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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Martini Monkey, San Jose, CA (bar)
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Martini Monkey, San Jose, CA (bar)
martiki
Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3058
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2003-12-30 6:27 pm   Permalink

Name:Martini Monkey
Type:bar
Street:Terminal C, 1661 Airport Blvd. #3B
City:San Jose
State:CA
Zip:
country:USA
Phone:408-925-9376
Status:operational

Description:
Martini Monkey is possibly the most unlikely neo-tiki bar you will find. Located in the food court in the old terminal of San Jose International Airport, it is a recently redesigned lounge that features interior design by the same firm responsible for Backflip, Red Room, and Sno-Drift in San Francisco. It's very modern and sleek. But, there is a spectacular 20 foot mural behind the bar of Mark Ryden's \"Exotica\". The owners have the rights to reproduce this image in all future ventures as well.

The other wonderful part of Martini Monkey is the drink menu, full of classic cocktails, perfectly prepared. The head bartender, Jay, is a nice guy who is an absolute cocktailian. He goes to cocktail conventions twice a year to hone his craft and learn new recipes. You'll find a stellar mojito, hemingway daquiri, and a mai tai that (while it does have a small splash of pineapple) otherwise has all of the proper ingredients and is damn tasty.

If you find yourself flying in or out of San Jose Airport (say, if you're coming up for the SF Tiki Crawl), it's a must visit. Heck, you should check it out if you're anywhere near the South Bay.



 
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PolynesianPop
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2368
From: Corona, Ca
Posted: 2003-12-31 07:59 am   Permalink

How long has this mural been there? I missed this the last time I was in SJ Airport sometime last year.


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martiki
Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3058
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2003-12-31 10:42 am   Permalink

About two years. They brought a copy of "Exotica" to a mural artist in Santa Cruz, who repainted it in grand scale. Apparently, the one behind the bar is his third effort as he kept messing up the proportions, like making the girls head way to big and such.

Also, the owners very nearly didn't get the permit from the airport officials to put it up because the woman is wearing a bikini top that was deemed "too risque". They said that children can see into the bar from the food court. But the fact the children are not ALLOWED in the bar won the case. Plus, I mean, gimme a break. Like "Exotica" is worse than anything on TV anymore.


 
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cocktailcrazy
Member

Joined: Jan 14, 2004
Posts: 3
From: Saratoga, CA
Posted: 2004-01-14 05:12 am   Permalink

Wow, you were not kidding. I have lived in the Bay Area all my life, and have flown in and out of San Jose International several times, but I never knew the Martini Monkey was there. When I picked my wife up last week at the airport, I made a point of actually going inside Terminal C to check it out. I must warn you, I am kind of a cocktail geek of sorts, so I'm a bit picky when it comes to drinks.

I was very pleasantly surprised by my experience!! To kind of test Jay (who was also there the night I went in), I ordered a very non-tiki drink (a classic Manhattan) to start off with, and he is one of the ONLY bartenders to actually use bitters in the drink. This is the original Manhattan recipe, and he nailed it. He even used the correct amount of Vermouth. Needless to say, I was pretty impressed!!

When my wife finally arrived, we got a little more tropical and ordered a Hemingway Daiquiri and a Caipirinha, which is a Brazilian drink that not many places in the Bay Area make. It's a kind of tart, in-your-face cocktail that needs to be balanced to taste right. WOW!! Very nice indeed. I appreciate the fact that they actually try and balance their cocktails, and that Jay was using fresh lemon and lime juices. All the drinks and the service was great, and I was actually able to talk with him about ingredients, different types of alcohol, and have a real conversation. Most bartenders say "um, I don't know." It was pretty cool

Thanks for the info about the Martini Monkey...I can't believe I've always overlooked it. They need to advertise or something. I didn't ask Jay when I was in there, so please post if you know of any other Martini Monkey locations. Do they have any others OUTSIDE of the airport?? Please let me know. Oh and the mural...WAY COOL!!

Thanks again for the tip!!

P.S..I am new to this forum here...I found it doing a search on google. What and where is the Tiki Crawl in the Bay Area, and can anyone participate? Thanks!!!!!


 
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martiki
Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3058
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2004-01-15 08:01 am   Permalink

The owners are thinking about opening a new location sometime in 2004. May not have the same theme.

Welcome to Tiki Central! The San Francisco Bay Area Tiki Crawl 2004 is April 1-4. Watch TC for more information!


