the same justice it had for homey indulgent winter eats. Perfectly flavored, with just a touch of earthiness from the Yukons, crisp and perfectly chilled. Then came the charcuterie plate, the first disaster. The steak tartar with quail egg was delicious, the egg yolk breaking perfectly in my mouth as the tender tartar melted, that aside, the rest could barely have passed for Fancy Feast. Pork that was quite simply forgettable and foie gras that was hardened into a cold fatty lump and overpowered by salt, a taste that wouldn't leave my mouth for the rest of the meal. Enter the entree; serving food cold does not, in my book, make it suitable for warm weather, the quail was a perfect example of this. I wanted to ask if it could be heated as it had lost all of its juiciness and most its flavor. The duck liver toast was simply inedible, think salt lick, and the frisee overpowered by a terrible pairing of citrus dressing. The leek and lentil salad may have been the best part of the meal, simple, seasonal and fresh, but after enduring the entree, served only to cleanse my pallet. By the time desert came around I found myself rushing to pay the bill and get out, the expectation of a wonderful meal was dashed by food that was under thought, overly salty, and trying to be something is wasn't. Simple warm weather flavors and fresh ingredients were substituted with strange preparations and heavy flavor. One can't help but think the heat wave left the chefs at Beast scrambling to come up with an alternative menu and failing miserably.
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