Continuing my whirlwind tiki tour of the East Bay, I visited a tiki mecca that’s been on my holy grail list for a while — Forbidden Island in Alameda, CA. Located just a quick Uber ride from Longitude, the interior of Forbidden Island is a small, dark, foreboding establishment that conjures up visions of Frankie’s Tiki Room in Vegas. The place is a legit escape from reality. Slightly buzzed from Longitude, I took a spot by the bar and ordered the signature namesake drink featuring a decadent blend of pineapple, lime, rum and god knows what else. The cocktail went down perfectly and now I was teetering towards drunk.
I chatted up the couple sitting next to me who recently relocated to Alameda Island from Baltimore. I explained to them that I was surprised at how wonderful, hip and young Oakland was — a complete departure from what you read and hear about in the press. They compared the city to Baltimore and noted that the city has been in transition for a while and is becoming a home for a lot of young families that can’t afford to live in San Francisco.
After they left, I took a stroll around the bar, which is decorated with an amazing assortment of quality tiki ephemera. As I squinted to examine the ceiling, I noticed that it was covered with hundreds of dollar bills featuring little notes and well wishes. Exiting towards the back, I realized that the place has a huge back patio where a massive tiki god watches over the guests below. Forbidden Island was definitely worth the trip across the bay and should be on everyone’s tiki road trip list.