The Portland Phoenix has reviewed The Porthole.
The chef has done with the menu what the owner did with the place—elevating things without changing them fundamentally. So despite the server’s predilections, it’s worth veering from the burgers and fried fish into the more interesting dishes. The fish tacos, for example, break from common practice by opting for a crunchy blue-corn shell rather than soft tortillas. There are lots of tender, blackened pieces of some whitefish or another. On top sits a pile of crunchy slaw and juicy-sour pico de gallo. The pinkish aioli has a kick of sriracha (a company whose factory was nearly shut down by a zero tolerance policy on noxious odors in Irwindale, California). On their purple plate, the blue goopy tacos look both messy and appealing—sort of in the spirit of the Porthole itself.