Nocturnal

1800 E Burnside, 239-5900

While Nocturnal's main dishes can be hit-and-miss, the one thing you can always count on are the tater tots. Tots with cheese, delicious Mexi Tots with fresh tomatoes, onion, jalapeños, and melted cheese, or just plain old crispy tots with ketchup. A large, alcohol-absorbent pile costs two or three dollars, a giant, super-absorbent pile costs five or six. While great taste and cheap price are both spectacular reasons to order up a plate, the reason I am completely in love with the tots is that I feel less guilty about eating them than, say, fries or onion rings. Really, I don't think they're any better for my spare tire, but the Mexi Tots do include vegetables, and I don't know, they just seem healthier. Bar food, without guilt. KS

Bangkok Restaurant

5325 E Burnside, 232-4454

The Bangkok is on a major street, but so far out, lonely, and nondescript that it's practically invisible, which means if it was really good you could feel proud of yourself just for knowing about it. The Thai/Vietnamese restaurant, despite rock-bottom prices, won't be making any "hidden treasure" lists soon, though--not until it figures out its sauce ratio. The Pad Thai has too little sauce, which is unfortunate because without it, the noodles taste like hay. Meanwhile, the deep fried eggplant disappears under mounds of salty oyster sauce. The fish cake appetizers are excellent, however, as is (strangely) the coconut flan, which has the rich creaminess of a gourmet dessert. Go and tell 'em it's your first time, and they'll serve you up some flan on the house. JWS

Goose Hollow Inn

1927 SW Jefferson, 228-7010

If you're not a Twin Peaks fan, the One-Armed Man sightings won't mean much. The Goose is a near-perfect neighborhood joint, even though it's not really in a neighborhood. The dining room is intimate and woody with a host of booths and a comfortable bar. Try the Rueben or Gallo Salami and Swiss. Wash it down with anything from Pabst to Fat Tire Amber. Mutton-chop sideburns and flannels die hard here. Go down fightin', kid. PA