Bay13

NOTE: BAY 13 CLOSED IN 2009

Bay 13 opened the second week of February, across from 24 Hour Fitness in the Pearl District. Reconstructed in a run down abandoned warehouse, this restaurant helps to dress up an area that is typically a badlands after 8pm, and will help pull crowds down from the other side of the Pearl. Owned by the Moana Group, a large corporation having restaurants in many states, including Paragon in Portland, this warehouse has been converted into a 175 seat restaurant. Though clearly a lot of money has been spent, I wonder exactly what crowd they are hoping to attract. Something tells me it’s not foodies, but more along the lines of the folks that frequent Manzana, out looking for “something even better”. Give it six months, and unless the cooking improves, it will be a soulless repository of Pearl District denizens, hoping for flash over substance; the type of person that isn’t really likely to read this site in the first place. All signs point to this as their target audience, and there is little doubt that as the doors are flung open every night, they will have an unflagging line of scene-sniffing patrons waiting to get in.

To enter, you walk up a flight of stairs onto the loading dock. Those in wheel chairs will have to use one of those electric lift things. Why they didn’t bother putting in a ramp, I don’t quite understand. The loading dock itself, with plans for heated seating, looks like a comfortable place to spend an evening, and I’m sure it will be full of tables during the warmer months. Supposedly the design will include a fish market, but it isn’t open yet. They also have plans to open for lunch.

The interior is huge, a monument to the corporate ideal that bigger is better. The latest incarnation of the Crane 1909 warehouse building, it is imitation techno/industrial/warehouse loft, with concrete floors, soaring ceilings, and an incredibly corporate feel. My companions got annoyed, because I immediately compared it to a Cheesecake Factory, but I couldn’t help it; the whole place just has that feel.

As you walk into the front door, a sushi bar is on the left, an oyster bar is directly in front of you, and behind it, a long bar runs to the far wall. Down the right, some long tables under dimmed fluorescent lights stretch quite a distance, giving those tables a communal feel. (No, I don’t know how they dimmed those lights.) In the middle is a cavernous dining room, broken up into several spaces with 3/4 height walls, and across from it is a large kitchen, visible through the pass-through. The high ceiling makes the place feel like a bad imitation of Nostrana, and though there is a fair amount of sound absorbing material, when the restaurant is full, it can be hard to hear your companions. Since they save on linen costs and help keep prices down, the hard wood table tops are fine, but they also reflect sound. On top of that, the ever-present techy soundtrack provides another note to the clamorous roar.

We were given a pleasant greeting and seated in the main dining room. Our bouncy server approached and gave the requisite speech, which sounded way too memorized. Water, both sparkling and flat, is distilled on site (filtered three times)! I expected to be told they were an extra charge, but it seems that both are on the house. Still, I found it curious that our water glasses were never filled more than half way.

We ordered two sushi plates; a king roll ($12) and a spicy tuna roll ($8), along with two salads, a Caesar and a roasted beet. Both were around $7. Since I wasn’t paying for the meal, I didn’t get the receipt with the exact prices. We also ordered four entrées, two petrale sole (which is actually a type of flounder), ($24), and two grilled ahi tuna ($23).

Four cocktails, er, that’s one per person, passed the time while we waited for our food. A tiny alarm bell went off in my head, as we shared our drinks; every single cocktail was unbalanced, even a traditional drink that any bartender should be able to make. An even worse sin, mine seemed to have little alcohol. Still, it’s opening week, so we plunged on. A roasted beet salad arrived, but I had to dig to find the sparse shavings of beets hidden within the greens. It was overdressed to the point I couldn’t really taste them. I thought it terribly amusing when I said a la Wendy’s, “Where’s the beet!” As usual, no one laughed. Two Caesars were slightly better, with a decent flavor profile, though they were a bit off balance towards the anchovy end of things, and seemed to have been dressed wet.

As soon as we had finished the salads, our entrées arrived. This was strange, because we had ordered three plates of sushi, and were still waiting for them. When queried, our waiter explained that this was normal, and depending on how backed up the sushi bar was, those dishes could come out at any time. True to his word, they came out at the end of our meal as… dessert.

Back to the entrées; the menu is mostly made up of fish dishes, the focus here. There are a few meat entrées, as well as one vegetarian plate. Everything came out properly cooked; the sole piled high with a mound of crab. One of the reasons for ordering flounder is it tends to have a very low-fat flesh, but their version tasted as though it had been drowned in butter. The ahi reclined across the plate, adorned with grill marks and accompanied by a small ramekin of a decent, fresh verde sauce. No problems here, everything was fine. When we ordered we were given a choice of four sides; glazed vegetables, potato puree, cauliflower, and spinach. Out of all four, the vegetables were by far the best of the lot, perfectly cooked, and packed full of flavor; damn near perfect.

