Go to the Forbidden Island in Alameda. Billing itself as Alameda’s “first and only tiki lounge,” it’s a first-class joint for picking up drinks with props. More importantly, however, these drinks come with rum -- and lots of it. We began last night with the Missionaries’ Downfall (a “light and refreshing cocktail is a frothy mix of fresh mint, lime, pineapple, and a dash of peach”) and quickly moved on to the Island Mai Tai. A few hours later, we reluctantly tore ourselves away from our last mai tai, the plate of delicious sweet potato fries we had managed to nab for free, and the soothing blowfish-shaped lights.
Among the reasons we were so reluctant to leave: the guys behind the bar. In addition to some skillful mixology – we watched them whip up assorted concoctions that required bananas or passionfruit, as well as one that came in an adorable pufferfish tiki mug – they lavished the patrons with the right amount of attention and bar chatter. Jim (he of the cocktail named “The Morgue”), Chris (responsible for “Bloodlust”) and Ryan (who doesn’t rate a cocktail, apparently) were all charming.
Fortunately, we live close enough to walk home if necessary. Those who aren’t living on the island may want to invite a designated driver to the Forbidden Island. Those living in Oakland can make their way down to sister bar Conga Lounge. After all, we love rum drinks that come with their own suite of accessories, but we never, never approve of driving under the influence.
Tiki drink image courtesy of Maui Beverages.SFist Lisa, contributing