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smallwares Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.smallwarespdx.com/
  • Email: info@smallwarespdx.com
  • Phone: (971) 229-0995
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Daily: 5:00pm - 1:00am
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Fusion / Eclectic, Asian, Global, International
  • Executive Chef: Johanna Ware
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Fireplace, Full Bar, Late Night, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies)

Getting there

  • Cross Street: NE 46th
  • Public Transit: Bus #75 & #24
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: We are located in a residential neighborhood with ample, free street parking.
A word from smallwares
Smallwares is a forty-seat restaurant with an open kitchen. We serve small plates of inauthentic Asian cuisine meant to be shared, and eclectic wine, sake and cocktails.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "We love the imaginative, energetic, original, "inauthentic Asian" food at Smallwares. And the servers are delightful, helpful, enthusiastic and full of useful information on both food and wine. But we don't go that often, because we have to be willing to put up with the ear-splitting noise level (even when the place is half empty, the music, both style and volume, is stress-inducing) and the uncomfortable environment. Both doors let in huge gusts of cold air; we often eat with our coats on. But wow, the food is wonderful."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Cocktails are amazing, don't forego the fried kale or egg with Chinese mustard."
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "Enjoyed several dishes with my friend and each was excitingly delicious! I will definitely return any chance I get!"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Creative food, excellent service, delicious wine. Love going to eat where we can eat things we would don't cook at home and have them test delicious."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "As always, Smallwares was fantastic! We tried a couple of new things this time, along with the always awesome fried kale. Our server was attentive and knowledgable. It was a great meal!"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "The range of dishes is wonderful, sauces and seasonings very creative and good. One caution is to go easy on the fish sauce on the fried kale (great dish and too much of the sauce is salty and starts to mask the other flavors)"
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "Liked this place a lot - ordered fried kale, poached duck egg, tuna special and spicy noodles. Too much food for two - we could have done without the noodles in the end (we'd ordered rice too). Excellent value for the quality of the food, especially the kale dish and the tuna special (great sauce with a salty lime tang - not a lime, a Japanese citrus fruit). A bit too noisy for my liking, meant conversation was a bit of an effort at times. Cool ambience and decor. Highly recommended."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "We enjoyed this Asian inspired restuarant and the food was very creative. The one negative was the choice of music, sort of a rap, hip hop sound track, not at all complimentary to the type of food served. Even the server agreed!"
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "Everything we ordered off the menu was great! I'm still dreaming about the radicchio and kale dishes. Great wine pairing, good sherry digestif list, great service. On my list to frequent from now on!"
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "I have never had a bad experience at Smallwares. The food is always impeccable and inventive but accessible to all types of palates. The service was great. The server was attentive but not hovering. She checked in with us at every course & was happy to give recommendations when we requested them. I love the look and feel of the restaurant. Classy and casual. Highly recommended."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "Went for Portland Dining Month and the food was very good with excellent flavors, especially the Panna Cotta with kaffir lime leaves....probably the best dessert I have ever had. Not a lot of ambiance, decor felt a bit sterile but food was excellent and I would come back for the normal dinner menu."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "We went there for Portland Dining Month and tried the 3-course vegan options with wine pairings. The food was excellent, and the service was great. A lovely experience!"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "With so many choices in Portland for foodies, this will be my last stop here. Some of the plates were fantastic! I loved the dashi and duck egg. The drinks were good. However, the larger plates were bland and boring. The noodles, were mediocre. The pork sandwich was what I would expect from a food cart. The waitress was nice, albeit a little akward. The seating was way too close to others."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "With so many items to choose from, it's hard to focus on a just a few. We had grilled lobster, radicchio salad and an amazing kale salad that all blended together beautifully. Already looking forward to next time."