As we finished our main dishes, the sushi arrived, three long rolls arranged across the plates, accompanied by the requisite sides. While the fish tasted fresh, there was something very corporate to it; no art. I’ve never had grocery sushi, but if I did, this is what I would expect to get. The wasabi (of course it wasn’t the real stuff), was overly grainy.

Since we’d just had sushi, we decided to skip dessert, so instead wandered up to a new bar, District, in the old La Vanguardia space. I’ll have a quick hit on that, in a few days.

Would I come here again? Probably not, unless friends who’s opinions I trust start giving it rave reviews. I’m just not a fan of the corporate restaurant theme park, and if they want to draw me in, it’s going to take more than properly cooked fish.

Prices were a bit less than expected for the Pearl District, with salads running around $7, entrées $20 or so.

Your thoughts are welcome

  1. Tony says

    I grew up in MY, lived in New Haven and am full blooded Italian. I’ve lived in Portland for 17 years. I found Ken’s service excellent. Sitting at the bar, I’ve gotten my pizza within 15-20 minutes max. The salads are among the best anywhere. The beer selection is wonderful and did I say service? I’m not sure what happened to the individual who experienced poor service. Must have been an off night. As far as pizza, I’m shocked that anyone can find bad pizza in Naples, but I guess Italy is getting overun with some less than desirable American influences. With regards to Pizza in general, some of the best I’ve tasted have been in NYC’s Greenwich Village and some interesting Argentinian take on pizza in Queens. I also like some of Chicago’s better deep dish pies. Now back to Ken’s. The pizza dough is cooked to perfection. The sauce is very tasty. I prefer the sopressata (Amore pizza) topping. One pizza, a few beers and salad makes a perfect dinner for a hearty easter like myself. It’s neither NY or Chicago or New Haven pizza, and it is likely a better pizza for its simplicity and quality of ingredients. Other joints I recommend are Apizza Scholls and It’s a Beautiful Pizza.

  2. John says

    “Reconstructed in a run down abandoned warehouse, this restaurant helps to dress up an area that is typically a badlands after 8pm, and will help pull crowds down from the other side of the Pearl. ”

    Oh yeah, like there’s gun fire and gangs ready to beat you up. What a lot of paranoid junk. There are bogey men waiting around every corner. Watch out. Food dude, you are psyched out. Get a reality check.

  3. Food Dude says

    Geeze, and I was saying something nice.
    “Badlands” can be used to describe a “barren area”, which this part of the pearl is at night. There’s nothing much going on down here at night. It’s dead. Just people walking their dogs or going to the gym.

  4. atlas says

    He was 25 years old. He combed his hair like James Dean. She was 15. She took music lessons and could twirl a baton. For a while they lived together in a tree house. In 1959, she watched while he killed a lot of people.

    Badlands… starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek

  5. Papaki says

    Well, I guess you could consider the area a “badlands” if you’re willing to overlook the fact that, within about a 1-minute walk of there, you’ve got a 24-hour gym that’s always crowded; an REI store that’s open till 9 pm; the Pacific Northwest College of Art; hundreds of people living in hundreds of condos; and a huge array of other restaurants, including Paragon, Olea, Fratelli, Oba, Holden’s, Le Bouchon, Giorgio’s, Andina, On Deck Sports Bar, and probably a few others I’m forgetting.

    It’s interesting to see the radically different attitudes Food Dude shows in his two most recent reviews of two brand new restaurants. First there’s 23Hoyt, which Food Dude has clearly wanted to succeed (not that there’s anything wrong with that) since it was first announced that Chris Israel would have a hand in it. So, despite trying it out as soon as it opens and having a bad experience there — “The food was just not that good,” he tells us — he keeps going back and back over the next four months until he can find enough positive things to say about it in a review, then declares it “too early to rate” and promises to go back yet again.

    Then, within a day or two of its opening, he visits Bay 13, describes its location as “a badlands” but says the service is good and describes his food using phrases like “everything came out properly cooked,” “decent, fresh verde sauce,” “no problems here, everything was fine,” “the fish tasted fresh” and “vegetables were … perfectly cooked and packed full of flavor, damn near perfect.” He even comments on the reasonable prices. But then he declares the place too corporate and vows he won’t come back.

    How’s that for a double standard? I mean, both points of view are fine, of course, and as so many of Food Dude’s defenders always say whenever anyone criticizes him, it’s his blog and he can say whatever he wants. But if he wants to be perceived as both fair and credible, shouldn’t any critic attempt to to apply some semblance of similar standards to each place he reviews?

