Portland Unknown: Takeout edition, Koba Grill

This two-day late article is brought to you by your three favorite Wolf editors. Why did they procrastinate? Some say they were recovering from the appalling, yet unsurprising, presidential debate of Tuesday, Sept. 29. 

For our premium viewing of the epic battle between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, we ordered the finest Sherwood had to offer… Koba Grill. The food was not exactly “immaculate,” to quote a well-known politician. While some may prefer to accompany a special meal with mood-setting music, we opted for a slightly less enjoyable but equally entertaining live performance. 

You also may be wondering, where is the photographic evidence of this meal? Was the food just so enticing that they dug in before taking a picture?! The answer is far less simple. The truth is, after multiple attempts of a socially-distant picture to capture the moment, Mahathi complained that none of said images were flattering enough to highlight her striking beauty, much to the dismay of Emily and Hannah. Mahathi’s disapproval truly tested the patience of two hangry adolescents who clearly didn’t carry the same level of restraint as Chris Wallace. Biden later said exactly what Emily and Hannah were both thinking at that moment: “WILL YOU JUST SHUT UP, MAN?” 

Hannah’s order: I had the crispy garlic chicken with white rice and veggies. The flavor in this dish was adequate and the garlic was very prominent yet not overwhelming. The vegetables weren’t my personal favorite but that’s just me being my unhealthy self, so any veggie lovers would appreciate this as a fresh side dish. The rice was unimpressive, which led to grave disappointment, but was made up for by elite entertainment. I wouldn’t exactly recommend Koba Grill to anyone looking for a mind-blowing dish, but it’s acceptable if seeking affordable Asian cuisine. I would definitely eat here again and had an overall fun experience as I watched my rights be discussed alongside great friends.

Mahathi’s order: I ordered the udon noodle soup with crispy tofu, egg and no fishcakes. I have to say, I was impressed with how thoughtfully Koba Grill packed our meals. They put the components of the meal in separate containers to ensure the tofu stayed crispy. The soup was packed with flavor and just the right amount of spice – enough to make you wonder whether that tingling sensation in the back of your throat was COVID-19 or just the chilis. Unfortunately, the good news ends there. The assorted veggies were damp and all the same grayish-green shade of repulsive, and the egg, which was gray-brown in color, floated around the soup serving absolutely no purpose whatsoever. Veggies and mutant egg aside, the meal was deeply satisfying, unlike the debate. Koba, you did good. It’s a 6.89/10 for me.

Emily’s order: Now, one may indulge themselves with the most elaborate dish at an establishment with the notion that such would surely be the most exquisite. It is my belief that a simple meal done right takes the most exceptional masterminds to perfect, leading me to command a children’s Orange Chicken with vegetables. To those unaccustomed to the Asiatic palette, rice may be dismissed as complementary, even optional; I assure you that it should not be so! Rice holds equal footing to the Orange Chicken, which is the reason I feel it’s rather disappointing that Koba Grill chose not to try in this regard. I could have gotten better at Panda Express. As for the Orange Chicken — as if I wasn’t already repulsed by the rice — it is adequate. Fat little orangey pieces they are, with thick, ghastly, jelly-like coatings, reminding me of our modern world’s developing disappointing preference for sugary substances. Oh dear, friends, I know you wonder whether I am being harsh. But Koba attempted nothing new. It is derivative. A quantitative figure of my boredom will not help Koba; so instead I ask this good institution to consider my question: What separates it from every other desperate culinary enterprise?

Our consensus: The food may have been unspectacular, but the experience sure did exceed our expectations. Laughs were shared, tea was spilled, an entire gallon of OJ was polished off and Emily ended the night by nearly concussing herself with the top of Hannah’s gazebo. Thank you for the concern; she did lose a few unimportant brain cells. Whether they were lost from the injury or the debate remains undetermined and a mystery to us all. For those who claim American politics and Asian fine dining don’t mix, you’re sorely mistaken. 


*Reviews may be slightly exaggerated for entertainment purposes and should not be taken seriously.