Tapalaya Hosts Traditional Pho Pop-Up in Honor of Chef Anh Luu’s Beloved Mother Who Passed Away Tragically in 2017
PORTLAND, Ore. (January 28, 2019) – Known for its New Orleans cuisine and its Asian/Cajun menu created by the restaurant’s New Orleans-born, Vietnamese Executive Chef and Owner Anh Luu, Tapalaya is hosting a very special Pho Pop-Up in honor of Luu’s beloved mother for one night only on Wednesday, February 6th from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the restaurant. While Tapalaya has hosted a Pho Pop-Up in the past, this is unique in that Luu is bringing in her sister to the restaurant, and together they will prepare traditional Pho, free of any MSG, exclusively using their mother’s secret recipe. Luu’s mother tragically passed away in 2017.
Luu’s mother, Tâm Thị Trần, kept special recipes, including her Pho recipe, since living in Vietnam. She prepared her recipes regularly for Luu, her sister and her brother during their childhood while they were growing up in New Orleans. Luu and her sister uncovered their mother’s original recipes and are honored to prepare the popular street food of Vietnam in the unique style that respects and gives tribute to their mother.
“Losing my mother has been the most traumatizing event in my life…and we’ve experienced a lot of life challenges given that my parents, my sister, my brother and I lost everything in Hurricane Katrina,” said Tapalaya Owner and Executive Chef Anh Luu. “After two years of living in shock, I’m finally ready to begin the healing process. Learning about my mom’s food and her incredible recipes is helping me to heal. My sister is older than me and she knows more about our Mom’s recipes than I do so it’s important to me to bring her into the restaurant on this memorable night so we can cook our Mom’s Pho together.”
Located on Portland’s NE 28th restaurant row, Tapalaya, which is a combination of the words tapas and Jambalaya, offers Vietnamese-inspired, Cajun/Creole dishes at dinner and Brunch. The Pho Pop-Up will be served in lieu of the restaurant’s dinner menu that night. For those interested in some of Tapalaya’s regular dishes during the Pho Pop-Up, the Happy Hour menu will still be available from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Customers can also call in for to-go Pho orders.
For the Pho Pop-Up, the restaurant will offer two pho entrées and three side dishes for order.
The Pho menu for February 6th includes the following:
- Phở Đặc Biệt – Rice Noodles, Beef Shank, Beef Brisket, Rare Thin Sliced Eye of Round and Tendon, in a 5-Spice Beef Broth, Topped with Cilantro and Green Onion,
- Phở Chay – Rice Noodles, Braised Daikon, Shitake Mushrooms and Baby Bok Choy, in a 5-Spice Daikon Broth, Topped with Cilantro and Green Onion (Vegetarian).
The Sides menu includes the following:
- Bánh Quẩy (V) – Deep fried donut stick to use for dipping in your broth.
- Gỏi Đu Đủ (slaw) – Shredded green papaya, carrots, cucumber, red onions, rau ram, crispy shallots, nước chấm (fish sauce dressing). Shredded beef jerky can be added or it can be made vegan.
- Gỏi Cuốn (salad rolls) – Fried wonton rolled Thai basil shrimp, thin sliced roast pork, vermicelli noodles, mint, cucumber, pickled carrot, green apple and romaine lettuce.
Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling the restaurant at (503) 232-NOLA (6652) or online at the restaurant’s website or via Open Table.
Born to Vietnam War refugees in New Orleans, Luu and her family evacuated from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. With their home under 15 feet of water, Luu’s family moved to Portland, Oregon but Luu remained in Louisiana to attend school and work in several top New Orleans restaurants. She later moved to Portland to join her family and attend the Western Culinary Institute. Subsequently, Luu was hired as Second in Charge at Tanuki, Chef/Owner Janis Martin’s izakaya. Following Tanuki, Luu was hired as Executive Chef at Tapalaya in May 2013. In March 2017, Luu purchased Tapalaya from previous owner, Chantal Angot.
Located at 28 NE 28th Avenue in Northeast Portland and serving dinner and Happy Hour, which is offered daily from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays through Sundays and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, with live New Orleans music on Tuesday evenings and during Brunch on Saturdays during football season. Tapalaya serves contemporary Cajun/Creole cuisine sourcing many fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood from local farms and farmer’s markets in Portland, the Willamette Valley and Vancouver, Washington. Gluten-friendly, vegetarian and vegan options are offered and classic menu items include Red Beans & Rice, Jambalaya, Po’ Boy Sandwiches, Crawfish Étouffée, Blackened Catfish and Beignets. Tapalaya offers a full bar, wine and beer. Signature cocktails include the Hurricane, the Chartreuse Swizzle and Sazerac.
Tapalaya is a contemporary New Orleans restaurant located in Portland, Oregon’s NE 28th Restaurant Row. Inventive Cajun/Creole dishes prepared with locally-sourced ingredients from the Pacific Northwest are made from scratch with love. Born in New Orleans, and raised by her Vietnamese parents, Owner and Executive Chef Anh Luu offers menu items that are infused with the Southeast Asian flavors and ingredients from her culture, heritage and childhood. Tapalaya offers a contemporary Cajun/Creole menu with a Vietnamese influence. The restaurant setting is a fun and relaxed atmosphere with cheery, New Orleans décor, set to a funky beat. It offers live music every Tuesday evening and during Brunch on Saturdays. It also offers Happy Hour every day. Owner Chantal Angot owned Tapalaya from its inception in November 2008 to March 2017, when she sold the restaurant to Anh Luu. A combination of the words tapas and Jambalaya, Tapalaya is located at 28 NE 28th Avenue in Portland. Dinner and Happy Hour are offered daily and Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays. For reservations or for more information, please call (503) 232-NOLA (6652) or visit www.tapalaya.com or www.opentable.com. Find Tapalaya on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Tapalaya and follow Tapalaya on Twitter @tapalaya and on Instagram @tapalayapdx.