FEATURES | MUSIC | BOOKS | DRINKS | FORUMS | GAMES | LINKS | ABOUT


advertise on Tiki Central

Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop
  [Edit Profile]  [Edit Preferences]  [Search] [Sign Up]
[Personal Messages]  [Member List]  [Help/FAQ]  [Rules]  [Login]
Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » Mai Kai, Fort Lauderdale, FL (restaurant)
Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 )
Mai Kai, Fort Lauderdale, FL (restaurant)
Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2208
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 11 days ago; 7:19 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-09-20 18:41, mikehooker wrote:
We'll be back in April.



Looking forward to it!


 
View Profile of Chip and Andy Send a personal message to Chip and Andy  Email Chip and Andy Goto the website of Chip and Andy     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Hurricane Hayward
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 638
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 10 days ago; 12:06 am   Permalink

A great time was had by all at tonight's event featuring a flight of cocktails from Beachbum Berry's "Potions of the Caribbean" ...



More photos here:
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=48185&forum=4&start=last&1

Story and more photos coming soon:
http://www.slammie.com/atomicgrog/blog/2014/09/20/special-event-at-the-mai-kai-takes-guests-on-a-flight-back-to-classic-potions-of-the-caribbean/

Okole maluna!

_________________
The official blog of The Hukilau

Featuring The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide


 View Profile of Hurricane Hayward Send a personal message to Hurricane Hayward  Email Hurricane Hayward Goto the website of Hurricane Hayward     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
djmont
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 03, 2011
Posts: 370
From: Potomac Falls, VA
Posted: 8 days ago; 5:36 pm   Permalink

Reading these negative reports is discouraging. I guess I better keep my expectations in line.
_________________
David J. Montgomery
Professor Cocktail

 View Profile of djmont Send a personal message to djmont  Email djmont Goto the website of djmont     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Hurricane Hayward
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 638
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 7 days ago; 01:39 am   Permalink

David (and Mike),

If you search back through the history of The Mai-Kai on Tiki Central, you'll find some negative comments from time to time, perhaps the price of being under the microscope to such a degree. I've been consistently dining and drinking there at least once a month for the past 10 years, and remarkably I've noticed very little change. The live music in The Molokai bar is still hit or miss, and occasionally the bar staff will not be 100% on their game, but you have to keep several things in mind:

* The Mai-Kai is a very large, high-volume restaurant/bar. The facility includes eight dining areas and a bar/lounge that combined seat more than 700. I was told by the owner that at the restaurant’s peak, they served 1,600 diners a night for seven nights a week in season and that business is not off that much. The kitchen and service bars alone take up 10,000 square feet. The staff of mixolgoists, servers, performers and other staff totals more than 150 workers. There are obviously a lot of moving parts, and though amazingly the place usually operates like a well-oiled machine, there's bound to be inconsistencies in food, service and even cocktails from time to time. (Just for a frame of reference, the Tiki Ti and Smuggler's Cove each seat around 50 and neither serves food.) A few years also I posted a photo tour of The Mai-Kai's behind-the-scenes operation, which is fascinating to see:
http://www.slammie.com/atomicgrog/blog/2011/12/28/behind-the-magic-a-backstage-tour-of-the-mai-kais-mysterious-bars-and-kitchen/

* Regarding the cocktails, it sounds like most of the recent bad reports are directed at The Molokai, which is actually not the main bar. It's typically staffed by less experienced bartenders and more subject to inconsistencies in drinks and food. I wish this weren't the case, but it seems to be true. I've sent back perhaps one drink per year, always in that bar. If you sit in one of the dining rooms, you'll almost never get a bad drink. Of course, that's small consolation if you're there for happy hour or spending the night in the bar, but still the odds are pretty good you won't be disappointed. I spent most of The Hukilau drinking with folks like Beachbum Berry and Martin Cate, and I heard very few complaints.

* The report of bad service is a bit out of the ordinary since that's one thing that is the most consistently good, though the bar is perhaps the most laissez faire. Same as the advice you would get regarding any establishment, I would urge anyone who has inferior food, drinks or service to clearly let the server(s) know and explain why. I'm sure they get lots of drinks sent back by tourists who just don't care for them. But if you can tell them, for example, that the Cobra Kiss has way too much Pernod or the steak is undercooked (both of which recently happened to me), perhaps the message will get passed along. And feel free to take your criticism/critique to a manager. I'm sure they'll want to correct the problem. My rare steak issue was certainly addressed. Related to that is the unique bar configuration that dates back to Don the Beachcomber (explained in my story linked above). You'll never see a bartender and you'll never be able to walk up to a bar and watch them make your drink. It's all done in back bars, hidden from view. And while this is very cool to all us cocktail geeks, it sort of isolates the bartenders with little or no feedback from the public. So anytime you have an issue, do try to let them know. Like any business, constructive feedback can only help.

* There's also a wildcard factor for some of us that's hard to deny. We set the bar very, very high for places like The Mai-Kai, sometimes unfairly. Its certainly within our rights to hold everyone to a high standard, and I'm probably partly to blame because of my glowing cocktail reviews. But it's always good to try to take a step back and not judge too harshly. Certainly there are many aspects of The Mai-Kai that will always live up to our standards. If they fall short here and there, I'm sure the issues can and will be corrected in due time.

Okole maluna!


 View Profile of Hurricane Hayward Send a personal message to Hurricane Hayward  Email Hurricane Hayward Goto the website of Hurricane Hayward     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
djmont
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 03, 2011
Posts: 370
From: Potomac Falls, VA
Posted: 7 days ago; 5:25 pm   Permalink

Very good points, HH!

