2225 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Portland, OR 97212
Why did we dine here? – Ox is part of the restaurant group that owns Lardo, Grassa, and other Portland restaurants. This place was highly recommended by some of the foodies on Chowhound, so we added it to our list of must-visit restaurants. This modern steakhouse is located in a bright red building and features a huge wood fired grill right near the door. Wait times at this restaurant can be long, so we came right when it opened. You need to arrive 30-45 minutes early on weekends. Clearly this is a hot spot.
Insider Tip – Arrive early or go next door to the bar and they will call you.
Cuisine – Argentinian Steak House
Location – Northeast Portland
Opened – 2012
Service – Ox had a server who was very knowledgable. He helped us order and anticipated any needs that we would have.
Verdict – Ox came highly recommended. Frankly it didn’t meet those high expectations, but still served up very good food. Heavy food that is inventive with a bold and vivid flavor profile. Prices on the sides and starters are very competitive, while the meat dishes start to get pricey. One person told us it’s all about the side dishes, while other might feel it’s all about the meat.
Restaurants for next trip: Roe, Andina, Le Pigeon, Laurelhurst Market
Is this restaurant worth a 5 minute drive? Yes. 30 minute? Yes. 1 Hour? Maybe.
Ox Signature Dishes – Beef Ribeye, pork chop, side dishes.
Ox’s Menu includes 7 different starters including empanadas, charcuterie, 13 different grilled items, and 10 items from the garden. The side dishes change often, so many preparations you read about may not be available currently.
Ox Food Picks:
Mojito ($9) strong, you could taste the hard core liquor flavor.
Bread with zesty chimichurri.
Fresh Clam Chowder, Smoked Marrow Bone, Wild Spring Onion, Jalapeño ($13) was fairly spicy with the chilli in the broth. They served it table side and told us to scoop the bone marrow out and spoon mix it into the chowder. This was a beefy flavored, rich and creamy chowder with a bunch of clams.
Grilled Lamb Heart, Fiddleheads, Charred Leek & Nettle Purée, Mustard Seed, Potato Chip ($11) were cooked to a medium rare, slightly chewy, nice texture, most people would never realize these are parts!
Grass-Fed Uruguayan Beef Ribeye 12 oz ($37) was cooked to a perfect medium. Precut and a bit heavily salted, this was good but not outrageous. The left overs the next day were perfect after a long bike ride.
Maple-Brined Pork Loin Chop 16 oz ($24) clearly tasted of its maple flavors. It was cooked to a medium, which we believe was slightly overcooked. Not very juicy inside. We buy our pork chops from Trader Joe’s and have learned how to cook the thick chop into a juicy state.
Wild Alaskan Halibut Tail, Toasted Garlic & Lemon ($12) was the only part available today. Wow, this was one beautiful piece. Flowers were all over it and it proved to be an exercise in bones, with very little meat.
Jicama & Bosc Pear Salad, Cress, Cured Black Olive, Calabrian Chiles, Toasted Pine Nuts, Mint, Chèvre ($9) was a crispy and zesty salad with a light dressing. We believe this was too spicy.
Sautéed Mushrooms, Foie Gras, Wilted Spinach, Scallion ($13) was an ok side dish with just a couple nuggets of foie. More spinach than anything else.
Caramelized Cauliflower, Spicy Golden Raisin Vinaigrette, Mint, Sesame Seeds ($10) was the nicest side that evening. Crisp vegetables along with too sour raisins.
Fried Russet Potatoes, Horseradish Aïoli, Dill ($6) provided the starch, extremely hot and crunchy, a must order.
OK: (Order if you like this dish)
Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)
Do you agree with our review? Have you found other similar restaurants that are better?