// Location188 State St.
Portland, ME 04101
// Hours11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight Friday to Sunday
// Contact (207) 541-9204
// Price Range$$
// Cuisine Type Japanese,
// Features Brunch, Late Night, Outdoor Dining, Take Out,
// AT A GLANCE
Chef Masa Miyake came to Maine because its weather and landscape reminded him of his childhood home in the Aomori Prefecture of northern Japan. Once here, he became a serial entrepreneur – one who missed eating ramen. So he did the only thing he could and opened his own noodle bar, Pai Men Miyake, in late 2010. Since then, the restaurant has become a popular hotspot, especially on weekends. It is counterintuitive, but Pai Men’s bowls of noodles are not its strongest dishes. Some, like the Paitan, with its super-concentrated chicken broth, are solid, but others, like the seriously undercooked, brothless Tokyo Abura, or the flat, dilute-tasting kimchi ramen, are lackluster. The small plates, on the other hand, like Brussels sprouts with a fish sauce vinaigrette and loads of cilantro, scallion and mint, are extraordinary. So too, the creamy, crunchy local Maine crabmeat sushi, and the decadent scallop hamayaki. It’s unfortunate, but while it sounds crazy to say this, the best way to eat at Pai Men Miyake may just be to order a local draft beer and some of the fantastic starters, and hold off entirely on the “hundred noodles” that give the restaurant its name.