Food & Drink

82nd, here comes Cambodia

The novelty of exploring the 82nd Ave Asian culinary wonderland can be short-lived -- after a while, ox members and raw geoduck become just boring old giant penises/things that look like giant penises. Changing all that: 100% legit, totally member-free Cambodian food, from Mekong Bistro.

Just opened by a family that used to cook up their homeland's eats at a deep SE sports bar, Mekong's the only sit-down joint in PDX serving Cambodian food -- which combines Thai and Laotian influences with an emphasis on noodles and soups -- in a sunny, lounge-y space decked with TVs screening everything from sports to Asian soap operas, presumably including Yuan Life to Live and All My One Children.

Kick off your southern Indochina stomach-tour with beef skewers w/ palate-busting pickled veggies, or marinated-then-deep-fried beef jerky, then get bigger with Labb (ground chicken or pork w/ veggies wrapped in lettuce), thick pork-blood porridge, chicken wings that're de-boned before being stuffed w/ ground chicken & veggies, and teardrop noodles, which Asian Lil Wayne has tatted all over his face.

Next month, most seating will be moved to the currently-under-construction adjoining room (complete with wood prints of the Angkor Wat temples, Buddhas, and of course, lucky cats), making room for a full bar area boasting free karaoke all day and night, a pursuit whose novelty never, ever wangs... er, wanes.