Alto Bajo

4.3
142 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary Mexican

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About

Alto Bajo is a modern Mexican restaurant, casual up scale located on SW stark and 3rd.

Showcases traditional Mexican flavors in a modern, distinctive way. Alto Bajo delivers a balance of classic Oaxacan cuisine with accents of contemporary style. An innovative beverage program showcases and highlights both tequila and mezcal, offering pairings that delight the palates. The restaurant serves weekday breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as weekend brunch.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary Mexican
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Hours of operation
Breakfast
Mon–Fri 6:30 am–10:30 am
Brunch
Sat, Sun 7:00 am–2:00 pm
Lunch
Mon–Fri 11:00 am–2:00 pm
Dinner
Mon–Thu 5:30 pm–9:00 pm
Fri, Sat 5:30 pm–10:00 pm
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Phone number
(971) 222-2111 ext. 7111
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Bryant Kryck
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
SW 3rd street
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 142 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.6
service
4.1
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Quiet
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Very delicious food and helpful and friendly staff! Totally recommend to anyone who loves a super cool atmosphere and a fun take on Mexican food!

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JW
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was absolutely fantastic and I was in company with picky eaters!

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OT
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Lovely atmosphere and excellent food quality.

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C
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 5

The food isn’t very good. Heated-up quality about it. Bland flavors. Chips are hard and tough. Weird sugar added to dishes. So so expensive. Many good ideas on menu. Excellent service. It’s just poorly executed.

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T
Portland
17 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

I was disappointed. I love Mexican food, and was looking forward to contemporary mexican food.
The menu sounded interesting, however, the taste was not that interesting. I am sorry to say.

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BH
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The preparation of standards like enchiladas borders on the exotic, and the flavors were outstanding. We cleaned our plates!

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s
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

I was so disappointed to see that their menu had changed and took my two favorite things off of it. I ordered the market salmon and it was undercooked and was just served on top of corn and onion. Everyone else there also thought the food was just meh. The waitress said the chef had changed and you could really taste the difference.

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s
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Alto Bajo was great! It's about a year old, still looks brand new. Bright, modern southwestern decor (light wood tables, decorative real cacti and pretty patterned textile booths). The food and drinks were so delicious and plated beautifully - colorful, refreshing and without unnecessary inedible garnish. Made for a lovely meal and some great birthday pictures. We will be back!

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DD
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome food! Fresh ingredients and you can taste the effort and care put into making the food. The best black beans, I’ve ever had. Delish salsa and sauce on entotamadas. Wonderful server!

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C
Portland
10 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

The Gigantic Carnitas plate was really amazing. The Pork was done to perfection and the black beans were to die for. The red cabbage added just the right amount of crunch. We shared a Mexican version of the wedge salad and it was so good I could have had two. The Margaritas were really good and the rose wine the bar tender recommended was dry but flavorful, just how I like it. Our server Madisen was really friendly, helpful and we would definitely recommend her and the restaurant to others.

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C
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Super yummy and friendly. I just don’t understand why the mole would cost so much. Also all chicken is thigh meat if you are into that.

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C
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Alto Bajo is slowly being discovered as a wonderful downtown Portland dining option. Featuring modern Mexican cuisine with an Oaxacan flair, I was really impressed with my overall experience. The house made chips, guacamole and salsas were the perfect start to the meal. My dining companion had the barbacoa tacos, and I enjoyed the entomatadas. The entomatadas were like a mix between an enchilada and empanada, and SO delicious. YUM! I also enjoyed the Nayarit rice and refried beans. Everything was just wonderful! We will be back.

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GE
Seattle
56 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

First off, this is a restaurant inside but somewhat separated from the HiLO Hotel lobby. Problem is the bar and restaurant are not contiguous and if you are a single for dinner, you get to sit at a table by yourself rather that sitting at the bar and eating there and feeling like you are in the restaurant instead of the hotel lobby.

The food, guacamole with salsa was tasty, accompanying chips were way over salted and I like salt!

Had the house margarita with reposada tequila, rocks and salt. Good cocktail, just a bit short.

Entree was the rabbit wrapped in bacon with green mole and veg. TOO SALTY! Also too much mole, the dish was swimming it it.

