Late Night Ramen and Cocktails Rule at Noraneko


Noraneko
, the spin-off ramen shop of Biwa, opened in mid-March. Nestled under the Hawthorne bridge, the restaurant’s name translates to "alley cat." It joins the list of Industrial District hot spots, such as Olympia Provisions, Clark Lewis, le Bistro Montage and Boke Bowl. It’s the latter of these, the well established and popular ramen spot, that Noraneko will have to prove itself against and will undoubtedly be compared to in coming months.

The noodle shop, like a number of other recent places in town, concentrates on small menus, counter service, late hours and craft drinks. The main focus is on four ramen options, priced at $8 each: shio, shoyu, miso and vegetarian. Also available are a few appetizers, including gyoza and boneless fried chicken, as well as add-ons for the ramen; The pork belly chasyu is worth the $2 charge to add, as is the extra garlic, which is priced at $0 on the menu, and comes with three bulbs of raw garlic and a garlic press for patrons to garnish as liberally as they desire.

The ramens are excellent—Thick, al dente noodles and vegetables float in delicate broth that is far less sodium-packed than one might initially fear. There is no great standout from the four—the miso is the richest and saltiest, and the shoyu may be the most recognizable as “standard” ramen, but the pork-broth shio is delicious, as is the vegetarian option.

Open until 2 AM every day, the restaurant is clearly aiming for a late-night bar crowd, which may set it apart from Boke, which closes at 9 PM.

The drink menu is intriguing: a long list of classic cocktails, sans description, including everything from a Gin & Tonic, to a Manhattan, to a Negroni. All drinks are $10 or under, and while some patrons might be reluctant to spend $7 on a highball like a whiskey ginger, the drinks here are made with aplomb and high quality ingredients. The Sazerac, an especially tricky cocktail to pull off, is excellent here, even with a $9 price tag (especially considering the ubiquity of $12 cocktails this city is currently suffering under). Also available is a range of house-made sodas and juices, a substantial tap and bottle list, wine and sake.

The environment is casual and bright, with an appropriate South-East Asian flair. Seats and booths spill out into an industrial hallway to make room for crowds. While there may be a decent line to the counter, food and drinks are promptly served almost as soon as guests find a table.

There is some steep competition, but a strong start and the prior success of its parent shop, Biwa, are auspicious signs for Noraneko’s future. This might be your newest casual date spot or the best spot to satisfy your late-night craving for ramen. 

Noraneko; 1430 SE Water Ave.; 503-238-6356

Photos by Alexander Frane

Tags: Cocktails, Food
Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Things No One Asked For: Prosecco-Flavored Nail Polish

Things No One Asked For: Prosecco-Flavored Nail Polish

If you're the kind of alcoholic who needs to have booze on your person at all times, Groupon has just the product for you: prosecco-flavored nail poli...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Mar 22, 2017
The Sobro Refrigerator Coffee Table Means You Never Need to Get Up Again

The Sobro Refrigerator Coffee Table Means You Never Need to Get Up Again

A recent IndieGoGo campaign has resulted in a coffee table with everything you could want: the Sobro Refrigera...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 22, 2017
Celebrate Wine & The Women of Marvel at Pairings Portland Wine Shop, March 23-26

Celebrate Wine & The Women of Marvel at Pairings Portland Wine Shop, March 23-26

This weekend, Thursday March 23 through Sunday March 26, join the fun with wines made by female winemakers pai...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 21, 2017
SPONSORED
Cold Brew Hard Coffee is Coming to Stores in May

Cold Brew Hard Coffee is Coming to Stores in May

Soon, you'll be able to enjoy cold brew coffee with the alcohol percentage of a strong beer with Bad Larry's Cold Hard Coffee. ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 17, 2017
Budweiser Wants to Be the First Beer Consumed on Mars

Budweiser Wants to Be the First Beer Consumed on Mars

In what is undoubtedly the company's latest publicity stunt, Budweiser announced Saturday, March 11 at SXSW in Austin, Texas that they are looking int...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Mar 16, 2017
Portland's Best Non-Alcoholic Bar Programs

Portland's Best Non-Alcoholic Bar Programs

Whether you're a designated driver, trying to saving money, cutting out alcohol entirely, or just feel like going out without getting buzzed, here are...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 14, 2017
Where to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day 2017 in Portland

Where to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day 2017 in Portland

St. Patrick's Day is a time for celebration in Portland, not just because we always love an excuse to drink stout, but also because it marks the end o...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 14, 2017
Visit One of Portland's Many Female Owned Bars and Restaurants

Visit One of Portland's Many Female Owned Bars and Restaurants

If you want to go to a bar and support women this Women's History Month, try some of these great women owned Portland bars....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 8, 2017
BrewDog's Latest Project is a Crowdfunded Craft Beer Hotel

BrewDog's Latest Project is a Crowdfunded Craft Beer Hotel

The publicly owned Scottish brewery announced their plans to crowdfund a craft beer hotel, called the "Dog House" via Indiegogo less than week ago. ...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Mar 8, 2017
Appleton Estate Celebrates 20 Years with Joy Spence

Appleton Estate Celebrates 20 Years with Joy Spence

Appleton Estate, the Jamaican rum label, is celebrating 20 years with its master distiller Joy Spence this year....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 7, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close