Try uttering the word without engaging in a seductive whisper:
...aaaa..hhh (1022 W Burnside St., 547-2872). The name of one of the poshest clubs in Portland naturally evokes images of translucent drapery, glass partitions and white-lit floors—all of which could easily be steamed up by the ubiquitous hot 'n' bothered, stiletto-wearing, Armani-clad power couples (ahem, booty calls). From here, the definition of "fanciness" in Portland clubland gets murky (with the exception of equally schmoozy
[1135 SW Washington St., 445-8331]). Instead, consider the high art of
(433 NW 4th Ave., 227-5494). Sure, the dance floor is concrete and the piping's exposed, but with rotating art installations, one of the best sound systems in town and a mix of top-notch electronic and downtempo DJs, the Chinatown hideout is a few steps above a makeshift warehouse.
LO-BALL: Literally underground (it's in the basement of the Grand Cafe), Andrea's Cha Cha Lounge (832 SE Grand Ave., 230-1166) is a Latin dance club that's small in size and big on passion. Wallflowers beware: You don't have to know how to salsa or merengue, but shaking your rump (DJs also spin Mexican hip-hop, jazz and disco) and laughing at yourself is required. On the contrary, those more interested in what happens off the dance floor should strap on their man jewelry and Forever 21 minis and stand in line at the Barracuda (618 NW Glisan St., 228-6900). The hormone-heavy beast's VIP rooms, fishbowl-sized libations and Kokomo-esque vibe try to sophisticate the joint, but it's basically a primal, sexed-up free-for-all once the uglies start bumping to the boomin' Top 40. Better yet, there's a strict dress code—for the staff.