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Kalga Kafe (Portland, Oregon)

October 2nd, 2008 · by Cyndi · 1 Comment

At the end of our day-long trek into Portland, we met up with a friend and her son at Kalga Kafe, a vegetarian restaurant in the southeast part of the city.  Dinner hours are 5pm-midnight (it serves lunch weekdays) and it hosts live bands some evenings.  Since this was a Saturday night, we thought we end up with more entertainment and less quiet conversation, but the restaurant wasn’t booked that night and we had the place nearly to ourselves (we had an early dinner; more customers arrived as we were finishing).

Kalga Kafe
4147 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202
Phone: (503) 236-4770
Hours: Daily 5pm-12am

Kalga Kafe exterior

Kalga Kafe exterior

Despite what some reviews I read say about slow or indifferent service, ours was excellent.  Our young pierced server was friendly (without being intrusive), knowledgeable about the food, and more than willing to deal with our various food restrictions.  Actually, the restaurant is used to those: nearly any dish can be made vegan (most are already) and they’re good with gluten-free.

Kalga Kafe food

Kalga Kafe food

We started with a couple of young coconuts.  I buy them to open at home, which is quite an undertaking.  Getting the coconut water out is easy (hammer and screwdriver) but getting at the meat is harder, especially if you don’t empty the water first.   Kalga’s were very fresh and filled to the brim with water.  I remarked to the server that these must have been topped off but she said no.  She just whacks off the top and sticks a straw in (use a spoon for the meat).  I was impressed.

Our friend had a gluten-free vegetable-based dish (if I have any hopes of being a good restaurant reviewer, I’m going to have to bring home menus or at least take pictures of it; I couldn’t find one online) and Michael had a curry.

Our friend’s son and I both had Pad Thai with tofu, which is one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes, and for good reason.  It was fresh and tasty and a large serving.  The noodles are rice but there is wheat in the soy sauce.  They can make the dish gluten-free but, for some reason, don’t have a gluten-free sauce to use.  The dish was already vegan so no worries about egg.

Miriam had some brown rice and tastes of other dishes.

The atmosphere was calming and peaceful.  Pleasant decor and no annoying new age touches.  The bathrooms were unscented.  All one level with easy wheelchair access (can not recall about the bathrooms).



Categories: Food · Oregon Restaurant · Restaurant Reviews
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