It's patio party season here in PDX, and this little bar and bistro in NW is a perfect spot for an enjoyable evening. You'd never know there was a secret wonderland out behind this storefront. The bar itself is quite pleasant and acts as more than just a hallway out to the back. The refuge you'll find on a warm night makes it very difficult to leave. We were doubly handicapped with the fact that happy hour is all night on Monday. Extend the weekend.
It's too easy to just order everything off the happy hour menu, and eat and repeat. Make room for one of the drink or beer specials, and the party gear is engaged. Best to explore the dinner menu, especially the shellfish. The oysters are fresh and flavorfully prepared with traditional horseradish. The mussels have a half-dozen variations on a theme ranging from Thai to Mexi. There are salads worth attention, and the list of entrees is seasonal. Belgian beers are the rage here and there's no shortage. Cleaned plates littered our table.
The only gripe with 45 is the service—it's a Timbers Soccer fan hangout, so you've been warned. It's consistently slow when busy (often) and overrun on game nights. Get something on order the minute you sit down. Don't wait until your drink's empty to order another. If you anticipate, you won't notice the inherent turtle-like qualities of the service. The staff is smart and friendly so don't blame it on them when it's time to tip. The problem may systematically be part of the mystique.