  6. pdxwineoh says

    I think the difference is, if I may be so presumptuous and speak for what I perceive to be FD’s feelings on this, is that the difference between 23Hoyt and Bay13 is SOUL. Bay 13 is soul-less, in that everyone who put it together, for the most part, lives in California, and the local management, including Joe Moreau, care nothing more than the bottom line. Not that there is anything wrong with trying to make a buck in the business, but when all of your decisions are based on what “would the guest want”, and not what your personal “statement” is, the end result is an empty, cavernous, soul-less repository of cash, not unlike the state of California itself.

  7. Nikos says

    Oh the poor soul-less state of California, with world renowned San Francisco and the wine country, Alice Waters and the world renowned culinary revolution (that finally reached Oregon 20 years late).

    They even put some thoought in restaurant decor and service there (ah the corrupting influence of money).

    Poor California…..

  8. Food Dude says

    wineoh, exactly. No soul, no creativity. 23H is doing all kinds of interesting things. Bay is either overdoing things (with mixed results), or under-doing them.

  9. somnambulist sommelier says

    The sashimi plate was excellent, as was the small selection of red wines (by the glass). Bisque was just okay. Have to agree about the size of the place though, not sure I would go in if it was anymore than half full.

    Would definitely go back again.

  10. Papaki says

    My objection isn’t with Food Dude’s opinions of either restaurant. He’s entitled to hold any opinion he wants. It’s his method that troubles me: He bent over backwards trying to give 23Hoyt a chance to impress him before reviewing it. That’s fine. But then he turns around and dismisses Bay 13 — accusing it of what amounts to the Mortal Sin for Portland foodies, being “too corporate” — after only one meal he had there as soon as the place opened. A meal, by the way, at which he says the food and service are both good. (Oh, and note that he dismisses not only the restaurant but what he thinks will be its clientele when he writes: “There is little doubt that as the doors are flung open every night, they will have an unflagging line of scene-sniffing patrons waiting to get in.”

    I’m not trying to defend Bay 13 necessarily. I haven’t been there yet. Maybe it will turn out to be soulless. But if “soul” is the most important criterion on which Dude bases his judgments when reviewing a restaurant — more important than food and service, apparently — he just needs to tell us that up front.

    Maybe Dude needs to put disclaimers on his reviews. You know, something like this, for 23Hoyt: “Because of my unusual attachment to what this chef did more than a decade ago, I will go out of my way to give him the benefit of the doubt at this restaurant.” Or perhaps this, for Bay 13: “Because I am personally averse to restaurants of this type, I am unlikely to view it favorably no matter how good I find the food and service to be.”

  11. pdxwineoh says

    Papaki:

    With all due respect, you DO sound like you are trying to defend Bay13. FD did a quick hit, he actually is doing it a huge service by hitting it when it first opened, as the word on the street is “Huh? Bay 13? What’s that?”. You know what they say, “any press is good press”, but by you continuing to push the positive things he did say, I’m sorry, but you sound like one of the dozens of partners that bought into the place.

    Portland Food and Drink is well respected because FD gives the restaurants a voice. And Barbie, while she is fun to look at in all her flaxen haired perfection and pose her in her Barbie playhouse, she still can’t speak, nor can she walk on anything but her tippy toes.

  12. sidemeat says

    Which, of course, is why Barbie is so popular. Bay 13 will do fine. People might not respect it in the morning, but they’ll be lined up on Saturday night.

  13. Papaki says

    Wino: For the record, I have no financial interest in Bay 13 or any other restaurant, either in Portland or anywhere else. (Would that I did, would that I did.) Heck, I can barely afford to eat in most of these places, much less invest in them.

    But as someone who’s had a long career as a writer and editor, I know that any writer’s most valuable asset is his credibility. Oh, and I really love food and restaurants too. So when any restaurant critic — even a self-appointed, anonymous one — starts to sound like he’s abandoning any sense of impartiality by writing reviews that seem to be suspiciously too easy on one place and/or abnormally harsh toward another, it just sets those alarm bells in my old head to ringing. This criticism of Food Dude is really nothing more than a little tough love, I suppose. Of course I value what he does, or I wouldn’t be checking in every day to see what he’s got to say, right?

    “Any press is good press”? That may be true as a broad generality, but it certainly can’t help a brand spanking new restaurant when the first review to appear, immediately after the doors swing open, concludes with the reviewer saying he wouldn’t bother going back. As far as Bay 13 letting Portlanders know about its existence, well, if it’s part of the “large corporation” that Dude says it is, it can probably afford to advertise.

