Amid Portland's—especially North Portland's—unending sea of irony, thrift-store tchotchkes and tallboys, it's almost refreshing to see something modern: swoopy cutaway-back chairs, a white bar, no signage. Creepy Clockwork Orange overtones aside, Moloko's most striking feature is the presence of five large, spotlessly maintained saltwater fish tanks that cast a purplish glow over shelves of hand-labeled infusions and tinctures. As it happens, Moloko does cocktails well, from the creative (a recent special, the $6 Lefty's Curse, paired El Jimador and celery syrup with a lime-impaled ice cube and cayenne-salted rim) to the classic (the $10 Smoked Old-Fashioned employs Townshend's Smoke Tea Liqueur and a theatrically flamed grapefruit peel that has a tendency to silence the bar). The back patio is enclosed, which makes for cozy winters but unpleasantly humid summers, and features occasional art for sale, most recently a painting of what looked like a sea anenome's crotch on a piece of cardboard for $65. You've got to admit it has style, even if it may not be yours.

HAPPY HOUR: 4-7 pm daily. $3 wells, $6 drink specials, $1.50 Rainiers, discounted panini.


3967 N Mississippi Ave., 503-288-6272, 4 pm-2 am daily.