One of Portland's newest luxury hotels mixes its cocktails in Rainier glasses.
It's a kitschy aesthetic choice that could be pulled off at any number of Portland establishments. But at OuiBar + Ktchn (1455 SW Broadway), a fluorescent hellscape located inside the posh Radisson Red, it seems just as likely the hotel couldn't be bothered to buy a proper shaker, let alone a vowel.
Related: Local's Guide to Luxury Hotels.
The $13 specialty mixed drinks that emerge from the pint glasses are as gaudy as the high-ceilinged bar's accent wall, a crimson-colored mess of faux street art that looks as if McDonald's retooled a Banksy exhibit.
The Radberry—a blend of Wild Roots Oregon Marionberry Vodka, peach brandy, Chambord, vanilla simple syrup, and triple sec—offers overwhelming notes of Robitussin and rubbing alcohol. It's a college punch bowl somehow gone more wrong.
I'm not entirely sure I got the full experience of the Longest Night ($13)—what I tasted was a turbid, unfocused blend of brown Patrón XO Cafe tequila, lemon juice, vanilla simple syrup, and bitters—because the bartender gave up fully forming its unadvertised whipped topping when he accidentally coated the well-dressed man to my left with a hefty spritz.
The food is equally befuddling. Out of sheer aesthetic curiosity, I pondered ordering the fried chicken and waffles on a stick ($16), but ultimately settled for "KC BBQ wings" ($13). After all, what else do you get in a bar that's lit like Chuck E. Cheese's and dressed like Kevin Federline?
The wings arrived coated in a chunky sort of spicy ragu. The meat was well-cooked, but the whole thing barely resembled Kansas City's rubbed-and-smothered best.
Then again, the corporate overlords didn't even check to see whether their bar's name—which is already used at its Minneapolis and Brussels hotels—wasn't already taken in Portland. As a matter of fact, Oui Wine Bar is a very nice place in Southeast. Our condolences to its owners for misplaced Yelp reviews.
OuiBar West has $4 craft pints during happy hour, but if your well-heeled in-laws are in town, the better advice is to walk to Higgins or Raven and Rose. Nobody should pay this much money to be sad.