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Permanently Closed - smallwares

282 reviews
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$30 and under
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Fusion / Eclectic
Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for Groups

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This restaurant is permanently closed.

Dine on creative Asian fare at Smallwares. Its colorful setting features an open kitchen with counter seating for patrons to observe the chefs prepare their meals. Smallwares has an eclectic menu with an array of flavorful dishes. An appetizer of ceviche with green papaya, kimchi or fried kale with fish sauce and candied bacon will delight the taste buds. Patrons can feast on an entrée of oxtail curry, short ribs with a sweet chili sauce or sichuan-style pork with noodles. This restaurant also serves salad and sandwiches.

Smallwares has reviews in publications like Food & Wine, The New York Times and Portland Monthly Magazine. It hosts private events for parties and more. This eatery also features Barwares that's located right in the back and offers a variety of libations, including sake and cocktails.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Fusion / Eclectic, Asian, Global, International
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Daily: 5:00pm - 11pm
Happy Hour Daily: 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Late Night Menu: 10:00pm - 11:00pm
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Johanna Ware
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Private party facilities
Smallwares and Barwares are two spaces perfect for your next private event! Huge windows fill the space with natural light to add to Smallwares’ modern and sleek look. Chef Johanna Ware’s inauthentic Asian cuisine is among the best in the city, and she is delighted to offer your party unique cuisine
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Private party contact
Johanna Ware: (971) 229-0995
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Cross street
NE 46th
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Parking details
We are located in a residential neighborhood with ample, free street parking.
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Public transit
Bus #75 & #24
Banquet, Bar Dining, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access
What 282 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.3  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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CiaoFun (Portland)
5.0  Dined on September 10, 2016

Sadly, we discovered this place too late to make it a regular stop. It will be closing soon. Another unique Portland restaurant bites the dust. Their work with Asian fusion made it a must stop if you are feeling the need for hot, sour, salty, sweet and umami. Goodbye!

Kiwhi (Portland)
5.0  Dined on September 6, 2016

I'm so sad that Smallwares is closing. It was my favorite restaurant in Portland.

OpenTable Diner (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on September 4, 2016

Unfortunately, smallwares is closing. It is a true gem in teh Beaumont neighborhood and I am sad to see it go.

Caswell (Portland)
5.0  Dined on September 4, 2016

We went because we heard they were closing in a few weeks. We'll miss their great food.

xyz123 (Portland)
3.0  Dined on September 3, 2016

One last trip to smallwares before it closes. Much like the last time we went, the food was great, but the service was terrible.

This time, we arrived a bit before our reservation and were seated on time, but once we sat down, it took about 30 minutes to been seen by a waiter. After about 15 minutes of waiting, we told a host we were ready to order, and even though we saw the host immediately tell the server, it took about another 10 minutes for our server to even come over to the table. When she finally came over, she didn't even acknowledge that we'd been waiting for so long... Very odd.

The previous time we visited, the waiter mixed up our ticket with someone else's so that we got all of the wrong food. When we told the server that the food they brought wasn't what we ordered, the waiter came over an apologized, telling us that she mixed up our ticket with another table, and that our correct food was on the way. 45 minutes later, we flagged the waiter to let her know that we still hadn't gotten any food, and she acted like we were totally inconveniencing her. She was completely unapologetic, which again was very odd. When she went to the kitchen to check, she came back and said that she needed to take our order again. Again, the whole time, she acted like we had done something wrong. So, we finally got our food after another 30 minutes.

Both of these times, we weren't comped anything nor did we get an apology at the end. It was very bizarre. We're not complainers, and we've gotten desserts or appetizers comped for so much less. Even if it weren't closing, I'm not sure we'd go here again since the service is so bad.

vipFoodlove (Anchorage)
3.0  Dined on August 20, 2016

The food was creative, tasty, fusion, and most plates was very good. One dish was not as balanced in flavor as I would have liked - one ingredient was too overkill. I note this because while I love intense flavors, including chile and spice, and am quite adventurous as a cook and as a patron, I also appreciate not being knocked over the head with a single ingredient.
We both thought the service was, overall, not very good - unclear why. Overall, we both recommend this restaurant.

BonnieH (Portland)
3.0  Dined on August 12, 2016

Our visit to smallwares was pretty mixed. We made a reservation (which I can't recommend highly enough), and were able to jump ahead of a pretty long line of people waiting. Our server was friendly, but very busy and not terribly attentive as a result. She knew the menu well, and was able to recommend both drinks and plates, which was helpful.

