Hat Yai

1605 Northeast Killingsworth Street

Portland’s only southern Thai fried chicken restaurant also happens to be the city’s best fried chicken restaurant, full stop. It helps to have one of Portland’s ambassadors of Thai cuisine, Earl Ninsom—of impossible-to-reserve Langbaan and takeout staple PaaDee—behind the counter-service concept in the cheery, narrow space where diners rub elbows with the cooks. The unique style of preparing the birds, which are rubbed with cumin, white pepper, coriander, and fresh garlic before they’re breaded with rice flour, fried, and served with fresh shallots, results in a crispy, spicy, just-light-enough flavor profile. Pair with the housemade curry and roti, mixing and matching and dipping as you go, for maximum enjoyment.

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