Elaine Alden and Thomas Takashi Cooke are working on opening an Japanese restaurant called Izakaya Minato (instagram). Minato is the Japanese word for “port”.
The couple moved to Portland late last year from San Francisco where Cooke had been the head chef at Tsunami, a sushi restaurant. They recently completed a 3-month stay in Japan where he staged at an Izakaya restaurant in Tokyo called Tsumamina.
They’re currently searching for a space for their restaurant in Portland to launch “a fun, casual place to go gather with friends for drinks and food” for dinner, and, depending on location, may serve lunch as well.
In the meantime we have the chance to try some of the Izakaya Minato menu at a pop-up dinner they’re holding next week at Bao Bao (March 29, 5:30 – 10pm).