Location: 555 NW 12th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209
Contact information: 503.228.6161
Web address: www.obarestaurant.com
Smoke free: Yes
Happy hour: Monday-Sunday 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Features: $3 well drinks, beer and select cocktails and wine, $3-$4 tapas
Insider tip: Get there early or you won’t get a seat
Review: If fun and flashy are your thing, there’s no better place to flaunt it than at OBA! in the Pearl District. Specializing in ‘nuevo Latin’, this restaurant opened to rave reviews in 1998 and has seen a steady stream of visitors ever since.
The happy hour drinks may be some of the best in town, but on a recent visit, the food itself left something to be desired. The coconut prawns were nothing special, and looked unappetizing due to the dark veins. The sweet potato fries could take a lesson from that of 820 (as could their meager allotment of dipping sauce). The fried cheese was also wholly unremarkable – both the cheese of choice and marinara sauce were bland and lacking in flavor. However, a companion enjoyed the prime rib coyotas and chicken tacos.
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Bottom line: a good place to see and be seen, but perhaps the restaurant could spend more time on their kitchen and vegetarian selections, instead of their guest list. A good place to drink, but don’t go to happy hour with high hopes for the food.