  14. Amoureuse says

    Sorry FD, but I do sort of agree with Papaki ( quick hit or not ). I also havent been to Bay 13 yet, but I will try it, since I am moving to the neighborhood in September. I too am not a fan of the “soulless” coporate restaurant. But it is a choice I make, I would rather give my money to the independant owner/mom & pop shop. (99.9 % of the time)

    I think most Portlanders/Oregonians have a jaded opinion of outsiders. Bruce Carey/Chris Isreal are culinary icons in these here parts, but in New York or Paris just a couple of nice guys ….My last visit to 23 Hoyt someone in our party insisted we try the Caesar salad, ” its the Zeifiero salad, we gotta have it. It was good, but Iconic? maybe not…I like the traditional tableside show/preperation of a classic Caesar, and the option for extra anchovies.

    That being said, I hope Bay 13 does well. Because I hear rumors that corporate giants like “Oceanaire Seafood ” restaurant are contemplating the Portland market. If you havent been to the one in Seattle. It is coporate with a capital “C” , and really expensive, but a pretty good product. It is what I believe Jakes wishes it was. I am not a fan of Jakes, although I do occasionally eat at the Heathman brunch and pre theater.

    Also the coporate restaurants ( PF Changs, RUth Chris, Mortons ) means Portlands economy is doing well. We dont need another steakhouse, but if a Maestros opened up in Portland it wouldnt be half bad. Hell I cant wait for a, In & Out Burger to open up in Portland ( Mormon affiliation, or not …In & Out is good product for what it is ) ( Everyone is saying we have Burgerville, yeah its PC and local, but I just like In & Out )

    I just wonder if both Paragon and Bay 13 can survive so close to each other? But then I wonder how the PCR restaurants make it in the Pearl…

    Food Dude you have a great service/site. I know you are a transplant to Portland….maybe you have been jaded??? Californians arent that bad, I dont know about you, but I love dining in San Francisco….

  15. says

    I hate to hear Joe Moreau — and subsequently Paragon and Bay 13 –getting slammed as being “soulless” when he/they contributes so much to the Pearl District neighborhood and business community. Joe and company always rise to the occasion when the neighborhood or business associations need assistance — he is a gem. If you put that kind of heart into restaurant, it will outshine the decor any day of the week. :-)

  16. says

    I will betray my un-hip roots here — I don’t give a rat’s ass who owns the place…make good food, make me happy, and make me feel like my money was well spent. There are mom and pops that do this, there are corporates that do this. There are plenty of both who don’t.

    I’m getting the feeling that some group counseling may be needed to deal with some California issues.

  17. Pork Cop says

    I remember when I first moved to Oregon. I needed my phone connected so I called up the phone company. The woman I spoke with asked me where I came from. I told her Boston. She went on to tell me that Boston was alright BUT if I had been from California she would have refused to hook up my phone! I’d never even thought of such…weirdness.Issues…indeed.

  18. Blondie says

    I have no California issues. Am I still allowed to comment?

    Weekend before last on a Friday night I called Bay 13 at 9pm to see if they could accomodate our party of 16. Immediately. We figured it was a long shot, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get. After about five minutes of being on hold I was told to “Come on down”. When we arrived Joe greeted us with big smiles and took us back to a semi-private area where they had set up a long table.

    Our main server was a doll. Energetic, attentive, and very pleasant. Yes, we got the same water spiel as Food Dude and also wondered if we’d be charged later. (We weren’t.) However, we were left with plenty of extra water, so our glasses stayed full.

    Overall, we were all happy with our food. Nothing was downright amazing, but it was all worthwhile. The ceviche I had was great, the sweet potatoe bisque pretty good. My date’s Sole was wonderful (albeit quite rich), our sushi was decent. The ahi appetizer had wonderful flavor, but was very fatty and therefore tough. We had a few different desserts, all were lovely. The tuna would really be my single complaint about the whole experience. Not too shabby.

    Would I go again? Sure. Without a complaint. I wouldn’t be the one to recommend it, but that is not a reflection on the restaurant in any other way than it just isn’t really my kind of joint. I like smaller, more intimate. Bay 13 doesn’t have this. They do have the desire to take care of their patrons, though, and to make sure that when you leave you have had a good experience. To me, that is worth as much as anything.

  19. portlander says

    As an employee at Bay13 (and I speak on my own behalf, not the restaurant) I am really disgusted by hearing Joe Moreau referred to as ‘souless’. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Joe always has the best intentions for his guests, the neighborhood, and town in mind and instills the same ideas in his employees. Everything I have heard out of Joe’s mouth has been about being a good neighbor to people in the Pearl, not making money.

    As far as the comments about the water service “spiel”, we offer filtered still and sparkling complimentary (yes, as much as you like), which is something not many restaurants do, so we attempt to explain it to people so they dont think they will be charged an arm and a leg like some restaurants. I dont think its unreasonable to take 2 seconds to explain that to someone.

