I recently had the pleasure of attending Lenovo Tech World in San Francisco for the launch of the new Moto Z Droids, and figured it would be a perfect time to check out some of the many new tiki bars that sprung up in the Bay area since I last visited in 2009. Last time I was here, the original Trader Vic’s was closed for renovations and the Tonga Room was a ghost town. That’s definitely not the case these days, as there are no less than half a dozen awesome tiki bars with drinks that are nothing less than stellar.
First on the list was Longitude, located in the heart of Oakland, CA. This is not a tiki bar in the traditional sense, but a safari-themed venue that offers an array of well-made tropical drinks and light appetizers to keep you from getting hammered. The decor is a mixture of tiki and jungle (is jungle a style?), with lots of masks and trees scattered smartly around the room. Unlike most tiki bars, sun pours into the establishment via the huge front windows, but you can grab a spot in the massive tiki hut if you want to get away from reality.
Due to the hefty number of lounges I needed to hit in a short amount of time, I had to limit my alcohol intake to one drink at each bar. In this case, I had a shrunken skull, which featured a perfect blend of pomegranate lime, run and cinnamon. It went down smooth and hit the spot. I balanced it with some spring rolls that were hot out of the oven and definitely not frozen. The day I visited, Longitude had a decent amount of people in it, but it wasn’t uncomfortably packed. The bartenders all had matching waxed mustaches, which was a bit odd, but it didn’t really matter as long as the drinks were mixed solid. This was definitely worth the trip out of San Francisco and the perfect start to my rum-drenched voyage.