Stocked with fresh-baked bread, artisan cheeses, and wines from around the world, Blackbird Wine Shop initiates patrons to haute fare with customized tastings, wine-and-cheese pairing lessons, and cellars of bottles available for purchase. To preview the nose, bouquet, and sense of humor of wines, patrons can sample five self-selected vintages during evening tastings before committing to taking one home. For a more in-depth experience, groups of up to 10 can learn the most pleasing pairings of cheeses with eight regional wines, complementing each vintage’s flavor with three cheeses, olives, bread, almonds, and fruit.
Concordia Ale House dutifully fulfills the social role of any ale house, pubbery, or brew hall by keeping the drinks flowing amid an environment of pinball, video golfing, video poker, keno, and a commitment to making top-notch bar food. An appetite can ponder its cravings while enjoying the hoppy delights of draft beers such as Old Rasputin's Imperial Stout and Pike's Double IPA or bottled fare like a Belgian-imported Val-Dieu Grand Cru ($10) before succumbing to Concordia's hunger-inducing, savory-fared supper menu.
The journey toward founding Velo Cult wasn't easy, but according to owner and bike enthusiast Sky, it was worth the effort. With a name taken from the French word for "bike" and an abbreviation of the word culture, Velo Cult certainly lives up to its intent: the multi-use space is at once a bike shop, bar, cafe, and special events venue. A dozen taps dispense a weekly-changing roster of local and regional craft brews, which are served alongside more than 40 brews in cans and bottles. At the coffee bar, baristas prepare blends from four different roasters in the pour-over style.
This attention to detail and multi-use focus aren't Velo Cult's only unique attributes: the design reflects a quirky sensibility as well. The bar contains a communal table crafted from an old bowling lane, while the showroom features a folding stage made from a re-purposed 80 year-old wooden drawbridge. This platform is lowered several nights a week for live music, except during sieges. In the same space, a 100-inch projection screen showcases films and documentaries throughout the year. Velo Cult also contains its own museum, which features complete bikes from Sky's personal collection.
Every year, chef Pat Jeung travels the world, bringing back exotic recipes and culinary alchemies from the farthest reaches. He also selects from the nearest reaches—he grows his own free-range vegetables, grass-fed fruits, and humanely picked herbs on a 30-acre farm in the Columbia Gorge.
The chefs at Branch make everything from scratch?including butchering their own steak, curing their own bacon, and smoking their own poultry?to put their distinctive stamp on traditional dishes. Classic comfort foods take on inventive transformations to result in such unusual plates as Maine lobster dumplings and macaroni 'n' cheese gratin with Oregon black-truffle oil. On their side of the establishment, the bartenders take the same artisanal approach by infusing their bourbon with fresh local fruit and concocting their own whiskey liqueurs. The full bar features an extensive whiskey list with more than 150 whiskeys from around the world available in single glasses or tasting flights.
The recently renovated Hollywood Bowl, enchants guests with polished corridors and automated scorekeeping. On Thursday–Saturday nights starting at 9:30 p.m., both locations activate their black lights and ample supply of firefly essence for cosmic bowling, when rollers negotiate tricky splits in a kaleidoscopic environment. At Hollywood Bowl, guests can enjoy burgers and beers at Club Hollywood Sports Bar in the glow of 14 47-inch TVs. Both locations also boast their own arcade room, where players can compete in classic games such as Frogger, skee-ball, and seeing who can carve a marble bust of a Roman emperor the fastest.