Top 100 Independents: West by Northwest

Langbann Christine Dong

Historic landmark restaurants, high-performers, outstanding new concepts—meet the best operators in cities that are gaining traction as culinary destinations.


Portland, Oregon

Thai comfort food crafted with no open-flame cooking; only ovens and induction burners.

Opened ∕ March 2014

Annual Sales ∕ $1–$3 million

Average Check ∕ $65 (without alcohol)

Chef/Owner∕ Akkapong Earl Ninsom

The Squeaky Bean


A pop culture–driven atmosphere grounded by a garden-inspired menu (produce is grown in the neighborhood) and creative cocktails defines The Squeaky Bean, where weekend bingo is a popular draw. On Saturdays, a drag queen calls the numbers, on Sundays, it’s a stand-up comedian.

Opened ∕ May 2009 (relocated June 2012)

Annual Sales ∕ $2–$3 million

Average Check ∕ $50

Owners∕ Johnny Ballen and Josh Olsen

Guard and Grace


At this modern steakhouse, guests can store their own reserve bottles, alongside the restaurant’s collection, in the massive wine cellar.

Opened ∕ March 2014

Average Check ∕ $80 (estimate)

Chef/Owner∕ Troy Guard



Chef Jasinski won James Beard Best Chef: Southwest in 2013, and, at its 10-year anniversary, the restaurant closed for four weeks to undergo a major makeover including new walls, floors, furniture, and artwork.

Opened ∕ November 2004

Annual Sales ∕ $3–$5 million

Average Check ∕ $69

Owners∕ Chef Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch

Frasca Food & Wine

Boulder, Colorado

Paying homage to the food of Friuli-Venezia Giulia in Italy, Frasca’s signature dishes include Cannelloni (Homarus deep sea lobster, English pea, and tangerine) and Pappagallo (Parrotfish, Parmesan broth, lava bean, ramp, and black pepper), and the restaurant won James Beard: Outstanding Wine Program in 2013.

Opened ∕ August 2004

Annual Sales ∕ $3–$5 million

Average Check ∕ $125

Owners∕ Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson and Bobby Stuckey


Portland, Oregon

Completely self-trained, Chef Pomeroy operates in a 100-square-foot kitchen (the restaurant itself is only 800 square feet) and serves 26 guests per seating, delighting with a six-course prix fixe menu that changes weekly.

Annual Sales ∕ $1–$3 million

Average Check ∕ $102 for food; $150 with wine pairings

Chef/Owner∕ Naomi Pomeroy


Portland, Oregon

Serving the authentic Russian foods of her childhood, Chef Morales has been wowing Portland diners by combining Slavic fare with Portland values such as quality, freshness, and local sourcing, and polishing off the experience with a house-infused vodka program.

Opened ∕ April 2014

Annual Sales ∕ $1–$3 million

Average Check ∕ $35

Owners∕ Chef Bonnie Morales, Israel Morales, Ramzy Mattar


Portland, Oregon

Both chefs were finalists for James Beard Best Chef: Northwest this year, and the building has its own illustrious fame. Built in 1890, it once housed a general store, an auto dealership display room, a bar, a creamery, and a house of ill repute.

Opened ∕ $1–$3 million

Annual Sales ∕ $1–$3 million

Average Check ∕ $45–$55

Chef/Owner∕ Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton

Cucina Urbana

San Diego

Part Italian-inspired restaurant, part design incubator. All of the furniture is made by craftsmen who live in San Diego.

Opened ∕ 2009

Average Check ∕ $42

Chef/Owner∕ Tracy Borkum


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