All said, they are pushing the envelope for Portland, both the flavors (in a good way) and the price. They have the right idea, just need to execute!

Hope they survive and are able to improve on their execution.

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AB
Portland
13 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Lacked zest in what you would expect in Mexican food. Very small portions for high price. This restaurant is a hotel connected business at the Hi Lo. It could be very good if they understand people don't want to pay $15 dollars for a single burrito on a o,ate with nothing else. Food was not hot. I won't be back. Waitress excellent

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MF
Portland
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I've been here a few times and each time the food and drink have been outstanding. The drinks are fantastic (the cadillac margarita is one of the best in town, and I've had my share!) and the vibe is a great combination of cool/hip/modern, but still quiet/professional so you don't have to scream to hear whomever you are dining/drinking with. The brisket burrito is off the hook!

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

Mother’s Day

Service was atrocious (Zach) - one of the worst servers I have had in years.

Some food was outstanding and others was very mediocre.

Not sue if I will return

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OT
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 4ambience 1

We had a 7:15 pm on a Friday, and we were the only ones at the restaurant for the entire duration of our meal... I don’t know why this was, but the lack of atmosphere very negatively affected my experience despite my tasty chicken dish. I suspect the combination of a limited menu and a location with little foot traffic might contribute to the emptiness.

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OT
Portland
23 reviews
Dined on April 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Well-executed non-traditional Mexican(ish) fare at a modest price point in a cheery space. Don't expect a conventional menu - my vegan chile relleno was filled with pine nuts, lentils, and cherries and baked rather than fried, and accompanied by a side of foie gras refried black beans. Adventuresome without being too precious and affordable. This is classy casual dining and an excellent value - we plan to return with friends.

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AB
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on April 22, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

I thought that ambiance was neat. I thought that food options were a bit limited and they ran out of the one dish that I was looking forward to trying (it was probably popular because the other items were a bit too adventurous. I decided to be adventurous and tried the rabbit but I was not a fan. I also thought that it was over-seasoned and almost too salty to eat. I did eat it though because I was hungry! The cocktails were good, at least! It could be that I ordered the wrong dish, but I probably won't be back since it is also too pricey to take that risk.

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MC
Seattle
1 review
Dined on April 22, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

The menu that is online is not at all the menu that they offer at the restaurant. Their dinner menu only has a few options. Not bad options, but if you are going with a big group and want enough variety for everyone, I would reconsider. Food was good, but it took forever and there were very few people in the whole restaurant.

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b
Tallahassee
12 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Holy cow we love this place!!! Super cool menu! (Beware it is different then Open Table menu). Lots of flavorful and unique dishes. Even for breakfast! Healthy fresh ingredients and large portions. We will be back and highly recommend!

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Dim the lights and attentive service will make this an A+. Food is fantastic. Glad the menu is simple/short w each item done to perfection

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NH
1 review
Dined on April 2, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

I ordered the poblano chile relleno. It was ok but the pumpkin puree was a bit thick. I had hoped they would have more vegetarian options.

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b
Portland
58 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Alto Bajo is attached to the new Hi-Lo boutique hotel located at the corner of SW 3rd and Stark. We were there for the Portland Dining Month special $33.00 diners. Our impression is that for volume, you get your money's worth - large portions. The starters were the high lights of the meal, excellent Empanadas and wonderful ceviche. The second course was large but slightly undercooked chile relleno, and a huge serving of grilled chicken with slaw and pickled onions. Both of the main slightly missed very good, but the rice and black beans sides met that standard. Desert was a chocolate cake with flan topping - interesting. With a very good guacamole, one wine, 2 beers and tip the total was slightly over $100.00.

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CP
Portland
41 reviews
Dined on March 25, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

What a great first time visit! The Dining Month starter and entrée we’re superb. The dessert wasn’t great but the overall experience was so positive we will definitely return .

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d
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

Found everything between the 4 people very spicy and surprisingly spicy as there was no warning. Service was a bit slow and drinks were on the weaker side but we were still served so can't totally complain. A good night out for a double date - great interior setting. Wouldn't be rushed to go back and the value for Dining Month was not there - just order off the menu as you'd like.

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JG
Hawaii
37 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice and spicy! Loved it!

