| POND-HOPPING: Clubbing at Ibiza. |
If pressed, I would insist that a youth spent floundering in southwest England (where clubbing really is the sole option for evening entertainment) makes me a credible candidate for gauging the quality of any venue calling itself a “nightclub.” Here’s what I look for: excessive use of neon lighting; an elaborate, wholly ignored dress code; an almost entirely underage clientele; scantily clad females in the depths of winter; and myriad opportunities to snog girls named Gemma. The upper floor of month-old Ibiza (915 NW 2nd Ave., 222-2588)—which on weekends features a “shower room” replete with go-go dancers—is certainly geared toward a frolic-happy club crowd (see photo above). However, on the subdued Wednesday evening I paid a visit, it was the lower level’s upscale “ultra lounge” that took center stage. And, indeed, the 3:30-to-7 pm daily happy hour presented top-notch Mediterranean tapas such as spicy pepper-crusted ahi tuna with fennel-caper salad ($4.50) and a traditional Spanish potato-and-onion omelette with romesco sauce ($5.50). But, while it can’t be claimed that Ibiza is at all unclear about its high-end target demographic, one wonders if fast-morphing Portland is quite ready to embrace the swank-tastic “Vegas-style dining and entertainment” on offer.