    Dined on 3/3/2014
  • "Wishing I had more room to try everything on the menu. Though I have been to Smallwares a couple of times, the menu is has changed for seasonality and availability. The tempura fried kale is my staple! We shared that along with the ox tail…which was falling off the bone delicious and full of complex flavors. I will be back again and again as there is always something on the menu that intrigues me. I'd never cook any of this at home or even attempt it… therefore I'm leaving this beautiful creativity to the expert chef at Smallwares."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "After reading a few raves about Smallwares, I was excited to try it out. We took 2 friends from out of town to show an example of the fabulous Portland food scene. None of us were impressed. Of 4 dishes, only the radicchio salad was outstanding. The others were yawners. We ordered vegetarian dishes, so I'm not commenting on the seafood and meat items. Few if any local wines appeared on the printed list, almost all overpriced. A list of regional wines was written on a white board without prices. On the plus side: very comfortable and visually appealing room."
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "This was my first time at Smallwares, where I brought an out of town date. Sashimi was excellent, good start. Wine list good, enjoyed a glass which complimented the food. Heard should not miss the fried kale.... hey, what doesn't taste good when deep fried? The crab noodle soup sounded with shrimp balls sounded good for a fish lover.... but everything was SO salty! The broth for the soup was basically inedible for me since it was so briny. My date and I had to run off to the theater, so there wasn't time for anything else. Later that evening, my hands were swollen from the sodium retention and when my date dropped me off, I had to invite him in for a big drink of water!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "This was a great experience for us. The waitress answered all of our questions wile making us feel at home and at ease."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "small portions at an inflated price, taking advantage of the fact that it was valentine's day, the food was very tasty, but highly inadequate amounts"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Food was great, service was great. The space feels a bit cold, I personally like the energy of tasty and alder. Would definitely recommend."
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "This restaurant is cute and the bar looks nice. The food is flavorful but is often a bit too strong in flavors. The octopus salad was done well except for the dressing was too salty and had too much sesame or some strong flavor. The apple kimchi was awesome. The steal head was great...probably the best dish we tried. Drinks were good, love the sake menu. My issue with this place is the bathroom. I really have a problem with restaurants that have a shared bathroom with other businesses. This one especially because you have to walk outside and down a ways before getting to the two single bathrooms. I was totally freezing and was not happy about any of that. It may be silly but I consider all things when analyzing the dining experience."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "Wonderful evening with truly unique and delicious food! Interesting flavors and textures, yet remaining true to the ingredients. A real jewel!"
    Dined on 1/23/2014
  • "Smallwares is a charming, cozy in the back room (empty in the front) spot for light dining. Small plates were interesting but not very satisfying and we left with a feeling that we hadn't really had dinner. Liked the fireplace in the back, enjoyed the feeling you could stay a while and not be rushed off. But as for the food choices: not interesting enough, or substantial enough, to bring us back. Maybe a couple salad plus entree offerings would be a good idea."
    Dined on 1/23/2014
  • "We heard about this restaurant and finally were able to go! We were not disappointed! The three different kinds of kim-chee were out of this world! We loved the apple kim-chee the best! The sweet of the apple with a little heat and spice was a great and creative combination. The portions were just right so you could try many things and not get over full on one entree. Great place to experiment and go out on a date!"
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "I can't believe Smallwares is on Portland best restaurant list, their food is terrible! Either too salty or no flavor at all! The chefs tried so hard to deconstruct Asian fusion dishes, however...they fail big time. Wrong mix of flavor and texture, the ingredients that they used are not complementing each other. I've traveled all over the world and had a chanced tasted all kind of foods around the world over the years. Anyway, whoever created the dishes are just bad ideas overall!! Such a disappointment :) sad"
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "Started with a wonderful octopus salad, but then the disappointments... A pairing of the "signature dish', the Fried Kale plus the Chicken Lollipops. The top half of the Kale, was fantastic, but for a salty fish sauce lover the bottom half was not edible, a salty soggy cold very salty brine, we actually poured off but could still only taste salt. Next, looks are deceiving the Lollipops are bland with no 'fusion' at all and the sauce would loose a taste test to any burger joints (mayo ketchup) fry sauce. The worst part... with a couple left on the plate the server states "ya, we have those for customers that are not adventitious and don't understand our food". Problem is I do, and the Lollipops fail the test, so did the Kale."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "Smallwares is a treat for complex thoughtful food. The menu descriptions are only a clue to excitement waiting in flavor combinations - ask the wait staff for more info because the menu won't tell you what is actually what. The drink menu seems to be more informative than the food card. (you get where the profit is.) Two of the three big common tables are too wide to comfortably talk across - so ask for a real table if you don't enjoy yelling with your mouth full or have any hearing loss."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "Really nice place, very trendy and an excellent wait staff. The food is not good. We ordered three plates and two were soaked in fish oil and salt. The ox tongue is excellent but the other two were forgettable."
