Talk about hot spots. Wander in to Wafu on Tuesday night and you’d be in the center of Japanese infused buzz. As you pinball your way through the narrow restaurant, you’ll be bumping shoulders with folks who are eating, folks who are waiting to eat, and folks who appear to be simply enjoying being in the midst of this food induced revelry.
The walls are decorated sky-high with old, funky Japanese movie posters, the bar and communal tables are graced with warm, round Japanese lanterns. If you stumble a little further a room will open up before you. Spacious, dark, and cozy, two long communal tables, a hand painted cherry blossom tree on one wall, and quite possibly the coolest element of all: old Akira Kurosawa samurai movies playing on the main wall of the space. Sound off, of course.
This was my second dinner with Portland Food Adventures. The brain child of Chris Angelus who apparently has his thumb directly on the food pulse of Portland. Wafu had been open for a mere five days when we arrived for dinner, but Chris had been anticipating Wafu’s success for months. And boy, he didn’t miss the mark with this one. Chef Trent Pierce, formerly of the now defunct Fin, is the mastermind behind the seafood rich menu, and Kurt Huffman of Chefstable, is the brain, the support, the guide, and the guy you go to if you want a successful and happening restaurant.
This is how it works: Cruise the Portland Food Adventures website and choose an upcoming dinner that turns you on, pay, arrive on the night of the dinner prepared to make new friends, eat an amazing multi-course dinner, rub shoulders with the chef and walk away filled to the brim with delicious food, conversation, a stack of gift certificates to the chef’s favorite haunts around town, and not a little bit of bliss.
Now here’s the juicy bit, the food! Seven courses, each perfectly paired with sake beginning with Chef Trent’s signature mahi mahi ceviche and ending with a crazy, creamy citrus curd dessert with umi that I swear was all over my face.
The next dinner is at St. Jack and I cannot wait!