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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Portland
Food
Feel
Price
7.4
6.5
$20
Korean
Casual restaurant

Hours
Mon–Fri 11:00am–9:00pm
Sat–Sun 11:30am–2:30pm
Sat–Sun 5:00pm–9:00pm

Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Accepted

Beaverton
4600 SW Watson Ave.
Beaverton, OR
(503) 646-9382
Nakwon
Focus on stews and soups at this popular Korean hole in the wall

Where ethnic foods are concerned, we tend to have the best food experiences in places that are hard to find and where the atmosphere is really nothing special. Head to the middle of picturesque Beaverton, look for a one-story brick warehouse-looking edifice, and you’re probably at Nakwon. At lunch and dinner, this space gets jam-packed with a mixed crowd of hipsters, families, and college students. Even at off-hours when the lively bustle calms, it’s got a warmer atmosphere than that of many of its competitors.

Service is working at its limit, which means you’re mostly on your own. Don’t ask for advice or help—this is where you go once you’ve graduated from Korean novicehood. But don’t panic and settle for barbecue, bulgogi, and the like. These things tend to be dry and gristly here. There are some Beaverton Korean restaurants where barbecue is the focus, and this isn’t one of them. Instead, say these words: dduk boki (pronounced “duk”). It’s the most fun your mouth will have, a chewy little rice cake with spicy dipping sauce. Also start by sharing some pajeon, seafood pancake, full of scallops, scallions, shrimp, and squid.

Follow this up with soon dubu, soft and hearty tofu stews served in stone pots—especially soon dubu jjigae, which is a little spicier. Naengmyeon is also very good, with thin, nicely resilient noodles. If you’re feeling under the weather or hungover, any of these stone pots will cure ya.

The selection of banchan is great here; in fact, it’s sometimes even better than the main dishes. Kimchi is right on the money, hot and pickle-puckery. And it goes perfectly with a bottle of Hite. When it comes to good Korean, leave it to Beaverton (sorry).

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