Polynesian Speakeasy Opens in Pacific Beach
Written By: Matthew J. Black The Grass Skirt
Imagine this: you’re sipping on a strong exotic cocktail on a Polynesian island. Beautiful hula girls roam the open roof bar you’re sitting in. Tiki gods are the décor, the music is lively, and you watch the horizon as a gorgeous sunset gives way to the night sky. You order another drink, and then notice the sun didn’t disappear by passing beneath the horizon, but a storm is coming your way! Lightning and thunder strike all around, the music stops, and suddenly giant flames come from the mouths of the Tiki gods. When this happens, you realize you’re not in Polynesia, but you’re experiencing the awesome effects at The Grass Skirt in Pacific Beach, a Polynesian speakeasy that just celebrated its Grand Opening.
Since Grass Skirt’s soft opening last November, many have sipped on their delicious cocktails, and even more have dined on the food provided by its restaurant front, Good Time Poke.
Tiki is surprisingly scarce in San Diego, but that’s changing for the better. San Diego is perfect for Tiki, and that’s why other Tiki speakeasy’s like False Idol and The Grass Skirt are welcome additions to San Diego’s bar scene.
As you walk in through a dark cave (behind the refrigerator of course), projected light paints a hula girl on a billowing fog canvas. Emerging from the cave doesn’t mean it gets lighter. It stays dark, but every light in The Grass Skirt gets special attention.
Colorful lights in the shape of Blow Fish hang from the ceiling. A small fire confined in glass burns in the middle of the main seating area. Tiki gods with bright, colorful eyes make you do a double take. Even the lamps on the bar have hip shaking hula girls dancing on their base.
A cool steam effect looks like a couple fires burn right behind the bar. Hammock (not banana) seats are in one of the back rooms. Everyone is dressed in the same Hawaiian shirt, just with a different variety of hibiscus colors. The music is loud with the DJ spinning on top of the bar’s largest Tiki god.
Then it happens. Someone orders a punch bowl, complete with enough Jamaican Navy Strength Rum to intoxicate four grown men, and the real effects come to light. The music cuts and a thunder clap reverberates through your chest. Every light in the place flashes and changes color. The screen behind the bar reveals the enraged Tiki gods, and all the while flames at the bar’s center rise four feet in the air. After about 20 seconds things finally go back to normal, but you never know when it’ll happen again.
To handle these powerful effects, we suggest exploring the cocktail menu created by Steven Tuttle, Tony Coxum, and recently hired Christian Siglin. Every drink is a masterful creation and is delicious. They’re full of booze and served in some unique presentation from ceramic parrots to engraved bronze bowls. They have quite a collection and if you visit The Grass Skirt website, you’ll soon be able to buy some there as well.
We can’t say enough good things about The Grass Skirt, and if you’d like to experience the effects described above, you’ll have to check it out for yourself. Expect a livelier scene with plenty of standing room on Friday and Saturday nights. For a more intimate occasion and personal time with bartenders and staff, make a reservation on a weeknight.
Opening night has come and gone, but there’s still plenty in store. This food and cocktail menu will be ever evolving. With Corporate Executive Chef Brian Redzikowski and the talented people behind the bar, The Grass Skirt should be a San Diego favorite for a time to come.
910 Grand Ave
San Diego, CA 92109
Check Out The New Grass Skirt in Pacific Beach!