    Dined on 12/27/2013
  • "amazing food. excellent service. knowledgable waitress. a tight ship. one of the best meals ever."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "More misses than hits with my party of four. The clams and chorizo was a miss as was the soba noodles. I'd like more fresh greens on the menu. The raddichio salad, while crispy, was weighed down by the peanut sauce. The concept and tapa-style is cool."
    Dined on 12/23/2013
  • "We needed some help deciphering the menu; everything was fantastically prepared. Will definitely return."
    Dined on 12/21/2013
  • "Smallwares has the most interesting dishes, and such a variety. It's a real treat."
    Dined on 12/18/2013
  • "We all really enjoyed the fair. It was like none other and we did not leave a bit on the plate. Yum!"
    Dined on 12/14/2013
  • "Even in Portland few restaurants seem to nail it with every dish served. We had the chicken lollipops, fried kale, black cod, short rib and oxtail curry. Each was attractively plated and delicious. We sat in the barwares section next to the fireplace. Our first visit will be the first of many."
    Dined on 11/23/2013
  • "I've been on a mission to try a new restaurant each week, but smalwares is a place I'd love to return to, and soon. Every dish we tried was perfect - the flavors, presentation & execution. The drinks were also great - strong and well balanced flavors."
    Dined on 11/16/2013
  • "quality food, great wine, excellent service, fresh & farm-focused."
    Dined on 11/14/2013
  • "Love the kale, scallops, and the oxtail! Although, the server did not recommend that I get rice with the oxtail curry because it was very rich. I wished they had roti to go with the oxtail instead. Also, the dessert did not pair with the Asian flair of the food. There should have been some sort of fried plantains or mango with sticky rice dessert. I ended up going to a Cuban place around the corner to get some dessert."
    Dined on 11/10/2013
  • "Loved the food here. It was definitely very busy on a Friday night, but we were able to get a table quickly."
    Dined on 11/1/2013
  • "A great selection of small dishes that focus on Japanese fusion flavors. Nice cocktails, interesting wine and beer and sake list. We made a full dinner with about 11 dishes for 3 people. We ordered mostly vegetarian and seafood, with the exception of the tasty short rib. Favorites were the kimchee selection, the excellent fried 6-minute egg, sweet raw scallops with yuzu aioli, and the potato salad. Desserts were no letdown, although a little more corn flavor would be nice in the silky and not-too-rich pot de crême with caramel sauce. Atmosphere is pleasantly minimalist with a lot of black. We prefer the bar area as it feels a bit cozier than the front. Very friendly and helpful service."
    Dined on 10/27/2013
  • "Drove down from Seattle, secured a reservation with open table, highly recommended from several friends. Stellar bar, found a fab Cremant to pair with our dinner. I little disappointed in the oysters, we both felt the oysters were overwhelmed by the fish sauce. The kale was excellent, with a slight sweet, salty, crunchy execution. The clams were delicious with the chorizo and broth, could of included a few more rice cakes, which we could count on one hand. Our favorite dish was the stellar hamachi starter, paper thin sliced hamachi, nestled atop creme fraiche and chili jam, excellant finish with the crunch of the fried shallots. Will stop by for happy hour again."
    Dined on 10/25/2013