For those yet unintiated to San Diego's newest entry onto the tiki scene, The Grass Skirt, which recently opened in Pacific Beach along with its daytime companion Good Time Poke, here's an insider's guide to the SDCM-operated cocktail hideaway.
1. There's been high demand, so reservations are recommended. If you're going to try your walk-in luck, the best bet is to show up before 6:30 p.m.
2. You can buy and drink beer and wine at Good Time Poke if there's a wait.
3. If all the tables and bar stools are full once you're inside, the staff may slip you a "Chi Chi on us" card, which you can exchange for a free Chi Chi (a vodka-based pina colada) after 10 p.m.
4. Behind the bar are two recipients of Eater's Bartender of the Year awards — SDCM's corporate beverage director Steven Tuttle and the just-hired Christian Siglin, formerly of Bracero. The crack food and beverage team also includes bar manager Tony Coxum (who worked at Mr Tiki Mai Tai Lounge, one of San Diego's first tiki bars) and executive chef Brian Redzikowski.
5. Redzikowski's famous made-from-scratch pork buns and his poke bowls are the only Good Time Poke menu holdovers available at The Grass Skirt. Otherwise, the food offerings are all unique. Longing for a chef-driven pupu platter? It hasn't been ruled out.
6. There are three drinks on the menu that when ordered, trigger a number of special effects, including the sounds of thunder and lightning and flames shown swirling on a screen behind the bar.
7. There's also a secret six-drink menu consisting of the cocktail team's tributes to iconic beach drinks of the 1980s — throwbacks including Sex On The Beach and the Mudslide.
8. They carry so many rums. The collection spans nearly 150 varieties, including extremely rare rum releases like Brugal Papa Andres, which runs $1,500 a bottle with less than 100 bottles available in the U.S.
9. Look for occasional parties to take over their Grand Avenue parking lot; expect an annual pig roast.
10. A new private room may be in the cards, where The Grass Skirt would host everything from rum tasting events to chef's table dinners.