Our drinks-- The Tequila and The Sake-- were excellent, with complex flavors. Our first four plates were also very good-- we had the oysters of the day, hamachi sashimi, tuna tartare, and the roasted cauliflower. All were mouth-wateringly excellent with complex flavors and unusual combinations. Unfortunately, our next three plates were disappointing-- the fried artichokes were difficult to eat and too oily, the chicken lollipops were ho-hum nothing special, and the fried kale was ok, but also too oily.

We left thinking that the first half of our meal was great-- good food, good drinks, good energy-- but that the second half could have been in an entirely different restaurant given the difference in success of the dishes.

OpenTable Diner (Portland)
3.0  Dined on August 11, 2016

Service was excellent. We were disappointed the fried kale was so overly salted we couldn't eat it. Everything else was good but still very salty.

HHHH (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on August 6, 2016

Great eclectic meal - fun because it was so different and the taste was great, just a touch salty, but we all enjoyed the meal. Service was excellent!!

vipKatelyn (Detroit)
5.0  Dined on July 9, 2016

Great for medium sized groups. Food is delicious!

KayH (Portland)
3.0  Dined on June 18, 2016

Waitress was pushy and talked very fast. She put everyone on edge. Food was good. A little heavy on the salt. Like the setting.

OpenTable Diner (Portland)
5.0  Dined on June 10, 2016

Kale should never taste this good, it's unfair.

SuzanneP (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on June 8, 2016

Sat outside wth an out of town guest who was blown away. Great food and service. Will definitely return.

vipportlandfoodie (Portland)
5.0  Dined on June 2, 2016

The food was amazing!!!!!!

Nightbeacon (Portland)
2.0  Dined on May 28, 2016

The Oregonian listed smallwares #7 of the 10 top spots for ramen. We ordered the flank-steak ramen; my husband was disappointed they wouldn't do a pork version. We also ordered the kim chi - which neither of us cared for as it tasted "spicy-funny". A true foodie might say the tastes were complicated; I found them to be too odd to finish the dish. The flank steak was tough & fatty. We brought ours home, dumped the broth and finished just the noodles. The place is typical trendy in decor; staff was young and also typical (e.g. nothing special). There was a very noisy bachelorette party at the next table, which didn't help the accoustically-alive room. Others may find this venue fun and eclectic; I found the Oregonian's review overblown; which is to say, my experience was the paper's fault, not the restaurant's.

OpenTable Diner (Portland)
3.0  Dined on May 17, 2016

First of all I made reservations for Smallwares, but ended up seated in Barwares. I didn't say anything about it at the time, but if there weren't going to be tables available in the restaurant I should've been told ahead of time when I made the reservation. The music was loud and it was hard to have a conversation. The food was tasty. The ceviche had too little fish in it to merit being called a ceviche, but it was tasty. The fried kale was very good but there could've been anything inside the batter. Again flavor was good, but unfortunately the sauce was all at the bottom and we didn't even realize it was there until halfway through the bowl. The oxtail curry was amazing and you got a small amount of minced scotch bonnet on the side which really ratcheted up the heat. Our waitron was a bit loud, maybe to talk over the music, but the service was efficient. Little dishes plus drinks can add up fast but the servings were well sized and we couldn't finish all the food.

vipDrinky (Portland)
5.0  Dined on May 9, 2016

We love Smallwares/Barwares. Great ambience & service, and the food -- the flavors & textures of the dishes are out of this world. Be sure to try the furikake peanuts - perfect with a cocktail. Speaking of which, the cocktails are fabulous. A regular on our rotation.

OpenTable Diner (Portland)
5.0  Dined on April 21, 2016

The food and flavors were incredible. We sat at the bar even though tables were an option. Prince playing over speakers and PurpleRain playing on a big screen. I can't remember everything that we ate but the food is adventurous and delicious. I'm bringing my mom some time. Oyters, a rabbit dish, ceviche, fried kale, rockfish, octopus, Staff was awesome and the owner came and talked to us and made some recommendations.

OpenTable Diner (Portland)
5.0  Dined on April 16, 2016

Awesome! Excellent!

OpenTable Diner (Portland)
2.0  Dined on March 26, 2016

We have been to Smallwears a few time before - great food and a cool vibe
however this time was not the same experience .... we got there and it was not full in the back part..but but the time we left it was packed and the staff was/looked like they were in a frenzy
we had 4 people in our group -- none of our meals came out together, so we all ate separate (strange) and some plates came out super late.... the waitress started out very attentive but then became the bartender so we were left in the dust.. not ideal to have this situation happen on a busy Saturday night. I had the 3 course meal with wine paring and all my plates were rushed on me -- along with the wine .... this is a sign that no one was there the gage our experience---- sad