2500 SE Clinton St., lamoulepdx.com, 971-339-2822. 5 pm-midnight daily, 10 am-2 pm, Sunday. Happy hour 5-6 pm and 10-close daily: $5 aperitif, $7 select cocktails, $10-$12 mussels.
Established: September 2015
Though it serves as a Southeast Clinton Street restaurant through most of its opening hours, working folk and bar folk will most likely find themselves at La Moule either before 6 pm or after 10. For just $12 during those early and late happy hours, you can score a bowl of about 15 plump, pillowy mussels swimming in broth rich with chile, capers and tarragon, crowned with a tangle of frites and served with housemade aioli.
Sit at La Moule's long copper bar, where bottles of Chartreuse, Aperol and Benedictine glimmer backlit against deep-blue walls more Van Gogh than The Life Aquatic. Wash the shells down with a Bavik Pilsner ($4 a pint) or sazerac ($7), quietly conversing with the bartender while he stirs together a drink made of orange, gin, bitters and Pamplemousse liqueur whose scent fills the room. Bars may be quiet or bars may be loud, but rarely are they so dreamlike.
Bar story: You know that step between the kitchen and bar side of La Moule? Patrons tripped over it when the restaurant was Savoy 10 years ago. And nearly 20 years ago, when taco spot La Cruda hosted weirdo dance parties there? They tripped over it then, too.