The undisputed champ when it comes to seeing both local and national jazz, Jimmy Mak’s is a Portland institution despite having lived at more than one address. The current incarnation, a large downtown room with intimate stage-side seating and hanging speakers that give the stage maximum visibility, is all light wood and red velvet, but nonetheless feels casual enough for a slob like me (come on, I don’t own any dress shoes!) to feel right at home. A second side room now serves as a seldom-used lounge with flat-screen TVs and cushy couches—the ideal place to sip on a whiskey sour or eat a tasty gyro ($10 with fries or onion rings). The long-term plan, we hear, is to knock down some walls and make the stage visible from the second room, which would accommodate packed larger shows. Speaking of which, Jimmy Mak’s is usually bustling, especially for out-of-town musicians and weekly Mel Brown shows, so get there nice and early—parking in the neighborhood is a bitch. CASEY JARMAN.
What to drink: Whipped Cream and Other Delights, a “secret, creamy concoction” named after your favorite thrift-shop record that really does taste like straight-up icing. When in Rome....
Happy hour: $5 food 5-7 pm nightly.
Entertainment: Live music, TV.