    I have worked in many restaurants in many towns and Bay13 is by far the most uncorporate corporate-owned restaurant I have worked for. I think they are really trying to provide a casual setting with good food, drinks, and people. Its a shame that you arent willing to give it another try as you are other restaurants. I think if you take off the cynical glasses you obviously see it through and go in with a clean slate, it could be different. We have only been open 2 weeks, give it a chance.

  20. pdxwineoh says

    Portlander: Good Job on using FD’s blog to shamelessly plug Bay13. The “cynical glasses” comment has forced me to comment once again, but this time I strive to re-emphasize that this is a forum for opinions, and just as you are entitled to your opinion, so am I.

    I spent my entire life in California, and moved to Portland a few years ago as I was ready for a change. When I moved here, I was amazed to find that everything cost less, everything was cleaner, the people were nicer, and the food was better. As a Chef, though I came as a cook as I didn’t have my own kitchen any longer, I thought I had seen it all, having worked in top kitchens and travelling the country to learn about food from the ground up. Now that I am in my 40′s, I feel I have spent enough time doing all of the above to qualify an experience-based opinion on whether or not a restaurant has “soul”. But first, let me share with you what soul is, or maybe in this case, isn’t, in my opinion.

    According to The American Heritage Dictionary, soul-less is defined as “devoid of sensitivity or the capacity for deep feeling”. If you have lived in California and now live in Oregon and you don’t understand the correlation, then it is quite possible you lived under a rock. Again, I spent my whole life there and believed that everything was wonderful, until I moved here and saw what life really could be like.

    As to the correlation to Paragon Restaurants, Bay13, and yes, Joe Moreau, I’m sorry, but even in your defense Portlander, it is obvious that the decision to shun bottled water was a business decision by your “arm and a leg” comment, not an environmental issue as it would be portrayed in a restaurant with “soul”. A restaurant with soul doesn’t even have a water “spiel”, as it is well-known how delicious and clean the drinking water is here, as opposed to the golden state we all know to be a toxic dumping ground, with no to little sensitivity to how to keep the drinking water clean.

    Restaurants with soul leave you with the feeling that someone spoke to you through the food. The food evokes sensitivity in the eater, as the senses are heightened and the feelings are better than “good”. They are superlative. This is hard to do, I know. I have had my share of food critics kick me in the teeth, but it took that to know what superlative means, and neither the food at Paragon or Bay13 achieves that.

    If we are talking simply and only about a good restaurant with “good food and drinks”, well then, Joe Moreau’s got a winner. But Portland Food and Drink’s website is not a place where we give praise to those kind of restaurants; rather it is where foodies and food/wine geeks find their kindred spirits, and enjoy being in good company with other like minded people. The praise for those other kind of places can be found on citysearch.

    By the way, being a good neighbor to the people in the Pearl and giving gift certificates to area businesses is not having soul, it is having good P.R. skills. Having been here a number of years, I have heard enough to know that again, my opinion has merit, and I will leave it at that. Simply an opinion. Thank you Food Dude for giving all of us the forum, and we wish you well. Take comfort that the laws of the universe will take care of you and that when faced with difficult times, we grow as we go within and find our true voice. We are all pulling for you.

  21. witzend says

    Wow, that’s a hard act to follow. I had dinner there the other night, and I thought I’d share a few observations:

    The space:
    I think the space is way too big. I found it uninviting and cold. Yes, there are are some note-worthy design details, but the package as a whole feels like an airport terminal. As I scanned what seemed like an endless vista of seating, my immediate thought was that the menu will need to appeal to the lowest common denominator (ala Henry’s) to fill all that space.

    The food:
    I found the food forgettable. Restaurants that need to appeal to a wide demographic tend to do too many things not very well, and this is the case with Bay 13. Sushi was lackluster, Caesar salad bland, nothing really stood out. I did get the “water mantra”, and true to thier word, it flowed throughout the evening.

    The service:
    The service was the best thing about the meal. Our server was well-informed, friendly, but not overly effusive. As with many new places, the staff seemed to outnumber the customers, so getting food and drink in a timely manner was almost guaranteed.

    Over-all impression:
    I think if you had a large group to entertain, and you wanted the Pearl to be ground central for your guests, this may be the ideal spot. If, however, you’re looking for an inspired meal in a warm and inviting locale, you may be dissapointed. I was.

  22. atlas says

    Wino,
    While you have the dictionary out look up the definitions of blowhard and windbag. Also lockstep…

    Perhaps obscene and generalization(s) also might be helpful words to consider.

    Sorry wino, but your reactions to Papaki earlier in this thread and now this is just IMO… nonsense.

