Saturday, October 12, 2013
Nuestra Cocina - Portland, OR
Nuestra Cocina is a restaurant considered to represent a slice of the Portland food scene with menu offerings supporting local farmers. The atmosphere is light and laid back with a mature young crowd.
Cochinita Pibil is considered a signature dish and comprises braised spiced Carlton pork with pickled red onion and black beans. Buried beneath the crunchy texturally pleasing pickled onions and camouflaged in a backdrop of beans is a moderate sized mound of pork. The portion size won't leave you stuffed but just over the hump satisfied.
The pork was fork tender with marbled unctuous fatty pockets enhancing the mix of infused earthy, sweet clovelike, and cinnamony flavors. The flavors were subtle but demanded your curiosity and then your attention. The beans appeared to be an aesthetic package rather than a flavor or texture enhancer as it was neutrally bland. The beans seemed to serve as a palate cleanser between pork bites.
Obviously the pork had been cooked hours in advance and this portion was reheated. Unfortunately the heating was uneven with the exterior steaming hot in spots and the middle portion still retaining a refrigerated chill. Gordon Ramsey would have been cursing bloody stupid.
The service was great with the staff a bit more mature having outgrown the hipster thing but not yet altogether.
Restroom Rating: 7.9 Clean.