Kesone Asian Fusion

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Kesone Asian Fusion

Location: SE 82nd and Harney, Cartlandia
Hours: Mon-Sun, 11:30-8pm

The Story: I first remember hearing the word fusion back in the 90′s and it usually implied a mix of two dichotomous cuisines that a chef decided to mix together. Sometimes it worked, many times it did not. A Kesone Asian Fusion, the mix is Thai and Laotian which compliment each other well.

You may recognize the name Kesone as they had a cafe and bistro in NE Portland for many years, but closed it to open their food cart at Cartlandia. Inside the bright red box, Kesone greats her guests with a bright grin as they come up and with most vendors, begins preparing the cuisine right then. I love that about Portland’s vendors – freshly made food. The menu is comprised of appetizers, salads, noodle and rice dishes, soups, curries and Lao specialties. Normally, upon arrival, I can choose a dish rather quickly, but this menu of 29 different items slowed me down. I skipped the appetizers and salad and focused mainly on the Lao specialties like Nam Kao Vientianene, a dish with crispy rice with coconut shavings and your choice of protein which is blended with mint, lime juice, roasted peanuts, cilantro and scallions. You scoop the mix on to a lettuce leaf and enjoy. Kesone gave me a sample and that is a tasty dish. There is also Sai Uah Lao which are seasoned pork sausages stuffed with sweet onions, lemon grass, dill, rice, scallions and chili. So many amazing options. I couldn’t order them all, so chose Gai Yai, a half of a slow roasted game hen marinated in lemongrass and pineapple house seasoning. I have enjoyed game hen prepared in other ways, so wanted to try it Laotian style and enjoyed it immensely. That first bite with juices dripping down my chin was all it took to convince me that Kesone took care in her slow roasting. The lemongrass and sweetness of the pineapple added a complex flavor I hadn’t enjoyed with fowl up to this point. Needless to say, no leftovers.

Gai Yai from Kesone Asian Fusion

Kesone Asian Fusion is open daily for lunch and through the dinner hour. Cartlandia offers covered seating with free wi-fi and even has a beer garden open select hours. Drop on by for some tasty dishes and let Kesone know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Deep Fried Vegetarian Rolls – $4
  • Jalapeno Cream Cheese Wonton – $4
  • Thai Spicy Chicken Wings – $4
  • Sum Thum Salad – shredded green papaya, cherry tomatoes, lime juice, roasted peanuts with dressing – $8
  • Lao-style Yum Gai – chicken with crispy lettuce, boiled eggs, red onions, cucumber, tomatoes, roasted peanuts and cilantro – $8
  • Pad Lao – pan-fried rice noodles, egg, scallions, roasted peanuts in house sauce with bean sprouts and lime – $6.50
  • Nam Kao Vientianne – $8
  • Gai Yai Half – $7
  • Sai Uah Lao – $8
  • Kang Massaman Curry – milder Thai style curry with potatoes, carrots, onions, basil and peanuts – $6.50-8
  • Wonton Soup – ground chicken with garlic seasoning wrapped in wonton skins in homemade chicken broth with mushrooms, celery, onions and bean sprouts – $4-8

Facebook: Kesone Asian Fusion

Comments

  1. Kesone has been at Cartlandia since Nov 2012 . She makes wonderful unique food, is always upbeat, and very professionaland consistent. She does catering and large beautiful platters of food at very reasonable prices. During this winter I often got the Won Ton soup, a go-to meal during this cold winter. Her spring or shrimp rolls are beautiful to look at and so fresh and delicious to eat. Now that I see this review I will be adventurous and try the Gai Yai. Come by and meet Kesone and I know that you will be a fan!! phone is 503-459-9960

  2. Love the addictive Nam Khao Ventiane but jeez, pretty much love everything she makes!

  3. Allright. I have to confess to a long love affair with Kesone’s cuisine: since 2001 when I first tasted her henavenly tom yum soup. Right away, scents of lemongrass and galangal, spicy broth and perfectly cooked shrimp conjured the tasty soup I had when I was in Thailand.
    This comment is biased in that Kesone is my own private Thai Lao chef. And she will become yours after you try her food chef d’oeuvres only once!
    Kesone masters the classics: som tam green papaya salad (only as for hot if you have an industrial pipe GI tract), minced meat larb (the fragrant national dish of Laos), fresh summer rolls of lettuce, shrimp, herb and rice noodle in their diaphanous rice wrapper. And there is so much more beyond these starters.
    Everything on the menu begs the question: why eat any other form of fast food, when this is sooooo delicious? Ingredients are top notch. With garden fresh mint and sorrel, vegetables, and premium meats and fish Kesone magically prepares your meal within the tiny cart.
    There is no bad choice on the menu. Be adventurous, try something new, perhaps a Lao dish you have not had before. You will be back.

  4. Raphael Nora says:

    This is my favorite Thai/Laosian place. Kesone is an amazing chef, and her food is amoung the best I’ve ever had.

    Great pricing, wonderful food. Go there, NOW!

  5. Peanny Non says:

    The foods at Kesone Asian Fusion, Chef Kesone made me “Nam Khao Laotian Crispy Rice Salad” have sweet fragrant and flavorful pork and crispy rice have remarkable depth, I would highly recommend Kesone Asian Fusion to anyone who wants to explore and try different variations of dishes, they are like you never tested before.

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