Jam on Hawthorne

2239 SE Hawthorne, 234-4790

Taking the place of breakfast favorite Café Lena, the Jam fills a similar niche. They offer tasty breakfast scrambles (try the Ryan's with ground mustard, brie, tomatoes, and onions) with crispy hashbrowns that are low on grease. The tofu breakfast wrap, spiced with a heavy dose of cumin, is stuffed with garden sausage, fresh vegetables, cheese, and pico and is a pretty damn perfect healthy breakfast or lunch. Jam also offers lemon ricotta pancakes, which may sound weird, but sweet protein added to a fluffy pile of starch is quite decadent. All this, and spectacular homemade jams. KS

Thien Hong

6749 NE Sandy, 281-1247

Thien Hong is sort of like smack. Once you put the first slithery, salt-and-pepper squid in your mouth, you'll be hooked. This appetizer is made up of big pieces of calamari, thinly battered, deep-fried, salted and peppered equally, and cooked with green onions left slightly raw. Even if you claim not to like squid, you should try this squid. Though S&PS is clearly the mantelpiece of the menu (you'll see a serving at nearly every table), the side dishes and entrees are very good. The leafy Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce is mildly salty and crunchy, but not undercooked. The pork spareribs are to die for, as the meat is slow-cooked, very tender, served on the bone, and tossed in a sweet and sour sauce. They also have a nice selection of seafood besides squid, usually with a live option, and most meals are under $10. Also, they're frequently open until midnight, but the food quality goes down as it gets later. KS

Justa Pasta

1336 NW 19th, 229-0646

The operative words at Justa Pasta are fresh and light. The Baby Spinach salad is lightly dressed with feta, pine nuts, and a lemon vinaigrette that is nuanced and spectacular. However, it's the pasta that really shines. The Butternut Squash/Hazelnut ravioli is a great example of a dish with perfectly balanced flavors that isn't too heavy on the nut or cream. The chunky marinara and sausage and tomato sauces are cooked just right and ladled on pasta so fresh, you'll be tempted to slap it. WSH