Kalé

kaledoriasquareTo put it delicately, kalé–the “addictive” “ultimate comfort food” of Japan, as enthusiastic kalé champion and chef/owner Makoto Yoshino bills it–is not going to win any crowns at the beauty pageant. In the most fundamental of its four forms, it’s a dark brown, gravy-like beef stew over plain white or brown rice, in the glammed-up Doria version, it’s that with cheese baked on top until hot and bubbly, cultivating delightfully crispy, chewy edges. But looks aside, this dish is quite simply one of the most delicious one-trick wonders ever, and the perfect match for Stumptown, where its belly-warming properties are particularly well-suited to the long, dark, cold winters. And if you’re headed to a PCPA show, Yoshino’s roomy, rarely-crowded downtown restaurant is particularly well-suited to a casual, filling pre-theater supper.