The New Tiki

Remember when Alexis took a look at San Francisco tiki bars of the past and present? That was great, but it made us kind of sad the genre has ebbed since it’s heyday (an aside: Check out the photos of the The Crepe House front pillar on Tiki Central Forum. Turns out the place used to be a joint called Tiki Bob’s).

But today a Daily Candy bulletin announced the opening of Miss Pearl’s Jam House in Oakland, and while reading the description of the interior, we had something very close to an epiphany:

Jack London Square’s newest address emulates a Caribbean manse with vintage cruise liner nuances. Decked out with porthole windows, coral mosaic walls, and shell-encrusted menus, the island-inspired resto serves up tropical Southern flare: Florida conch and sweet corn fritters, jerk chicken, sugar cane barbecue shrimp, baked clams, and twice-fried plantains.

Pony up to the resin bar encasing pseudo-sea floor treasures for a stellar offering of light and dark rums, Key lime martinis, and the house specialty: Cuba Libra Jell-O shots.

Nautical and tropical-themed food and drink? A warm, party atmosphere? Authentic (or even better, faux-thentic) decorations? These things hark back to the tiki craze in a big way. Substitute the Caribbean for Polynesia and you have a new, island-themed bar and restaurant trend.

Only in this case, it seems the emphasis is heavy on the food, which is great. During a meal at the Southern/Caribbean-themed Front Porch back in spring, the waiter told us that many of the kitchen staff had just returned from a visit to the Caribbean, where they picked up creole cooking tips. That place has all sorts of wacky accoutrements, too, like wicker chairs out front and chicken served in paper baskets. If this is the new version of tiki, we say Tik-on!

And by the way, a great way to die would be drowning in a vat of the Front Porch’s crab-meat grits. Honestly one of the best thing’s to enter this mouth all year. Time to “Jam” over to Pearl’s to see how they stack up.

Tiki Bob’s, San Francisco, CA [Tiki Central]
Miss Pearl’s Jam House [Official Site]
The Crepe House [Official Site]
The Front Porch [Official Site]

[Photo: via Tiki Central Forum]

The New Tiki