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CN
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on March 18, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Used to enjoy this place, brunch was horrible and service was so slow. Eggs tasted microwaved, only good thing were margaritas but we had to flag someone down to get a second round, our server never offered, and even after we ordered we had to ask a second time to finally get them. Very disappointed.

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b
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on March 18, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

We were a few minutes early for our table, so we asked if we could wait in the bar and the hostess told us to 'come back and find me when it's your reservation time". Um, isnt it her job to come tell us when our table is ready? Found that very rude. Took forever to get the three courses (dining week, but it wasn't THAT busy). Empanadas were too spicy to eat, two of the moles were too bitter to eat, chicken was cotton-dry. Relleno was just meh. Not rushing back.

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B
Portland
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We tried the March dining options and were stuffed. Margaritas were also excellent.

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s
Portland
9 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

The ambiance and design is lovely but the meal was Very disappointing. We ordered from PDX Dining Month menu. My mezcal margarita, was, a wonderful beginning. It went down hill with each following course. The empanadas were tasty but not exceptional, the chili relleno was boring and odd with nuts in it. My husband’s came out with chunks of unmelted cheese. He asked if they could melt the cheese, and his replacement dinner was brought out after the rest of our group had finished eating. The dessert flan was nothing exceptional and the gluten free alternative was downright weird with a showy presentation of dried mango, and bland rice crisps and almond milk to pour over it - so bland! A lot of $ for not so great food.

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PJ
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

There are a lot of Mexican restaurants in Portland. Most of them Tex-Mex. It's hard to find a restaurant that serves Oaxacan style food. Alto Bajo fuses Northwest ingredients with Oaxacan influences that are well presented and quite delicious. I'll be back

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CC
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Not at all what we think of Mexican food. This has an Oaxacan flair with a delicious trio of moles for a perfectly roasted chicken. Ahi ceviche was light, tangy and superb. Empanadas were excellent. Drinks as well. The menu is small but everything we tried was exceptional. We will definitely be back a lot.

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HD
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We went for Portland dining month & each chose different options to try as much as possible. Excellent food, great drinks and service. We’ll definitely be going back. The empanadas and chili rellenos were very good!

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JW
Atlanta
9 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Great food and drinks that were overshadowed by poor service. Overall service and time it took my food to arrive (close to an hour) was painful....

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OT
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Food and service was great but ambiance was a little boring

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p
Seattle
59 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

I really like this place. It's a very classy interior: white walls, tall ceilings, you get the drill. The tables can be somewhat close together while leaving lots of room for the wait staff to walk from table to table. The restaurant is in the ground floor of a hotel and there's a neighboring bar where you can wait if your reservation is behind or you didn't make one in the first place. Drinks there were gooood.

The food at Alto Bajo is also pretty great. We came during restaurant month, so the value was particularly good. I really liked the empanadas - they came with great sauces that were very flavorful and bright. My favorite though was the half chicken with mole. First, it was the most chicken that I had seen served at a restaurant in perhaps forever, and it was served with three unique moles. There were also tortillas and side toppings onto which you could build your own chicken tacos. It was an absolutely grand meal. I'd recommend getting one to share between two people, because even two among three people was way way way too much. Finally, the churros were probably the best that I have had, ever (to be fair, I'm not a big churros person, so this is saying a lot). The dough itself was very flavorful (I'm not talking about all the sugar that is surrounding it!) and the chocolate dipping sauce was obviously fantastic.

Great meal! Service was a little slow and inattentive, but the restaurant was super busy and I wonder if in general that's the Portland vibe. Either way, great place to go for a fine dining meal without paying the fine dining cost.

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JB
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was great, almost entire menu GF. Server was spot on and knowledgeable.

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P
Portland
22 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This Oaxacan Restaurant is a welcomed addition to Portland. The food definitely took me back to Oaxaca. The flavours and the presentation are all superb. Highly recommend!

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SS
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

I came for Dining Month special with a few friends. We all loved our cocktails (we ordered all the the available margaritas), but the food was surprisingly spicy and flavors outside of the spice were a bit underwhelming. I wish they had given us options for level of spice (e.g., mild, medium, spicy). Service was excellent.

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