At Trio Club, guests revel in an atmosphere of exciting urban nightlife, danceable electronic music, and fine international fare. In the kitchen, chefs employ their well-honed culinary skills and basic knowledge of nuclear physics to fuse European, Asian, and American flavors, creating dishes such as Chinese sausage with fried rice and halibut fish 'n' chips. Guests pair these cosmopolitan feasts with craft cocktails made from top-shelf liquors and fruit-infused spirits or with beers sourced from Oregon-based brewers. On the dance floor, neon lights illuminate parties set to the soundtrack of hip-hop, reggaet?n, and electronic beats from a live DJ, who also spins country tracks on Thursday nights, as well as karaoke renditions of pop hits.
Authentic Sichuan cuisine and hot pots adorn the tables at Szechuan Chef, filling the air with appetizing aromas and mouths with robust spice. Carefully selected fresh, natural ingredients populate each dish, prepared with methods that lead to healthier and more nutritious meals. The traditional decor adds to the ambiance, with brightly hued lanterns floating in the air and ornate tapestries hanging from the walls.
In addition to awarding Lucky Strike a spot on its list of Best Restaurants in 2009, Portland Monthly praised the eatery for its ability to "revise everything you know about Chinese food." While the chefs source ingredients from local producers whenever possible, they also embrace the fiery flavors of Sichuan cuisine by incorporating such traditional spices as prickly ash and Sichuan peppercorn. These incendiary ingredients appear throughout the menu, which includes signatures such as twice-cooked pork belly, braised eggplant, and sweet-and-sour chicken.
To complement bites, the restaurant features a selection of locally brewed beers that rotates regularly. Bartenders mix cocktails with spirits infused in-house, including the signature vodka with lemongrass, ginger, and thai chili.
Wine-red and jet-black walls lend a lounge-like ambience to the dining room, which features dark wooden tables and traditional Chinese wall art. From the ceilings, red chandeliers light the space more effectively than a portrait of a supernova.
Finely chopped vegetables. Seared slivers of chicken. Sauces that balance sweet and savory notes. These ingredients have come crackling together in the kitchen of Chen's Dynasty since the eatery’s eponymous founder opened it in 1985. Jacob Echeverria took the reins two decades later, and as a longtime associate of the Chen family, Jacob adopted their culinary style.
The Sichuan- and Hunan-style recipes belong to past generations of the Chens, who have eschewed photo albums and immortal butlers to pass down specialties such as peking duck glazed with honey and served with steaming pancakes and hoisin sauce. Another dish, pan-fried oysters, drops onto tables accompanied by onions and ginger, or sizzling with black-bean sauce.
The skilled chefs at Sungari's Dragonwell bring the flavors of China to American tongues with a selection of traditional and Asian-fusion cuisine. Sit at the stone-inlaid center bar or at a private table in the recently renovated dining area to peruse the expansive dinner, lunch, and sushi menus. Start meals with a small plate of california rolls ($5), then fill mouths with yin-yang shrimp, a tasty balance of prawns in a spicy mandarin sauce and shrimp in a cantonese white-wine sauce ($18.95). Stop in during happy hour to sample specialty cocktails and sakes that provide the courage necessary to ask a stranger to dance, even in the absence of music ($5).
If you’re at Shandong, skip the Americanized dishes and take a culinary trip to the Shandong Province. The spotlight is on Northern Chinese cuisine, so take advantage of the opportunity to try dishes like cherry pork, with deep-fried pork tossed in garlic and ginger-infused cherry sauce. Forget kung pao and go for the clay-pot curry chicken or robust soup dumplings packed with pork, cabbage, and beef broth. If you order the hand-pulled noodles, servers will toss them tableside.