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Traveling Table: Portland, Oregon

Four scene-stealers in the Northwest's culinary capital

DOC Don't let this restaurant's window-front larder fool you: There's a jewel-box-size dining room hidden inside. Intimate? Very much so: Diners practically sit in the open kitchen (pictured), from which farm-sourced, Italian-inspired dishes like a cauliflower and anchovy tagliatelle ($17) or flaky cod with nettles and beech mushrooms ($20) emerge. Splurge on the five-course tasting menu ($50) and ask the sommelier to pair it with selections from the outstanding Italian-centric list. 5519 N.E. 30th Ave.; 503-946-8592 or docpdx.com

Bunk Sandwiches The line at Tommy Habetz and Nick Wood's retro-styled Eastside shop snakes out onto the sidewalk all day--and rightly so. The duo's ever-changing blackboard of adventurous sandwiches ($5 to $9) includes one made with oxtail confit and celery-and-hot-pepper relish, another with bone marrow and snails on toast, and a veggie option that marries goat cheese, peperonata and olive salad. 621 S.E. Morrison St.; 503-477-9515 or bunksandwiches.com

Ping In Chinatown, Pok Pok's now-famous chef-owner, Andy Ricker, brings an izakaya-style watering hole to life with a mix of Asian drinks and authentic, snack-size plates. Trendy downtowners go for the no-reservations hipster scene, Singapore slings ($5) and plates of bacon-wrapped quail-egg skewers ($3), steamed pork buns ($4) and Thai-style pork knuckle on jasmine rice ($9). 102 N.W. Fourth Ave.; 503-229-7464 or pingpdx.com

Beaker & Flask With mint-green walls, concrete floors and light-bulb pendants, bartender-turned-restaurateur Kevin Ludwig's long-awaited spot fits right in with the industrial Eastside neighborhood. Culinary-minded cocktails--like the Zanahorita, made with carrot juice, cumin and cilantro syrup ($8)--are the main draw here. From the kitchen, Paley's Place alum Benjamin Bettinger crafts seasonally driven mains, like braised pork belly with summer-vegetable succotash ($17) and snacks like soft pretzel sticks ($7) and macaroni and cheese with blood sausage ($7). 727 S.E. Washington St.; 503-235-8180 or beakerandflask.com

Editor's note: Beaker & Flask has closed and Ping is temporarily closed.

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