05 February 2013

Grass Skirt Tiki Room

Customers probably visit Liz Lessner's Grass Skirt Tiki Room primarily for the drinks. It would be a shame if they missed what comes out of the kitchen, since the selection of Pacific Rim fare pairs so perfectly with the cocktails.

There is a limited selection of entrees that accompany the cadre of small plates on the menu. There are plenty of vegetarian options on the menu, and the staff is very accommodating to dietary restrictions.

Edamame was cooked perfectly. The soybeans were flecked with cracked black pepper and Sriracha sea salt. While it was well prepared, the hint of chili oil didn't add much to the dish.

The veggie spring rolls were stuffed with crunchy green cabbage, peppers and onions. The sweet ginger sauce brings a bright freshness to the rolls.

The teriyaki mushroom lettuce wraps were a perfectly sweet yet savory ssam. The earthy mushrooms soaked up the teriyaki sauce, and the lettuce leaves add a crunch to each bite.

The vegetarian Thai pineapple rice bowl had layers of garlic and chili that were tempered by the sweetness of the fruit. It was a large portion.

The red pepper and mushroom menehunes (a Hawaiian word for sandwich) are sliders served on the classic sweet island roll. They continue the combination of sweet and savory that appear in all the dishes.

The decor is kitschy and fun. The restaurant is dark with carefully selected lighting that highlights the contours of the room.

The cocktails are excellent. There is a classic and a haute Mai Tai. Drinks are often garnished with tropical fruit and maraschino cherries and can be served in a take-home Tiki mug. The Mystery Girl, a drink not listed on the menu, picked up a great nutmeg flavor from the horchata-rum liqueur in the drink.

The menu at Grass Skirt is made to go alongside the drinks, but the small plates format allows even those who aren't drinking to sample many dishes if they eat in a group. Service was capable, but became slightly overbearing on a slow night visit.

Grass Skirt Tiki Room on Urbanspoon

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