This restaurant’s exterior is pretty nondescript. There is nothing fancy about it and I wondered if I was even at the right place the first time I went there. The entrance can be partially obscured by trees. I know the first time I pulled into the parking lot I was having second thoughts on whether or not to go in. Silly me. It’s not what’s on the outside that matters right? Located on the bustling street of Belmont, Wild Abandon can easily be missed if you are not looking for it. Once inside it is a cozy space that may remind you of a 70’s /80’s basement. The different colored lights that hang from the ceiling will make you reminisce about which friend’s house growing up had that exact light. The fake “fountain” light brought back memories of family parties we had since most Asian households had a version of one in their house. My house of course didn’t, only because it would have probably clashed with the ones made out of shells. Grrr.
Anyways, back to the food….I highly recommend eating it on the outside patio after the rainy season ends as it’s a nice space to enjoy a meal. I’ve eaten here a few times and I always order the goat cheese torta as an appetizer. It comes with grilled bread and the spread consists of goat cheese (duh), sun-dried tomato and pesto with roasted whole garlic cloves (yum), olive oil and balsamic reduction. Everyone I’ve shared this with loved it and it’s a great start to your main meal.
On this particular evening, I decided to share a pasta dish with a friend and we opted for the Ziti Ziti dish. The pasta is served in a rich smoked mozzarella cheese sauce with mushrooms, roasted garlic, and scallops (veggie option available) then topped with bread crumbs and baked to a golden brown. We were deciding between this dish and the butternut sage risotto and the staff told us the ziti was the most popular dish and recommended that for us. We were definitely not disappointed. It was more than enough to share (especially since our cheese intake for that day exceeded anyone’s recommended amount) and even though we were getting full, we kept going in for more which is always a good sign. The staff person was super friendly and helpful. I’ve never had terrible service here but he was exceptionally nice that night which always makes the eating experience that much better.
Address: 2411 Southeast Belmont Street Portland, OR 97214 (503) 232-4458
Cost: Torta – $11.50 (Dinner menu) $8 (Happy Hour)
Ziti Ziti – $19 w/ scallops; $13 vegetarian