The Grass Skirt Officially Opens With A Kick-Off Tiki Party Straight Out Of Polynesia
Good Time Poke, an innocent enough name, is just the cover for the Polynesian speakeasy behind the kitchen. Enter into a dark cave with layers of fog where you can make out the gyrating hula girl projected in light on the billowing smoke.
Then, the fog is cut by the inexplicable sight of a Cockatoo on the shoulder of his keeper, and he’s sipping a cocktail.
Though it may seem like one, you’re not in a dream, you’re at The Grass Skirt’s opening night Tiki party last Wednesday night.
The Grand Opening came right on schedule for restaurant group SDCM, and it was a proper Pacific Beach party. ThereSanDiego had VIP access and got the inside scoop on The Grass Skirt, and the sweet party they hosted.
When one of these invite-only grand openings occur it tends to bring out the who’s who of the San Diego restaurant and bar scene. Everyone there thinks they recognize everyone else. You only need to perk up your ears for a moment and you’ll hear, “What bar do I know you from?”
“All of them,” I answer.
One such character assures me he’s not in the industry, only to proclaim that he’s an “ambassador” of the restaurant world.
People aren’t full of it (well, maybe a little), they’re just having fun. At a place like this, on a night like this, who wouldn’t?
“The land of eternal sunsets” as Co-Owner Matt Spencer (SDCM) puts it, is where The Grass Skirt takes you.
The moment I walk in I’m overwhelmed. The place is packed, and not just with human traffic.
The Cockatoo is a nice touch, and so is the DJ Booth atop the monster sized Tiki God. Past the electric hula girl, and then the painted hula girl reveals a space about the size of a large living room.
I know they’re there but I can’t see the little hidden rooms off to the sides and at the back. There’s so many people in here it takes 20 minutes to get close enough to the bar to holler for a drink.
Tony Coxum is behind the bar, and he’s shaking up cocktails for the thirsty patrons. He’s a good one to have to design a cocktail menu. After all, he worked at one of San Diego’s first tiki restaurants, Mr. Tiki Mai Tai Lounge.
Not only that but since we visited The Grass Skirt on their soft opening they’ve done some recruiting and added to their already deep line-up.
Christian Siglin came over from Bracaro to lend his insight on the cocktail menu. And while we recognize the genius in Steven Tuttle’s ability to create a fantastic bar, we do wonder why he wears a banana costume on opening night.
People are vociferously going after the punch bowls that are so full of booze they disturb the very weather patterns in Pacific Beach. Order one, and the lights will flash, a roar will rattle your chest as the bar’s Tiki Gods come alive.
We won’t tell you all the different effects that occur when you order. But we will tell you that ordering the punch bowls will make the room shake, and if you’re not careful the over proof Jamaican Navy Strength Rum will cause your whole world to shake for the rest of the night (and into the morning).
Warning! Attempt punch bowls with no less than four people. Then grab a fire extinguisher and an umbrella, because fire will rise and lightning will roar! That’s right, The Grass Skirt has no less than 3 super cool effects that make you think you’ve been transported to Polynesia itself.
Expect a more intimate affair with more personalized attention on weeknights. In fact, you should probably make a reservation if you want to feast on Good Time Poke’s delicious food.
But if you come on the weekends, expect standing room only and a party – it’s gotten very popular since their soft opening in November!
For a bar and dining experience, rather than the normal drink and a bite, we recommend visiting The Grass Skirt as soon as you can.