Portland, comparison between restaurants?

I’m going up to Portland solo for a few days from Saturday to Tuesday, and have been there several times before. I have plans for several meals (soft shell from out of Portland, probably back to Highroller, and I want to try Scales) but I’m looking for a couple meals at places I have not tried before. Unfortunately, they are generally closed Monday/Tuesday.

So…if I’m looking for places that do something different with local seafood, and want to try different flavors (more dishes better than fewer), which of these places would you suggest if I can go to two? And any must-have dishes?

Chaval (I know about their halibut specials they are running)
Sur Lie
Little Giant

Thank you!

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Well, I tried Chaval and Little Giant.

I tried dishes which weren’t the mains but not the traditional tapas (except pan con tomate). The flavors and pairings on everything, including the desserts ,were outstanding.

Little Giant wasn’t as good as Chaval, but still good in its own right.

Scales was outstanding as well (scallops dish + a tuna toro app special).


Glad you had a good time! Filing this info away…

Monday is my usual day off and it’s always a problem for eating out. Thanks for the report- in all my times eating in Portland, those are restaurants I hadn’t checked off yet.

We had an outdoor dinner at the Honey Paw recently and everything was outstanding as usual. The crispy rice salad, particularly, was so good I may have eaten all of it without even mentioning how much I loved it so as not to have to share… For seafood, the lobster noodles were amazing.


OK, I took a couple pictures of a couple plates.

From Chaval - this is the dessert, the Cherries. It is listed as “Sherry, dark chocolate, merengue”. It clearly doesn’t do the dish justice. That is cherry sorbet, and it tasted as good as it looks.

I also ate from Chaval pan con tomate (the tomato covered the entire bread, and the salt was not overwhelming), a crudo special (tuna?), and I’m pretty sure that the other dish was a bluefish grilled in the style of what they had done with the halibut. Everything tasted exceptional, and I can’t rave enough about it.

From Little Giant: this is the charred golden beets plate, and the other one visible is the scallop ceviche. Each dish was good, but not great. I also had the smoked dogfish, which I didn’t like the seafood (I never had shark before), but I thought that dish was cooked the best. The hangar steak dish looked amazing, but I really wanted to try dogfish.

From Scales: This is their scallops dish. It was outstanding, all flavors worked perfectly. I also got a chutoro (I think) special, which was great as well.


Little Giant is closing its doors.


That’s sad news about the loss of Little Giant. Thanks for sharing, though.

According to this report they’ve already closed, abruptly. The hospitality group that owns NYC’s Death & Company cocktail bar has leased the space with plans to open something. I feel bad for the now unemployed staff about the sudden closure and sad that a national player will be entering the neighborhood-y West End of Portland.


More below on the abrupt closure of Little Giant. The reason I’m quite sad about this is that the staff was incredibly kind to us both times we dined there, in January 2020 and in May 2021. They deserved much better from the ownership.


That is sad. Why do people behave like that??