812 NW Couch St., 206-6481, biglegrowlski.com. Noon-midnight Monday-Sunday.
Way out in the Pearl there was this minimalist 15-tap bar…bar I wanna tell ya about, bar by the name of The Big Legrowlski. That's the thematic handle its loving owner gave it, but the space itself never had much use for Lebowskian what-have-you beyond a black-and-white rendering of the rug that tied the room together and Bowling Nixon in the restroom. Mostly this is an understated little tap nook on the edge of Chinatown. The Chinatown crowd is not the issue—no rich fucks, no fucking strumpets waltzing around. The proprietor, an Aussie who occasionally slips into a droll "yessir, very well, sir" routine as he spreads Vegemite on a loaf of nutty German rye to go with your shaker pint of Pivo Pils or RPM, might even draw some average Portland deadbeats to this neighborhood's pleasant condo community. I only mention it because sometimes there's a bar—and I'm talking about Legrowlski here—sometimes there's a bar, well, it's the best bar for its particular time and place. And the Pearl, today, long after the time of our conflict with Saddam and the Iraqis…ah, hell—I dig its style, man.