- Location: Mirisata, 2420 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214
- Hours: Mon-Sat,12pm-9pm, Sun – 10am-3pm 4pm-9pm
- Transportation: Car, Bus accessible (15 stops nearby)
- Atmosphere: Chill & Casual, a vegan family friendly oasis in Portland
- Cuisine: Sri Lankan Cuisine, family-style
- Price: $$: reasonable but can be pricey, $30 for two people
Recently Star and I found ourselves in need of a new food place to try. We’d started our journey on 28th, one of the best streets to explore with its booming food scene. There have been new bars, restaurants, and dessert places all along that strip. Bars, restaurants, and dessert places we decided were just a bit too popping to try that day. Instead, we found ourselves driving around town to a street we hadn’t explored, a cuisine we had never tried, and a place we didn’t even know existed.
Our journey took us to 24th and Belmont–just a short walk away from other great local attractions like Lone Fir Historic Cemetry, Laurelhurst Village (and Park if you’re willing to walk a little farther), and family-fun activities like the Wunderland Nickel Arcade. Now, because there are many cool places nearby as well as along Belmont itself, we were afraid parking was going to be a little hard. Like most big streets in Portland, there’s not exactly street parking in front of restaurants and Bars, nor do any places have dedicated parking lots (typical). This means your best bet is to find neighborhood parking nearby–which–yes, can be just a little difficult. Because everyone is trying to find neighborhood parking, it’s usually best to try to park a few streets away and be up for a short walk. Star and I were really lucky to have pretty much found parking immediately. We snagged a spot on a bit of an incline only a block or two from our destination. But remember–neighborhood parking is usually tight, so you have to be really good at parking close to the curb (you don’t want to be the car that gets their mirror knocked off for being more than a foot from the curb). So once we found parking, we made our two minute walk and then we were to our location. Mirisata on 24th and Belmont.
Mirisata was, according to our google maps search, a Sri Lankan restaurant. Which, you know, neither of us had ever tried before. We were very excited to be there. The place was nothing like we expected–though I’m not sure we would’ve known what we expected. It was mostly outdoor seating, with canopies tied up to keep you out of direct sun. Wood picnic-like tables that comfortably sat 4-6 people decorated the grounds, with only sparse greenery and decoration, but the atmosphere was still very relaxed. From a first glance you might think it’d be some sort of imitation of an outdoor marketplace, but it just felt so relaxed instead–like an oasis or rest from the sun, away from direct heat and with good food. Or maybe it just got altered to be that way to cope with the pandemic–I wouldn’t know since I’d never been there before.
Anyway, so the menu was simple–it was on the side of the actual building, which was far behind the seating area. It was an interesting L shape, with the right side being glass windows and a door that led to indoor seating–this was also where the menu was displayed. You actually ordered at the very back of the property–which was still outside mind you. You walked up a little ramp that led to an open window where you could order. You could also see them actually cooking through this window–it practically opened up into the kitchen, kind of like a diner actually, which was super casual feeling.
At first when we were ordering, we weren’t sure what to get. Everything looked very good, and we realized after studying the menu that Mirisata’s entire menu was Vegan friendly. Our immediate thought was that if it was good, we’d have to let Star’s step dad known (yes, because he’s Vegan). We didn’t know what to order, so we decided to just go with their dinner special which included a few different dishes as like an almost sampler or plate lunch. We also decided to respectfully try some of their drinks–Star had a fresh lime soda and I tried their passionfruit soda. Our drinks were made right then and there after ordering and were in our hands before we sat down. Speaking of sitting down though–all those nice wooden tables? Yeah you do have to find your own seating, so it can get a little hard once it gets busy and you have a large group. While we found a table easily enough, when we were leaving I noticed a few families having a hard time finding seats.
Once we sat down, our food came pretty quickly actually. And I was surprised they didn’t just call out the name I provided when they took our order, the server (who in all fairness, was the person who took our order) knew exactly where to take our food. So A+ for that. I’m always impressed when busy places where one person is doing multiple jobs immediately remembers which person ordered what.
With food finally in front of us, we took a quick moment to take some glamour shots of the plated food, and finally dug in. That brings us to the moment you’ve likely been waiting for: how was the actual food? Well, to answer simply–it was good. The sodas we’d ordered were all natural, with bubbly water and sweetened only by the fresh juice of their respective fruits. I personally really enjoyed my passionfruit drink–it had all the good taste of an actual passionfruit (including the seeds that I love) with none of the artificial sugars. The food was super shareable, and I honestly wish I could tell you what exactly we were eating, but since it was a special that changes daily I just don’t know. From what I can remember though we had a very creamy potato curry, another curry-like dish with chickpeas and spices, thinly sliced broccoli tossed in spices, fire roasted veggies, fried.,.plaintains maybe?, rice, what I think was some sort of sweet pickled jackfruit curry dish, and of course Roti for scooping up all the goods. Everything was absolutely delightful. It was light, had a kick of spice in every dish, but all tasted inherently different. Honestly, it was good. The Roti was paper thin, which was a little hard to hold if you packed too much curry on top of it since it’d break, but was otherwise welcome so that it wasn’t taking away too much from the taste of the dishes. I think out of everything, I really enjoyed the creamy potato curry–it had to have had anise or something in it, because there was something that made it almost sweet but with a bite. Which I guess was kind of the theme of the meal. A few of the dishes hit that perfect note of spicy and sweet–unless like Star, you had the misfortune of biting into an actual chili pepper.
Altogether, I really enjoyed Mirisata. It felt weirdly relaxing and homey. Like we weren’t even in Portland at all. From the good food, to the outdoor chill vibes, and even the patrons which were more diverse than literally any of the places we walked by on 28th, it just truly felt like a place that was removed from the busy life where you could enjoy good food and good conversation without straining to hear. Of course, as great as it was, I’d be lying if I said we didn’t end up eating again later. While it was good, and the dinner special can easily feed 1-2 people, we both ended up needing meat. Which being a vegan place, you will not find at Mirisata. But if you don’t mind that and just want to chill and enjoy some good food? I’d recommend stopping by. It’s definitely better than heading to Little Big Burger for the millionth time (no shade, but so common). So be on the more adventurous side and visit Mirisata for some delicious vegan meals at reasonable prices.