Downtown Chula Vista gets a tropical infusion with the arrival of two new establishments designed to convey island vibes. Developed by Kevin Rhodes, whose Groundswell Brewing Co. has locations in Grantville and Chula Vista, Lime in the Coconut is a breezy and bright restaurant and bar offering live entertainment on Sundays and a menu from executive chef Jeremy Galapon, formerly of the Bali Hai as well as George’s at the Cove and Common Theory, that spans a number of island cuisines with dishes ranging from Hawaiian loco moco and huli huli chicken to Japanese yakisoba and Filipino garlic rice bowls topped with pork tocino. The rum-based drink list, created by beverage pros Snake Oil Cocktail Co., includes the signature Lime in the Coconut made with rum, housemade lime oleo, coconut cream, and fresh pineapple juice along with classics like Mai Tais, Zombies, and Scorpions.
Attached to the restaurant but with its own separate entrance is X, as in “x marks the spot”, a tiki-styled, reservation-only speakeasy that requires a password for admittance. With a tiki dress code encouraged and an appropriately dark, retro tiki atmosphere, the bar serves appetizers and its own menu of cocktails that encompasses traditional favorites like the Saturn, Painkiller, and Pearl Diver as well as originals like the Fourth Time’s A Charm from Snake Oil’s Irving Gonzalez; made with Appleton Estate Rum, Myers Dark Rum, Uruapan Charanda, house made chipotle Don’s Mix, house made banana oleo, cold brew, and fresh pressed lemon juice, it won a top award at the 2021 Tiki Oasis.