  23. pdxwineoh says

    Thanks Atlas for the clarification. FYI, lock step is two words. I looked it up as you suggested.

    I must say I enjoyed the personal attack much more than your nonsensical movie trailer prose that you posted earlier in this thread.

    IMO, your insolence makes me feel sorry for you. I remember a time when I too used to attack, simply for the pleasure of the attack. Now I know that as long as I speak the truth, while there will certainly be detractors, the truth will always prevail.

    I stand by my earlier comments 100%. Thank you to those who have also posted on this thread who have also truthfully and factually shared their qualified opinions based on experience.

  24. sidemeat says

    PDXWINEOH:
    I tread with caution.
    Having in mind Well Seasoned’s recent post, ‘A few thoughts
    on service’ and the responses to it, I have to ask.
    Are those chips on your shoulder?
    Or is your bombastic bluster poorly executed humor?

  25. atlas says

    Wino,

    Your’e welcome, not sure what “clarification” you are refering to but you are welcome. Also, you need not feel sorry for me, be it “in your opinion” or not. lol

    What I notice most about your “truth” is that your comments are ripe with juvenile absolutes. Not to mention that you make numerous assumptions concerning the motives of people you know little of.

    You also appear to take issue with any point of view that is opposed to yours or seemingly anything FD says… Papaki made some valid points and suddenly in your eyes he or she is an investor of Bay13? Some employee speaks fondly of their work in a thread about their work and in your eyes it’s shameless of them to do so?

    You stand by that? 100%?

    BTW, while I knew I was pushing the envelope of discussion I didn’t mean for you to feel as though that was an “attack” I was only hoping you look up some words that I’ve come to associate with you. All apologies you in turn felt attacked.

    One more thing about your “truth”… lockstep is one word. If you had looked it up as you declared you did you would know this.

  26. apollo says

    I didn’t see anything wrong in wino’s posts. They made sense to me, but I am one of those fourtth generation Oregonians that dislike both “Californian” and “corporate” When the two are combined into one, I have to start getting my picketing signs ready…

  27. pdxwineoh says

    Thanks Apollo and FD for standing up for me. I like this thread as it gets us all thinking. Only good can come from that.

  28. sidemeat says

    You leave the kids alone for a few minutes and see what happens?
    As far as Bay 13 goes, I have not been, will not likely go, nor will I likely ever work there.
    Not for a lack of ‘soul’ or any links to California
    ( I’m from Ca. I go back often and with pleasure)
    But as a matter of scale.
    I do not dine in groups of more than six, or
    in restaurants that seat more than 100 except
    when there is no out.
    I chose not to dine in parades.

  29. Rouge says

    I enjoyed everything about our visit to Bay 13 including the flavor the locals provided. There are sure to be things dissed by reviewers as any new restaurant gains traction. i.e. a creme brulee too dense, but I felt a sense of team from the kitchen to the front was in place and will likely leave this new eatery a favorite of the NW locals. A standout was a gent named Chas at the bar. Good luck Bay 13!

  30. frank rizzo says

    food dude was hired as a manager here then fired before the place even opened. his revue is extremely biased due to that fact. cant cut it the restaurant biz??? start trashing everyone online!!!! get a life pal

  31. Nikos says

    Portlanders, get over your inferiority complex, disguised as disdain, of California (and Seattle). California is a state of “consequence”. Trends start there (for better and sometimes worse) and are emulated. California is commiting 3 billion dolars in stem cell research, Oregonians are suspicious of fluoride in drinking water…California is moving to reduce CO2 emissions, the nation and the world take notice. Oregon is pretty and (perhaps) clean (er) (and mostly uninhabited) but it is inconsequential. Portland is a healthy and pleasant place to live but it is not a city of consequence. For the record I love Portland (and I have only been here 2 years) but it sounds to me this jaundiced eye towards California (and Seatle) is unhealthy and unproductive.

    One can find great food in Portland, but there is no polish or pizzaz, no “elan”. No reach. BTW if I hear one more report in some media outlet about Voodoo doughnuts, I am going to barf. Let’s see, Voodoo doughnuts vsPike Place market, hmmmmmm, Portland State vs University of Washington.

    Just some thoughts.

  32. atlas says

    Really wasn’t my doing, the summary at least… it’s one of the taglines the studio went with for promotion of the film, I lifted it from the IMDB.
    I try to reference things involving Sissy Spacek as often as possible…

  33. pdxwineoh says

    to Frank Rizzo:

    You are a freakin retard. NO way IN HELL was food dude hired as a manager at Bay 13. In fact, the manager you refer to was a chick, a girl named Gretchen Wilcox, who is now the service director at Park Kitchen. Last time I checked, definitely not a “dude”.

