1605 NE Killingsworth St.
Portland, OR 97211
Hat Yai is centered around mortar-and-pestle-ground Thai spice, and the fast-casual eatery on Northeast Killingsworth delivers it in specialty chicken dishes with the flavor and impact of a full-scale sit-down restaurant. The spot is named after a city on the border of Thailand's border with Malaysia, which is the inspiration for the preparation style here: spicy with lots of chili. The fried chicken is a must-order, the rice flour batter giving legs a golden crunch, while sprinklings of peppercorns and fired shallots give them extra punch. You can also have a half-bird with sticky rice, but non-poultry options like red chili-coconut curry with roti make a nice alternative. Sweet cocktails like a Tamarind Whiskey Smash and Asian import beers provide lubrication, and a few drinks might help you get creative in stacking plates to make room at the tiny tables.