Creating fusion cuisine is a tricky business that requires hard work to find complementary flavors in divergent ingredients, unless of course you just luck into a peanut-butter-braised Toaster Strudel with Pop Rocks frosting you apply yourself!! Getting almost that awesome: YOLO Lounge, now open downtown.
Boldly fusing Asian cuisine with South-of-the-Border goodness, YOLO (or You Only Live Once, which is just crazy) also fuses together a restaurant and a lounge in bi-level, understatedly hued digs with a slick modern vibe thanks to a 40ft smooth marble bar and strictly chillin' balcony banquettes overlooking a massive pixelated geisha mural, recalling a time when their services only cost 8 bits. Like a Tarantino/ Rodriguez culinary jam, Eastern-influenced eats get a Hispanic accent, with a roster including hamachi sashimi w/ ginger, fried garlic slices & fresh jalapeno rounds; BBQ beef "Asian Tacos"; a signature sushi roll with tempura shrimp, baked crab & avocado over tequila sauce; and to finish, Mexican fried ice cream done with tempura, which is the reason you screamed in the first place. On the bar side, 11 sakes, five taps, and a brief wine selection join house 'tails featuring locally made Yeyo tequila, like "The Light" with dark simple syrup & grapefruit, "Jon's" with blueberry & limes, and a Yeyo/ gin/ spicy togarashi seasoning/ cucumber number called the "Salt & Pepper", which's so good, you could drink like five of them if you really wanted to push it. Push it real good.
As the year warms, YOLO promises more entertainment, a second wing with a clubbier bar, windows that swivel open to sidewalk seating, and drinks slushified with liquid nitrogen, providing a much less tricky cold fusion than the kind Elisabeth Shue invented it in the classic film The Saint.
Published: May 3, 2011 at 4:00am EDT
412 SW 4th Ave
Portland, OR 97214
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