On Friday nights Ken's Home Plate on Hawthorne was the go to place for J and I. It was exalted home cooking, rooted in French technique that would travel intrepidly around the world at times, but Ken always managed to pull it off. I still long for his smashed potatoes and fried chicken, his warm salad with octopus- sigh.
What a trade off though! Ken's partnership with food writer Nick Zukin filled a Crater Lake sized hole in Portland cuisine producing the best pastrami I've ever enjoyed, served daily at Kenny and Zukes. It's moist and flavorful- swoonably delicious. And go ahead and have the fries with it, you're not here to diet. They've got a well edited and reasonable wine list if you like a little Cotes du Rhone with your pastrami. On the other hand, they probably have the best soda pop selection of any place in town. Speaking of towns, even the noted deli town of NY has noticed our deli in the NY Times article earlier this year.
If you haven't been, go. If you have been- I bet you can taste that reuben now.