MISS B’S COCONUT CLUB
The shareable Havana Good Time cocktail arrives in a flamingo-shaped copper vessel
with multiple straws, while the potent We Don’t Practice Santeria sports two kinds of
rum and passion fruit. Caribbean and Cuban eats pair nicely with the tropical elixirs.
3704 Mission Blvd. Mission Beach
The friendly bartenders at this
tiki temple have been slinging
potent mai tais since 1954. Hand-carved sculptures, Polynesian
artifacts, tapa cloths, tiki mugs
and Polynesian fare
add to the tropical vibe.
2230 Shelter Island Drive,
CAT EYE CUB
This mod-pop bar is a tiki oasis,
with its lava lamps, Mondrian-inspired glass wall, wooden idol
carvings, fern wallpaper and cat-eye mugs. With mai tais on tap,
smoking treasure chests cradling
boozy cocktails, and live retro
music, this just might be
370 Seventh Ave., East Village
The new styled-out tiki bar inside
Craft and Commerce is helmed by
San Francisco rum maestro Martin
While San Diego’s tiki roots go way back to the 1950s, today it’s all the
rage, with a new crop of rum-infused watering holes serving up grogs,
painkillers and smoking volcano bowls, in settings that celebrate kitschy
decor and this retro “kool kat” lifestyle.
Cates. Expect classic tiki drink recipes
from iconic spots like Trader Vic’s, Don
the Beachcomber and the Luau Room at
Hotel del Coronado, circa 1940.
675 W. Beech St., Little Italy
South Park’s hipster vegan restaurant hosts
“Permanent Vacation” every Thursday, a
pop-up tiki takeover with tropical elixirs
and eats. Look for nuclear rum drinks with
fresh juices and gourmet Polynesian bites.
1503 30th St. South Park
THE GRASS SKIRT
The creative masterminds behind Kettner
Exchange have entered the tiki realm
with this new Polynesian-style speakeasy
in Pacific Beach, where tiki fans will enjoy
dramatic decor, mind-altering rum drinks
and island-inspired eats.
910 Grand Ave., Pacific Beach
DARN GOOD DISTILLERY
This local distillery, named for a
schooner that smuggled rum to San
Diego during Prohibition, produces
award-winning small-batch rums.
Their Malahat Spiced Rum, with notes
of cardamom, cinnamon and clove,
is delicious. And their stylish tasting
room feels like a Hollywood movie set,
worth the journey to Miramar for a
tour and tasting of their ginger, black
tea, white and spiced rums.
8706 Production Ave., Miramar
Trends: Tiki for sure, as it’s quickly becoming
What’s New: We rebranded our main bar as
“Level2,” which focuses on craft cocktails
inspired by La Jolla and the California coast,
with all house-made ingredients.
in vogue again.
Favorite Local Distillery: Old Harbor. No one
has matched the ability to put San Diego flavors
into a spirit like Mike Skubic and his team.
Must-Try Drink: Our Sea3, with blanco tequila
infused with house-dehydrated mangoes, lime
zest and dried Mexican chilies, shaken with lime
and agave and served on a large saline ice cube
with suspended seaweed.
Local Dive Bar: Turf Supper Club in Golden
Hill. It’s campy, with a good neighborhood vibe.
Preferred Mixology Bars: Polite Provisions
and Sycamore Den.
is the brains behind
the bar program at
George’s at the Cove,
concocting clever cocktails
for California Modern,
Ocean Terrace and Level2.