 
View Profile of djmont Send a personal message to djmont  Email djmont Goto the website of djmont     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
mikehooker
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 59
From: Austin via SoFla
Posted: 7 days ago; 11:33 pm   Permalink

Hey Jim, thanks for the insightful response. Like I said earlier, I rave about the Mai Kai to people all the time which is why I was so surprised to have poor experiences two nights in a row. I spent many a happy hour in the Molokai bar in the early 2000s and ever since moving to Austin around 8 years ago I always make it a point to go there whenever I am in town visiting, usually once or twice a year. And while the majority of our food and drinks are ordered from the Molokai rather than the main dining areas, I've never once had a complaint about something served to me.

As you mentioned, despite the magnitude of their operation and how high we've set the bar, it's a very well-oiled machine and those drinks are typically mixed to perfection. I did point out to the waitress exactly what was wrong with Chelsea's Moonkist Coconut (tasted way too strongly of honey) and I don't believe the bartender addressed the issue properly. There is no way he remade that drink that quickly, I believe he just diluted it with something else that made it barely passable and certainly not tasty as it usually is (It's one of Chelsea's favorites).

I guess the point of my earlier post was to see if anyone has sensed any sort of downward trend happening. I've seen posts lately about DJ nights, and bingo, and singles meet-ups... perhaps they need those things to drum up new business these days, or maybe those antics have always been in place and I've managed to block it out since the drinks were always so damn good. All I know is we were very sad to not have the relaxing and delicious experience we are accustomed to and I truly hope it was just a couple off nights and not a sign of things to come.

Edit: I just finally read the event thread about tiki bingo and how the proceeds go to different animal charities each time and it actually sounds fun and is for a great cause so disregard above if I sounded like an asshole. I'm glad they let you organize that.

[ This Message was edited by: mikehooker 2014-09-25 00:27 ]


 
View Profile of mikehooker Send a personal message to mikehooker  Goto the website of mikehooker     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2208
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 6 days ago; 05:27 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-09-24 23:33, mikehooker wrote:
I guess the point of my earlier post was to see if anyone has sensed any sort of downward trend happening.



No.

There are the seasonal ups and downs, full house most every night of the week in the winter, closed on Mondays during the summer. It is pretty creepy to be in the Molokai at 9 o'clock on a Tuesday and be the only person at the bar, but that only happens in the heat of the summer. And doesn't take into account the fact the bar was standing room only during happy hour and then everyone was seated for the dinner show.

Quote:
I've seen posts lately about DJ nights, and bingo, and singles meet-ups... perhaps they need those things to drum up new business these days, or maybe those antics have always been in place and I've managed to block it out since the drinks were always so damn good.




Yes. To both. The antics have always been around and they are pretty easy to block out with a jet pilot or two.

South Florida is tourist driven and the Mai Kai runs at a minimum during the summer. There is usually only one dinner show during the week and they are closed on Monday's. This means there is lots of room for the antics you mention. Hukilau is during the summer and for that weekend they pretty much take over the place. Tiki Bingo takes over one of the back dining rooms that otherwise wouldn't have anyone in it. The various Meet-Up groups do their things throughout the summer because there is room for them to do whatever it is they are doing. At doing it at the Mai Kai is so much more awesome than doing it anywhere else.

The nice lady singing in the Molokai... I'll just say she is a very nice lady and leave it at that.


Quote:
All I know is we were very sad to not have the relaxing and delicious experience we are accustomed to and I truly hope it was just a couple off nights and not a sign of things to come.



It sucks that you didn't get the great experience you were expecting. Even more so because the chance to make it up with a really great night might be a year or more away for you. That is a long time to have the bad memory sit around waiting to be replaced with a good one.

Trust the locals when we say you just had the misfortune of an off-night and what you experienced is not a sign of things to come.


Quote:
... so disregard above if I sounded like an asshole. I'm glad they let you organize that.



No offense was taken so no worries. And we're glad they let us organize it as well. Like I said above, it is a seasonal thing with the Mai Kai, this October will be the last Bingo until next spring. Well, we might do one more in November, but the place is getting busy as the tourist season spins up and our goal was to have some fun, not be in the way of the paying guests celebrating special evenings or enjoying a nice dinner with a date.


 
View Profile of Chip and Andy Send a personal message to Chip and Andy  Email Chip and Andy Goto the website of Chip and Andy     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Thortiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 29, 2006
Posts: 267
From: Maryland (Land of Pleasant Tiki Living)
Posted: 5 days ago; 05:28 am   Permalink

We were there the same two nights as MikeHooker, the NO. 1 reason we flew to Fort Lauderdale was the Mai Kai. For those fortunate enough to be much closer one can base their experiences on a larger pool of visits to Tiki heaven. The Jet Pilots we had over 2 nights were mixed differently, but even the lesser one was still good. We didn't care for the bar singer & the 2nd night it was a real problem. We didn't stew about it, we gave feedback to the staff right then & there. Overall we had a great time & envy those who get to the Mai Kai more frequently than we can!

 
View Profile of Thortiki Send a personal message to Thortiki  Goto the website of Thortiki     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 )
U-Moderate:
  
v1.5

[ About Tiki Central | Contact Tiki Central | Advertise on Tiki Central ]
(c) 2000-2014 Tikiroom.com (tm), Tiki Central (tm)

Credits & copyright infomation