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Kukai Ramen Opens First Oregon Outpost; Big Ass Sandwich Cart Goes Brick and Mortar

Welcome to CascadiaWire, a weekly collection of restaurant news from up-and-down the Pacific Northwest corridor.

Kukai Ramen
Kukai Ramen
Dina Avila

BEAVERTON — The first Oregon location of Kukai, the popular Japanese ramen chain, officially opened in the new Timberland Town Center on June 1. The menu is similar to the other two U.S. locations, which are both in Washington. The space, however, is different, with a more low-key, Northwest vibe.

NORTHEAST — Pip's Original, the little neighborhood cafe with the rabid following is about to double its space. The sliver of a spot is known for its tiny, warm cake donuts, fried to order, and its lineup of housemade chai teas. The lines can get long on weekends, and seats are always in short supply. But owners announced yesterday that they're taking over the space next door and tearing down the wall in between. Construction is already underway.

NORTHEAST — Big Ass Sandwiches, one of Portland's most popular food carts, just signed the lease on a brick and mortar space. Owners Brian and Lisa Wood will offer the truck's core menu of french-fry-stuffed hot sandwiches, plus cold deli sandwiches slathered in homemade sauces, "regular-ass" sandwiches with the fries on the side, and cocktails. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and they expect to open the doors in a couple weeks.