<sigh.> Well, on a positive note: the place looks great. Another fine build by Bamboo Ben. Great decor with quality workmanship and tons of detail. If you could judge a a book by it's cover...
On the downside: the drinks need a LOT of work. A Tiki bar has to be judged by it's Mai Tai and theirs was easily the worst I've ever been served. On paper, it's the Trader Vic's recipe, but it was terribly executed. Despite allegedly using the correct ingredients, they created a drink that tasted almost exactly like Sprite soda. No rum flavor, no fresh lime flavor, no orgeat flavor - even the mint was scentless. Huge let down. And the other drink we tried (the Iniki) was no better.
We observed two different bartenders who each appeared to be new employees and, unfortunately, new to bartending. Both were clearly reading recipes for every drink they made - even using a cellphone app to look up how to make a Lemon Drop when another customer ordered one. Not quite the level of expertise we were hoping for.
The service was average; the bartender on duty when we first arrived did take our order fairly quickly, but didn't bother to ask if we'd like to order anything else or inquire how the drinks were despite the fact that we told him we were specifically there to try them (maybe he was afraid of the answer.)
We can't comment much on the food since we unfortunately arrived about 15 minutes after lunch ended and therefore weren't allowed to order off the lunch menu (really.) It was almost two full hours until dinner would be available and the only thing offered was a very tiny happy hour menu. We'd really hoped to spend some time here, eat, and try at least a few different drinks. But without food options, we had to bail out and go elsewhere. To be fair, we did try the small order of chicken wings since we were getting desperate for food, and the sauce on them was delicious. Wish they would've put that on a real piece of chicken (and let us order it without a deadline!)
We'll give them another shot next time we're on the island, but overall our visit was a big disappointment. We really wanted to like this place - the right components are there but they just aren't pulling it off. Hopefully in time they'll get it together. But after a year and a half of anticipation, we left unsatisfied.
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