A New Tiki Bar Serving Vacation-Worthy Cocktails Just Opened Its Doors In Pacific Beach

(Photo: Lindsey White)

When you think of the beach-side of Grand Avenue in Pacific Beach you don’t think craft cocktails, tiki and poke (more like stale beer and chicken wings). But the owners of restaurant group SDCM, who brought you kick ass watering holes like the Kettner Exchange and Vin De Syrah asked, why not?

Tiki is making big waves in San Diego and The Grass Skirt is the latest set rolling through.

While you were sipping on delicious, hoppy beer all week at San Diego Beer Week, this Polynesian speak-easy serving vacation-worthy cocktails opened its doors for the first time on Monday night.


(Photo: The Grass Skirt)

At the front a very unassuming cubby-hole of a restaurant called Good Time Poke offers a delicious eatery with only the freshest of ingredients. If you have x-ray vision take a look at the refrigerator door and you’ll find there’s a lot more than meets the eye.

The hostess, posing as a cashier behind a register, will walk you back through a smoke filled hallway complete with volcano noises and holograms projected on cave-like walls. When the smoke clears you are welcomed into a large speak-easy that is, ahem, an orgy of the senses.

“We are offering an escape and a chance to take yourself on a mini-vacation,” says SDCM co-owner Matt Spencer.

He’s not kidding. The décor is something out of a dream and is the result of a year and a half of tequila nights and collaboration with designer Davis Krumins (responsible for Parq, Fluxx and more). By the time you make it to your booth, which gives it an old fashioned style, you’ve already encountered giant Tiki heads, blowfish lights (really) and hula girls sporting, you guessed it, grass skirts.

(Photo: Lindsey White)

The bar is a site to behold and the drinks are something, well, to hold.

The magic behind the bar creates deliciously elaborate cocktails, and are the brain child of Steven Tuttle (Kettner Exchange. Painkiller anyone?). Order the right one and you’ll set off a lightning and thunder storm throughout the entire bar. Another cocktail will arouse the spirit of the Tiki gods as flames rise in a giant Tiki mouth and in the fire pit at the bar’s center.

If you don’t get one of these cocktails (we won’t say which), don’t worry, the presentation is like Monet came back from the dead to make your drink. Custom picks and floral additions compliment these beautiful cocktails with exotic names like “Boozin Susan’s World Famous Chi Chi” and the “Carmen Miranda.”

(Photo: The Grass Skirt)

We know what you’re thinking, the prettier the cocktail, the weaker the punch. That couldn’t be further from the truth as the cocktails at The Grass Skirt find the best combinations of Rums, Tequilas, Mescals and mixers to deliver a powerful kick in the pants.

Good Time Poke is responsible for the food in The Grass Skirt. While that’s not obvious at first, that’s the way they want it.

“Our food and beverage options really do set us apart from other Tiki bars,” adds Spencer.

The poke food, result of Brian Redzikowski’s (Nobu, Kettner Exchange) creation, is not only good but much is put into the presentation.

“The Skuna Bay Salmon Cones” are served in drift wood, and the “Prime Hanger Steak Lettuce Wraps” are delivered with a tiny flame volcano (to heat the dish of course).

(Photo: Lindsey White)

If we’ve learned anything from our visit, and from our experience with other SDCM bars and restaurants, we know that The Grass Skirt will be a hit in PB.

We barely scratched the surface, and we can’t wait to get back for round two!

Grab a drink and take it all in; the Grass Skirt is only gonna take-off from here.

Do yourself a favor and check it out for yourself!

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