Noho's Hawaiian Cafe

2525 SE Clinton, 233-5301

Noho's is the kind of restaurant that makes me wish I had some sort of valve I could turn to release the already consumed food before it traveled to my hips. So massive is the smallest portion at Noho's, third world families have survived for weeks off a single plate. But not many vegetarian families; anyone with a nose who has been near the intersection of 26th and Clinton knows that Noho's specialty is grilled meats. Mostly chicken and beef, it comes either slow-cooked from the grill or sautéed in a skillet. You can get it prepared from sweet and tender to crispy and tongue-witheringly spicy. As if the meat weren't enough, your meal also comes with one to three scoops of rice plus mac 'n' cheese. KG

Tosis

6120 NE Sandy, 284-4942

Tosis reminds me of Monk's, the coffee shop/diner that Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer hang out at all the time on Seinfeld. It's just an unassuming place with good, cheap food, homestyle dinners, and breakfast all day. I switch back and forth between ordering their two egg breakfast or the chicken gyro with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy. No matter which meal you order, though, expect it to arrive at your table within about 45 seconds, and be served by a super-nice waitress who will fill up your coffee no less than 10 times. KS

Dingo's

4612 SE Hawthorne, 233-3996

Every now and then I prefer neuvo-Mex food to my local taqueria, because I love the spicy slaw, black beans, cilantro, and huge margaritas that come along with it. Dingo's on Hawthorne offers all of the above, plus great halibut tacos (with slaw), unabashedly spicy salsa, outdoor seating, and reasonable prices. Thursday night at Dingo's is Ladies' Night, meaning there are lesbians around, and Le Tigre and Cindi Lauper on the stereo. They also stay open 'til a generous 11 pm on Ladies' night, which is great if you're winding down from Happy Hour at Angelo's. But beware, if you arrive after 10 pm, you could receive some pretty damn grouchy service. I sure did. KS