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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Portland
Food
Feel
Price
8.7
5.0
$15
Korean
Casual restaurant

Hours
Mon–Sat 10:00am–7:00pm

Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Not accepted

Beaverton
3975 SW 114th Ave.
Beaverton, OR
(503) 626-7819
Spring Restaurant
A hidden gem whose authentic stews and noodle dishes are as transportive as the strange digs

Formerly known as Umma’s, Spring Restaurant is the Holy Grail of gastroventurists, that ultimate hidden gem concealed inside an Asian supermarket. This Korean dive is in a humble alcove at the top of Pal-do market, staffed by fairly crabby folks who might prefer watching their TV show to making your dining experience all you dreamed of. If you catch them on a good day, though, they might hover over you, showing you how to mix and match certain sauces and what order to eat in. Just relax and get into it.

Don’t panic if you aren’t well versed in Korean cuisine. There are pictures of the food, and it’s impossible to go wrong, although this isn’t really the place for barbecue, so you should let go of the one dish you might be most familiar with. Daeji bulgogi is good, not great, with spicy pork that isn’t as sickly sweet as some other Americanized places make it. Cold, spicy noodles in bibim naengmyeon are tangy and mustardy, somehow soul-warming even though the dish isn’t served hot. Wheat noodles served in a thick black soybean paste (the Chinese-influenced jajangmyeon) are fantastic, as well, resilient and rich, with tender pieces of beef.

Banchan dishes taste fresh and are of the standard order: kimchi, spicy potato, sesame-oily bean sprouts, and sausages. It’s all just a little better against a backdrop of Korean-language commercials. A word of advice to food-porn junkies: be discreet with your camera here, unless you want to get yelled at by a suspicious manager. We also totally recommend getting yelled at by the suspicious manager. It just adds to the flavor of the experience.

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