    May we recommend you either 1-check your facts or 2-stop posting about shit you know nothing about.

  34. Polarwanderer says

    Mediocre sushi and sickeningly sweet cocktails.

    Went to Bay13 last night after working out at 24 hour fitness.
    The sushi was mediocre. you’d have better luck with the packaged sushi a few blocks away at Whole Foods. Every cocktail we ordered was sickeningly sweet. However, our server was very nice.
    It is
    quite the scene with lots of 20 somethings. Not worth going back for the food.

  35. birgitta loeser says

    I ate at Bay 13th after they had been open only 2 weeks. I agree that the space is a little big, but our service was excellent and the food was wonderful. I have eaten in many fine establishments all over the world. I especially liked the side dishes , the vegetables that was very unusual, cooked the French way. My Sole was NOT drenched in rich sauce, they must have got the word on that. My Cesar salad was wonderful, and the signature Martini their Bay 13 was excellent. Try their Double OO 7 Martini, next time. Outstanding. To me very few restaurants have gotten their act together this quick. I believe in a couple of months they will be outstanding.

  36. birgitta loeser says

    I ate at Bay 13th only after they had been open for 2 weeks. The service was excellent, I did not like the servers outfits, looked a little like prison garb. The food was wonderful. I have dined all over the world. We started out with their Bay 13 Martini, that was terrific. They also have a 007 Martini which is fantastic. Try it some time. My Cesar salad was perfect, and the side dish vegetables where wonderful, cooked the French way. My fish was excellent, sole with a wonderful sauce. I sure don’t know understand what all the complaints are. Especially since they had only been open for 2 weeks.

  37. French Gastronome says

    I invited 6 friends to Bay 13 last night to celebrate a birthday. I wanted to give this place a second chance after a mediocre dinner there last week.

    It was an unmitigated disaster!

    We had requested outdoors seating. Despite clearly many open tables, the hostess could not be accommodate our request. I suspect that this job is beyond her capacity, since I observed lots of shuffling around (the tables behind us were re-arranged 3 times, loudly, before a party was finally seated there). She was clearly trying to look her best, so we will forgive her, if not the manager.

    After a 10 minute wait, the waiter finally came to take our order for drinks. As mentioned in the review above, the drinks are mightily weak and consist of nothing else but fruit juice. I suspect that management encourages the bartenders to wave the bottles of liquor at the glasses (saves some money). We sent the drinks back, despite the best efforts for the waiter to convince us that these were “good” cocktails. We asked to talk to the bar manager, but I suspect he was too busy waving his bottles to bother.

    The food came a good 20 minutes after ordering it. The warm entrees arrived all within 5 minutes of each other. The sushi plates did not make it until those of us who ordered the warm dishes were almost done. The pork loin came covered in salad: the fact that it was not totally wilted owes more to the tepid meat than to the chef’s skills. We had asked for no cheese, but that instruction got lost somewhere in the cavernous space. The ahi from the raw bar is basically cat food: some lumpy average fish mixed with a jumble of avocado and seaweeds and sprinkled with sesame seeds to cover the mess. What Bay 13 calls “crispy potatoes” is basically some plain potato chips – the perfect match to a $12 appetizer… The spicy tuna roll came with spicy sauce last week, but they “forgot” the mayo last night.

    The waiters and busboys are all trying to look good in their matching tight T-shirts, but they seemed more interested in hanging out together than caring about the customers.

    I’ve learned my lesson and I will not be going back there. And you should not either. There are so many good places in Portland which are deserving of our hard-earned money.

    I did have a word with the manager on my way out. He managed to muster some words of apology, but he was really too busy delivering plates of food to care or seem to care. If the manager has to do the waiters’ job, I don’t think that he is doing a good job either.

    Stay away from Bay 13!

  38. Papaki says

    What I don’t understand is: Who goes to a restaurant, has a “mediocre dinner” there, and immediately thinks it would be a good idea to take 6 friends to very same place to celebrate a birthday the next week?

  39. French Gastronome says

    One has to oblige the birthday boy who wanted to go there… I guess one must not always abide by one’s friends choices, even on their birthday.
    Don’t miss the point though: the place is awful. As a bar for the Portland yuppies wannabes who like their drinks watered down, maybe. But not a serious restaurant.

  40. Nikos says

    On a weekday afternoon when they are not too busy, if you order the “simply grilled” fish with a side of vegetables and their Ceasar Salad with a glass of wine or a beer, you have yourself a great tasting, healthy, pleasant meal (especially sitting at the deck.) That’s all I ever had at Bay 13 and I was happy to find simply prepared fish with nicely prepared sides. As for the sushi, cocktails etc, I am sure there are better places elsewhere and I am not disputing Gastronomes conclusions.

