Isa, Portland, 6/27/18

building
building

Isa was a medium sized interior with additional seating available on the outdoor patio.  The patio was against the building on one side and fenced on the other along with being covered by awnings.  Inside there was a tin ceiling, a striking black and white tile floor and small bare wood tables with adequate space between them.  There were windows to the street on two sides of the building and the back wall had a large window into the kitchen where food was passed through.  Some faint music played in the background and nice sized cloth napkins were set at the tables.  It had a casual, friendly vibe and our server was particularly welcoming.  Chef Perez could be seen in the kitchen fixing plates as well as inspecting them before they were served.  

entrance
entrance
interior
interior
signs
signs
interior
interior
bar area
bar area
lunch menu
lunch menu
drink menu
drink menu
wine list
wine list
Frankie looked out the window
Frankie looked out the window
ceiling
ceiling

 

For starters we had octopus and lobster tostado.

Lobster Tostada and Grilled Octopus
Lobster Tostada and Grilled Octopus

The grilled octopus was served with marinated chickpeas and chimichurri.   The octopus was chewy and tender and had a nice grilled taste.  The chickpeas were among the best I’ve had.  The chimichurri was on top of the tentacle and blended wonderfully with the meat.  This was a total winner.

Grilled Octopus, marinated chickpeas, chimichurri
Grilled Octopus, marinated chickpeas, chimichurri

The lobster tostado was served with fennel, cilantro and guajillo aioli.  The tostado was totally crisp with a good corn flavor and topped with nice chunks of lobster and shaved fennel.  Just the right amount of dressing  was tossed with the ingredients to bring out the best flavors.  It was a wonderful mix of flavors and textures.  Another winner.

Lobster Tostada, fennel, cilantro, guajillo aioli
Lobster Tostada, fennel, cilantro, guajillo aioli
another side
another side
wine front
wine front
wine back
wine back
Frankie studied the tile floor
Frankie studied the tile floor

 

Duck Carnitas tacos were served with radish, salsa verde, cilantro and mixed greens.  The duck was shredded and wonderful.  The soft tortilla encasing it was tasty also and just the right texture.   The green salsa was a perfect addition to the taco – it was full of flavor.  Alongside was a terrific bit of salad, simple but fresh and properly dressed.  This was the lighter of the 2 mains we selected but shouldn’t be missed.

Duck carnitas tacos, radish, salsa verde, cilantro, mixed greens
Duck carnitas tacos, radish, salsa verde, cilantro, mixed greens
closer
closer
closer
closer

 

The Shaved Local Lamb Sandwich was served with pecorino, pepperonicinis and horseradish mayo.  The shaved lamb was nicely rare and surrounded by a toasted focaccia bun.  A perfect ratio of meat to cheese to greens made it an outstanding and filling sandwich.  The lamb had good flavor which the horseradish mayo complimented perfectly.  Don’t miss this one either.

Shaved local lamb sandwich, pecorino, peppernicinis, horseradish mayo
Shaved local lamb sandwich, pecorino, peppernicinis, horseradish mayo
inside
inside

 

We split an order of House Cut Fries served with guajillo aioli with the main dishes.  They were made from fresh cut potatoes and fried to a nice crisp with good potato flavor.  The aioli was nice and they offered to bring ketchup if we preferred but I think I liked them just by themselves with a little salt.

House cut fries with guajillo aioli
House cut fries with guajillo aioli
Frankie thought it was great
Frankie thought it was great
patio
patio
patio
patio
Waiter and Frankie
Friendly waiter Justin and Frankie

 

For dessert we had the Coconut Cream Pie with a toasted coconut crust.  The twist on this one was a layer of chocolate between the crust and coconut cream.  It was topped with shaved, crisp coconut and the crust was made toasted coconut.  It was good but the savories are the star of this kitchen.

Coconut cream pie, toasted coconut crust
Coconut cream pie, toasted coconut crust
from the top
from the top
another side
another side
kitchen
kitchen
Chef and Frankie
Chef Isaul Perez and Frankie

2 thoughts on “Isa, Portland, 6/27/18

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