1036 NW Hoyt St., 503-226-0200, lowbrowlounge.com. 3 pm-2:30 am Monday-Saturday. Happy hour 5-7 pm daily: $1 off drafts and wells.
There may have been only a two- or three-year window in which Low Brow Lounge jibed with its surroundings. When it opened in 1998, the Pearl District was a desolate industrial wasteland, which gave Low Brow an air of cheeky sophistication by contrast. The neighborhood is now home to Whole Foods, Lululemon, a Starbucks with a wine bar, and condos galore, which makes this long, dark U-shaped tunnel of kitsch, bias-cut wood paneling and fresco murals a newer sort of anomaly. As far as features go, it's not the best at anything—$6 drafts from Pfriem and Boneyard are a nice touch, and the Piggy quesadilla (fontina, cheddar, bacon and jalapeño; $7) is always the best worst idea—but Low Brow's loyal following loves it for what it isn't rather than what it is. Pacific Northwest College of Arts students and average apartment dwellers who'd rather not rely on cocktail "concepts" and bougie wine bars as their local find solace at Low Brow Lounge, and for that its few shortcomings are easily forgiven.