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Tiki Trend

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:12 am
by mwest
Seems like tiki cocktails are trending now and in the recent past in the Valley, with Undertow about to open later this month, Tiki Tuesdays as the Ostrich, Tiki Thursdays at Market Street Kitchen starting this week (Rubee wrote a nice review here ... ket-street and here and what they have been doing at Clever Koi for awhile now. We are going to check Tiki Thursdays opening at Market Street this Thursday. Has anybody been getting their tiki on lately? Reports?

Re: Tiki Trend

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:46 am
by BillBuitenhuys
We've gone to quite a few of the Tiki Tuesday's at The Ostrich and have loved it. Super welcoming Tiki AZ gang shows up in full force, drinks are tight, and the overall vibe is super.
I've also been making lots of tiki drinks at home. Between Beachbum Berry's books, the new Smuggler's Cove book, and all the tiki recipes that cocktail virgin posts there are lots of excellent resources for island drinks. I really love how Martin Cate broke down rum in the Smuggler's book. Usually you see recipes identifying rums by country of origin (e.g., 2oz Jamaican rum). Martin's categories are: pot stilled (unaged, aged, long age), column still (unaged, aged, long aged), blend (same), agricoles, etc. Cool way of thinking about rum and allows for lots of space for experimenting.

Re: Tiki Trend

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:00 am
by mwest
We had a good time at the opening of Tiki Thursday at Market Street Kitchen two weeks ago. It was well attended with lots of tiki attire, busy the entire two hours we were there with people enjoying themselves. Guest bartender Travis Nass was helping out, making fine drinks from the menu. I'd imagine its hard to come in to an unfamiliar bar when you don't know where everything is. Even with both bartenders, things got backed up and there were some long waits for cocktails. They had a couple gin and bourbon drinks on the menu, probably something with tequilla or mezcal as well. We had the Dead Man's Chest with bourbon, falernum, Montenegro, pineapple and lemon juice and bitters and also tried the potent Black Spot with 151 overproof rum, cherry liquer, lemon juice, chai syrup and bitters. All were delicious. Also had one of the heavily foamed drinks, forgot the name of it. It was unfortunately warm by the time it was served, a product of the bar being in the weeds much of the night. The food was okay to my palate, the char siu sliders needed salt or just something to make the flavors pop more. The sesame oil on the poke and/or the lomi salmon coming from other diner's plates at the tightly packed bar was strong enough that I found it overpowering to me, but I really am not a fan of sesame oil.

We also made it to the opening of Undertow last night, too. Its a neat spot, Jason Ascher's team is so good at the themes and the decor, like at Counter Intuitive. For my tastes, their experimentations with compicated and exotic bitters and tinctures and combinations don't always result in drinks that are as tasty as I would like, with frequent medicinal and overly-bitter flavors overpowering the liquors and the fruits. They are very creative innovators but I prefer the classics done masterfully. For original cocktails we had Bridge Between Two Cultures and the Stirred Bird and they were good but not as delicious to me for the reasons above. The Jet Pilot, a classic, was tastier and more balanced to my palate. It was a fun time, very small bar, so it will be hard to get in for awhile, I predict. I'm also looking forward to Cullen Campbell's food to come sometime in September, by report.