 
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Unga Bunga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5808
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2004-01-15 11:39 am   Permalink

The Best of Silicon Valley 2001 Awards
Best Escape From the San Jose Airport in The San Jose Airport

Martini Monkey Cocktail Lounge
Terminal C, 1661 Airport Blvd. #3B, San Jose
408.925.9376

As one jostles through Terminal C, bowels in an uproar after receiving bad information from the airlines, stressed at the prospect of yet another Marquis de Sade sojourn through the unfriendly skies of bad air, bad food, and fear of death, take refuge for a moment in the Martini Monkey Cocktail Lounge, located just outside the food court in a dimly lit green shadow. The mural behind the bar features world-class cheesy pulchritude in the form of a pagan jungle woman wearing a leopard-skin bikini, posing before angry volcanoes and frowning tiki gods. And yes, that is a green plastic monkey in that Cuba Libre. Kick off your shoes and stay awhile.
EC - Silicon Valley Magazine


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tikicleen
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 11, 2003
Posts: 329
From: ripon: almond capital yet no orgeat
Posted: 2004-02-11 4:02 pm   Permalink

just wanted to thank martiki for mentioning this hidden oasis in the old terminal at sj airport. we flew to houston out of this terminal at 6 am unfortunately...hence the monkey was closed. (no mai tais in the morning, damn them!)
yet, luck shone down on us because our return flight from the superbowl arrived at 8pm, prime time for a beverage (especially after a long stinky flight)

i took a few pictures of the place on my crappy throw away camera, but it will be awhile till that roll is developed. but i do want to mention that we met jeff and jay and they were very friendly and made a great mai tai. just the fact that they carried orgeat overjoyed me. jay recalled the great martiki visiting and was familiar with the tiki crawl being planned for this year. he wanted me to relay the message that he would love to see the tiki centralites on the crawl, just to be sure to call ahead so they can arrange a private bar party (ooooh...intriguing!)

all i can say is it really topped off our awesome trip, and frankly, it gave me something to look forward to in coming back home!



 
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Chongolio
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 02, 2002
Posts: 2765
From: The Coast of Kauai
Posted: 2004-02-12 7:47 pm   Permalink

Chongolia and I were just in the MM. Jay was working his magic again. He is a super friendly dude and knows his drinks. He was telling us mixed drinks are his hobby and that he attends a drink mixin competition in Vegas. He has also put together a huge grog log that contains quite a few drinks he invented. My Mojito was ever so tasty!
Whenever we have biz down at the SJ airport, we try and get over to Hukilau which is about ten minutes away from the airport. They have good grinds, friendly folks and tasty drinks too.

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[ This Message was edited by: Chongolio on 2004-02-12 19:48 ]


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RevBambooBen
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 12, 2002
Posts: 7441
From: Huntikington Beach
Posted: 2004-02-13 01:24 am   Permalink

I'm back! Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!

 
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tikicleen
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 11, 2003
Posts: 329
From: ripon: almond capital yet no orgeat
Posted: 2004-04-04 6:39 pm   Permalink

and as i promised, and i know everyone has been eagerly awaiting this....the pictures of martini monkey. wowiezowie!


sorry about the grainy photo...crummy throw away camera...




these two pictures are of the airbrushed mural that is behind the bar. there is a tiki hiding in it, but i somehow managed to get one of the lights to just so block it. of course, it was the throwaway camera's fault mind you.





[ This Message was edited by: tikicleen 2009-05-07 12:18 ]


 
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Trader Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 06, 2003
Posts: 385
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2004-04-09 11:41 pm   Permalink

San Jo!

That's my home town. You go little O.C. wannabe.. you can do it! (talking to San Jose here)

Will have ot fly out of there next time I go somewhere. Seriously, when the heck am I goign somewhere? Invites... anyone?


 
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mrsmiley
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 3171
From: Las Vegas, NV
Posted: 2005-01-21 5:55 pm   Permalink

Martinis and monkeys!?!? My favorite things! Somewhere up there with Flea market shopping, listening to records, sex, looking at myself in the mirror, listening to cats purr, and the smell of new socks. OOPS--too much information!!!!!
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tikiboy
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 11, 2002
Posts: 77
From: Alameda Island, CA
Posted: 2005-01-22 11:36 pm   Permalink

Looks and sounds like the perfect place to lubricate my parched throat after a day of sleuthing at San Jose's Egyptian Museum.
Tikiboy
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Gigantalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 913
From: Shinola, California
Posted: 2005-12-31 08:46 am   Permalink

Stopped by the Martini Monkey last night...most of SJ was crowded or closed...Jay was there, as well as the owner Carlos.

1930s music mixed with Louie Prima set the perfect atmosphere, but it was all about the drinks.

The cocktails here are 'probly the best I've ever had. The attentiveness to details in each drink was fantastic. Jay has a signature drink called "The Aviator" which he created for a magazine piece...sort of a tightrope walk of citrus, cassis and juniper, served Martini style.

It's worth the trip there.


 
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cocktailcrazy
Member

Joined: Jan 14, 2004
Posts: 3
From: Saratoga, CA
Posted: 2006-07-11 03:27 am   Permalink

My wife and I are moving back to Saratoga at the end of this summer. Is it true that they opened another Martini Monkey Cocktail Lounge outside of the airport? Last time she was in the Bay Area on business, she was pretty sure someone had said that they opened one in Mountain View or Sunnyvale? Does anyone on these boards a little more "in the know" have any updated information on this?



 
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