Everyone seems to really like The Sudra.
And I like it too, in its way. I like ordering up some vegan Indian food and sitting outside on a sunny day, people-watching, and enjoying a leisurely meal. We don’t get a lot of leisurely meals these days with a two-year-old, but when there’s plenty of communal outdoor seating available, you don’t feel like you have to keep drinking or eating in order to stay and chat for half an hour.
I just wished I liked the food a bit more.
I l-o-v-e LOVED Sonny Bowl, the cart owned by the same people who run The Sudra. I used to walk across town to get lunch every once in a while, from PSU to 3rd and Washington, to get the Bowl of My Desires. They had plenty of popular bowls, but I had my favorite that I never strayed from: The #3, with kale salad, brown rice, barbecue soy curls, and crispy noodles. *Homer drool* It seems like their menu is a bit different now, and the number three has gone by the wayside. That’s what happens when you don’t work downtown for two years: The carts change on you. I can tell you truly that it was very good while it lasted.
The Sudra, in The Ocean group of micro-restaurants on Glisan, focuses more on Indian food and flavors, while keepin’ it vegan. Meals come as plates (like the Pakora Plate, with Pickled Broccoli and Cauliflower Pakora, Black Bean Masala, Kale in Tahini Dressing, Blueberry-Mint Chutney, Cilantro-Lemon Sauce, Radish, Brown Basmati Rice or bowls (like the Chickenless Tikka Masala Bowl, with Beyond Meat “Chicken,” Bell Peppers and Onions, in a Cashew Cream Curry, Served Over Brown Basmati Rice with Chapati, Finished with Cilantro-Lemon Sauce). We tried a few things out last year and were happy with our meal, but not moved to return any time soon.
As with the other micro-restaurants here, you’ll find a few seating options inside the restaurant itself, perfect for chilly or rainy days. But on sunny days, The Ocean really shines. Diners, families, and happy hour hoppers all converge at the tables outside to soak up as much of the rare nice Portland weather as possible.
Last week, a friend and I visited, and I got the Peacock Salad. That is one big salad. Plenty of good kale went into the trash bin that day. I picked out the soy curls and root vegetables, which were good if uninspiring. My friend raved about her Kale Dosa Plate, especially the Potato Masala and Black Eyed Pea Korma. I tried a few bites, but was unmoved.
Is it missing a depth of spice that I expect out of Indian food? Am I more dependent on ghee than I realized? Something just falls a bit flat for me, but the vegans keep coming and eating up plates of chickpea cutlets.
Come down at happy hour, which stretches from 4-7pm and 9-close daily, to see if you agree with me, or if you’re with the rest of the city. Happy hour sizes will fill you up for $5, or come with a group and share. Word on the street is that cocktails are very much worth ordering.
I hope you love it.
2333 NE Glisan St.