After a lengthy hiatus, The Drinkable Week has returned with a super-sized episode (well, it’s longer than 4 minutes, which is like 75 percent longer than usual). The tiki bar renaissance is one of my favorite things these days. To celebrate, I explore Polynesian-inspired potable paradises in three time zones. Special guests: Ben & Mary Kate Mack!
The Japanese drinking scene is serious business. There are plenty of environments in which to imbibe but, perhaps, the best place type of place end up after a crawl into the wee hours is one of the many 5-seat holes in the wall that fits only you, four friends, a bartender and whatever beer, wine, spirits and sake that’s in stock. It’s cozy, intimate and charming and enables revelers to really connect with their servers. This particular establishment is in Tokyo’s Nombei Yokocho (“Drunkard’s Alley”), in the Shubiya district.
L.A.’s tiki bar scene is legendary and the legend among legends has to be Tiki Ti on Sunset Boulevard in the Los Feliz district. To say that the bar, founded in 1961, is a local institution would be a massive understatement. It’s cash-only and doesn’t have an ATM so make sure you load your wallet before arriving. And arrive early because it’s tiny and the line to get in tends to wrap around the block. The drinks list is vast; favorites include the Uga Booga, Ray’s Mistake and Missionary’s Downfall. But the cocktails are only half the experience. As you can tell from this photo, the decor is more intoxicating than the rum-centric libations.