Joined: Jul 27, 2012
|Posted: 2013-07-31 5:53 pm  Permalink|
Well, it has been a few days, but it wasn't because I had taken up residence with Lake Matthews' fishes (well played Arriano!). Truth is, I took a couple photos of their menu on a friends device, now they're having trouble getting them emailed to me. I was going to wait until I get them, but since I don't know when that might be I'd better check back before I forget....
I did go in the afternoon so it's hard to really judge what the ambiance might be at night, but it looked just like the average bar and grill type joint. Upon entry I was initially met by what I was kind of expecting....a sports bar. There was a sign saying to seat yourselves, so we did. A minute or to after we sit a server comes over to bring us menus. A nice young lady, but no sign of Tiki or polynesia on her. I told her we'd need a minute and she went elsewhere.
It was after I got my menu and was sitting that I started actually looking around. There isn't a lot of Tiki or Hawaiian decorations, but what there was, was pretty decent stuff. That being said, Kenbo-jitsu mentioned that it looked like the TVs outnumbered the Tikis, unfortunately they probably did. There was around 20 TVs and while the Tiki purists scream at the presence of a TV, you have to realize that in this area a "pure" Tiki joint would go out of business in 6 months. I would love to see a "real" Tiki joint so close down the freeway. However most of the folks who go to the spots around here are just regular blue collar folk who don't specifically dig tiki but just want a place to have a pretty girl serve them a beer while they watch the game. The problem is, when your decorations and theming is as played down as it is in this place, the 20 TV's kind of tend to dominate the visual. Another distraction was this cardboard Kona Brewing Company display over in the corner. While most of the promotional type Kona Brewing Company stuff they had strewn about the place (and there was quite a bit) was pretty nice stuff, this cardboard thing kind of seemed unnecessary. There were also a few sizable Corona signs that seemed to be a better fit for Margaritaville or someth..
"Are you ready to order?..."
Yeah, I'll have the uh, nachos and the chiiiicken taco platter..
"And to drink?.."
Oh, yeah, let's see....hmmmmm? Do you make Zombies?
I guess I could have one of those Mango Mai Tais.....
"We do, but we're out of 151.."
Mango Mai Tai it is..
.....Anyway, like I was saying, those Corona signs looked more like Margaritaville decorations than tiki, but I don't want to start that discussion back up here. Another thing about this place is that it's all windows. It was WAY too bright in there for my liking.
It has a lot of space in the rafters that's just painted black and not used. The place has a lot of potential and if what we're seeing is just the beginning then I'll just have to wait and see. Properly outfitting a "real" Tiki joint can cost a fortune. The sheer volume of decorations often employed to create the desired atmosphere is staggering. It sometimes seems unfair to judge a new joint against a place that has been building up artifacts and decorations for 50 years or so. Hopefully these folks plan on adding to these decorations as time goes on. Some shades or tint on those windows, subdued lighting, various flotsam and jetsam incorporated into the ceiling and last but definitely not least, a more creative Tiki inspired drink menu.
The "Mango Mai Tai" was made with mango flavored rum and was a bit too sweet. It was OK but not impressive. The food however was pretty good. Actually it was a lot better than I expected. There were a couple offerings on the menu that were more Tiki-ish, but the Nachos as well as the chicken taco platter were fairly typical of the type of dishes on the menu. The food and service were surprisingly good. The prices were good. If this is just a sign of things to come I think they are certainly worth a look for anyone in the area looking for a slightly Tiki-ish experience.
The Island is Calling......