Note: District is now closed
A group of us went into District this past week.
The decor is quite a change from the previous place(s). One wall is lined with tables and the other is lounge chairs and sofas. In the middle of the room is a wide, U-shaped bar which is just gorgeous. A huge chandelier hangs in the center of the room. The black walls that I remember are gone, and replaced with great lighting fixtures and one very large and scary red painting. Ottomans, throw pillows and mirrored tables add to the sexy vibe of the place.
The service was a bit spotty. I respect that it’s hard to wait on a large group of people, but it our server had a particularly rough time of it. It’s not easy to remember drink and food orders for 8 people. I recommend using a pen and paper.
We ordered the burger, cheese plate, peppercorn crusted tuna, cuban sandwich, frito misto, crab cakes and a Caesar salad. It wasn’t happy hour so all of the plates were $8 each. Overall, I was not very impressed with the food. The menu choices were the same as 10 other bars in town. Also, the portions were on the small side for the price and quality.
I did like the selections on the cheese plate, though. The burger comes with two onion rings that have been stuffed with bagged salad mix. The Caesar was whole leaves of romaine, which are decidedly hard to cut when the plate is perched on your lap. The seared tuna was gorgeous, though a meager serving. The same goes for the crab cakes: two teensy, very ordinary crab cakes make up the order. I did like the Cuban sandwich, though. It’s just pulled pork on a roll, but it was very flavorful, and served with crispy potatoes.
Cocktails tend towards the sweet side, but that’s the trend almost everywhere these days. I want to shout to mixologists, “step away from the simple syrup!” They do quite well when it comes to old school drinks like martinis and Manhattans. Stick to the basics and you will be in good hands. They have a small but nice, beer list, by bottle, that includes two varieties of Chimay and Victory Storm King
District is a sexy place to get a drink, but I would eat elsewhere first.
You can see the latest menu we have by clicking here.
Phone: (503) 228-8888
Address: 232 NW 12th Ave., Portland, OR 97209 Google Map
Hours: Daily 3pm-2am
9 Responses to “District”
- Barman says:April 30, 2007 at 11:22 pm
I love the place. It is such a nice place to grab a drink after work and the food is good. I drink traditional cocktails, no sweet crap for me, but the drink menu is creative and fits the location and style of the area. The horse shoe bar is very welcoming and the service may be spotty, but remember it has only been open a couple months and is still trying to balance volume and staffing. They have a good liquor selection and the menu can satisfy whatever you crave. The portions may be a bit small, but at least they serve food until 2am, which is rare in that part of town. I love the place.Reply
- Food Dude says:May 1, 2007 at 9:59 pm
I like this place, though I agree the house drinks are pretty awful. The other thing that drives me crazy is that huge birdcage that takes up a ton of room and really serves no purpose. Maybe I just come from the angle that if you can fit in an extra table and make more revenue, that comes before an empty birdcage.
The interior is a huge improvement from previous owners.Reply
- No Bird cage says:May 2, 2007 at 7:37 pm
The birdcage really is bothersome and quite odd. it looks like they left it there by mistake and forgot about it. it’s really out of place and does not go with the decor. We laugh each time when it’s still there. Wine list could be better and the pour is quite small.Reply
- Barman says:May 3, 2007 at 12:34 am
There is an inside joke regarding the birdcage. I’m not 100% sure what the story is, but it had to do with one of the investors and the vision of Chris, one of the owners. I agree, it is out of place, but that spot would not be a good place for a table. It is right on the door and in the aisle where the server works. I’ll try to get the full story and let you know why the birdcage is there.Reply
- Bird Cage Lover says:May 3, 2007 at 12:37 am
How can a birdcage bother someone? I like the bird cage. It’s a nice antique and looks sharp with the lit candles. I think it also works to separate the bar area. I’m guessing the comments where made from guests during the day. Tough to make a sexy opium den look nice during the day. I’ve been a regular since the opening as few months ago.
I work in the area and like the smaller bars. I’ve been pretty burnt out on the Vault and Henry’s. I like most of the house drinks. Espresso Martini, Basil Martini, Whiskey Smash. Wine list is great. Pours may or may not be small but I like the size and shape of the glassware. Lets me play with wine actually be able to smell what’s going on.
Staff is great overall. Very friendly and warm. Initially things where tough, but given its two months old things are definately better. They all know my name, I know most of their names, I like that. Can’t find that in too many places.
Food may not be changing my life but for what they’re trying to do I’ll give the thumbs up. Compared to Vault, Solo or Trust I’d put them on top.
Music can get a little clubby late night which makes it tough to maintain a conversation.
I find myself there at least two times a week. Take that for what its worth coming from a seasoned portland barfly. Highly recommended.Reply
- Wine Enthusiast says:May 3, 2007 at 12:42 am
I rather liked the wine list. One of my favorite bars in the Pearl.Reply
- DJR says:August 5, 2007 at 4:26 am
If District is serving “pulled pork on a roll”, they have no business calling it a Cuban, a Cuban Sandwich, a Cubano, or a Medica-Noche.
The cuban sandwich should be made on Cuban Bread (a water bread, using lard), contains Ham, Roast Pork, Cheese, and Pickles (with minor variations in condiments. It should also be pressure grilled (a la panini) to allow the meats to steam inside.
Anything less is a poor imitation. – DougReply
- LocalChick says:August 20, 2007 at 8:52 pm
The Cuban at District isn’t just pulled pork. Although I find it doubtful it was just that in April, I suppose it’s possible. . . Just last week I gave it a try and although the bread was pretty far from the traditional you’d typically find a Cuban sandwich on, everything else was pretty on target, right down to the pickles. And yep, it was even grilled.
The last really good, true Cuban sandwich I had was in Coral Gables, Florida about four years ago. Overall I think District does pretty well giving it a nice Portland spin.Reply
- teamsplashi says:January 22, 2009 at 4:54 pm
Do you know if this place is permanently closed?