  41. Bxlang says

    HAHA! I’ve been thoroughly entertained by all the posts on Bay 13. I think Food Dude’s original review back in February was pretty darn good.

    Here it is August 2 and it’s still right on. All that said, I like Bay 13. However, after living in Japan 3 years (and fluent in Japanese), I won’t order from their sushi bar! Everything else is great. They really do need to work on their sushi, though.

    Let’s face it, I go to taste their wines and have some excellent seafood without breaking my pocketbook. Also, seeing the goodlooking crowd and servers doesn’t hurt either.

    Oh…I’m a transplant from Santa Monica, California, (shhh, don’t tell anyone). But, that was in 1979…So, yes, I was born ‘soul-less’. Then, my parents quickly brought me to Oregon for me to find my soul, which I did. :)

    Happy Eating all!

  42. andrew says

    visited Bay 13 last night – the service was excellent, sushi [spicy tuna rolls] was very fresh and tasty – pretty crowd, but not as pretentious as many in the Pearl and certainly worth checking out

  43. Nikos says

    Oh my, Oregon in 1979, was it even a state then? I noticed the new chefs at 1001 and Olea all got their lights in California. All you unpretentious out there must be very alarmed at the trend!

  44. Tommy says

    I suppose I don’t really have anything substantial to offer to this discussion, as I haven’t yet been to Bay 13, but I do love reading these comments (especially when you kids start quarelling with one another). However, I feel compelled to respond to one of Nikos’ comments. It’s true that more than a few Portlanders, native or otherwise, take a lot of pleasure in bashing California and Seattle, sometimes for good reason. But does this also arise out of some sort of inferiority complex? Probably. And you’re right, California and Seattle have much going for them, and the people in those places have done some amazing things with the resources at their disposal. But I disagree with your assertion that Portland is an inconsequential city. I grew up in a dying rust belt town that was once thriving, but is now the very definition of inconsequential (I won’t name the place, but if you’ve ever been through any of the nastier parts of the upper Midwest, you can surely imagine it). Portland practically glows in the dark by comparison. Our city’s contributions to the culinary world haven’t quite risen to the scale of Northern California’s to be sure, and Portland does remain somewhat provincial in comparison to many larger cities (not necessarily a bad thing, by the way). But Portland is garnering an awful lot of national press lately for its food scene, and that alone should suggest that something of consequence is happening here, as should the very dialogue we’re having over all of this. There is much in your new, and very consequential, city to take pride in!

  45. Nikos says

    I am very proud of my new city, I chose to be here! My comments are aimed at Portlanders whose insecurities vis a vis California and Seattle are painful to watch, because to a great extend are unwarranteed.
    The entire Northwest to me is an American version of Provence, with many natural and culinary wonders to behold.

    Speaking of rustbelt cities of “no consequence”, I also lived in a (still beloved) city who gets a lot of unfair negative publicity. But I still think Weber’s mustard is a mustard of consequence…

    I don’t mind the scale of Portland, I think it is very comfortable and the city is rapidly becoming more and more urbane without becoming overbearing. But the fact remains that its underpinning cultural and financial institutions are not the national and international powerhouses of say SF, or Chicago or even the perennially aspiring debutante that is Seattle (which, by the way, in terms of cultural institutions does not hold a candle to New York, but then to be even compared to that is a sign of ambition)

    So, before food dude complains I am going off subject, I do appreciate Portlands up and coming status and high quality of life. I just think since Portland claims to be the most European of american cities its citizens should acquire a slight air of jaded irony to complete the picture (Sidemeat is a fine if extreme example of that…)

  46. Mmmcheese says

    I am going to preface my comments with three very big caveats (after all, you posters seem to like to rip into each other)
    1. I am not, in any way, a food professional
    2. I haven’t even hit 23, so I lack the years of exp
    3. I was born and bred on the Portland food scene

    My boyfriend had been to Bay 13 and knowing my adoration for all things food, thought it might be a nice treat for the two of us to head over for dinner. HUGE MISTAKE. Not only were we ignored from the outset, but it seemed primarily to be because of our age. A number of similar sized tables seated after us (and I will point out, significantly OLDER than us) were visited first, and by the time we had our drinks, they had their drinks, apps and sushi. And trust me, the sushi does not come quickly. From then on it was downhill. Not only were my specifications for an undressed salad ignored, we were then handed the wrong meals. It was absolutely astounding!

    For the money we spent , I would have gone to VQ or Acadia any day!

  47. Amy says

    Mmmcheese – they brought the sushi back. Limited options, but there are a few rolls to choose from.