Noho’s has a very casual atmosphere with kitschy Hawaiian decor that belies both the restaurant’s fare as well as its background. Noho Marchsei opened this restaurant in Portland in 1992, expanding with multiple locations in Portland and one in Medford. You may have seen their offerings in Fred Meyer stores, and they even plan to start franchising.
You can choose from their selection of appetizers, or pupu’s, such as Kimo’s Sweet Ribs or Hawaiian Style Poke, which is a raw fish salad. As in most Hawaiian restaurants, you can combo up of your choice of meat served in the traditional Hawaiian manner with white rice and macaroni salad. If mac salad is not your style, feel free to substitute a green salad.
Meat selections include teriyaki beef, short ribs, and chicken served half a dozen different ways. The Loco Moco, with two hamburger patties and a fried egg topped with brown gravy. I’ve never had it, but Hawaiians rave about that particular dish. I guess there’s something to be said for comfort food. Noho’s also offers several vegetable, seafood, and noodle dishes. If you can’t decide on just one meat, there are a couple of combo plates. There are also specials posted on the wall, including Kahlua Pig, which is only available on Fridays.
Meals come in three sizes. If you’re not up to the normal portion, which is quite generous, step down to the Menehune size. Or if you brought your Big Island appetite, go for the Blalah size, but you’d better be hungry or be prepared to take leftovers.
We ordered the Mixed Plate, which includes the teriyaki beef and Kimo’s Sweet Ribs, and the Hot & Spicy Chicken. The chicken comes either char-grilled in large pieces or cut up, pan fried, and swimming in sauce. My favorite way to eat Hawaiian food is to combine the flavors. A bite of meat, a bite of rice, and a bite of mac salad dipped in any residual drippings from the meat.
Past visits gave me a taste of speedy and at times impersonal service, but the last visit was a big change there. The service was personal, very friendly, and very warm. High marks on that. The quality of the food was also up on this last visit. It was good to see this Portland standby delivering such great quality with such a big smile.
Noho’s has two Portland locations, on SE Clinton and NE Fremont, and a location in Medford. We visited the Clinton location, right across from the Clinton Theater. Both times we’ve visited, the tables have been full by the time we left.
2525 SE Clinton St.
Portland, OR 97202