In light of the Chron piece this week in which several preservationists and a Fairmont Hotel neighbor dissed the Tonga Room as both unprofitable and out of date, we turned to our friend Martin Cate, proprietor at new-old-school Tiki bar Smuggler's Cove, to see if he had any thoughts on the matter. Naturally, he does:
"The quote that tiki is 'no longer where it's at' is patently and demonstrably untrue. The resurgence is incredible and I've got the lines out the door to prove it. And the quote 'five star hotels don't have tiki bars....' Well, they used to. In fact, it may be hard to imagine, but a night at the Tonga or Trader Vic's was once a very special, jacket-and-tie-for-gentlemen, night on the town."
When asked if he'd take the place over and turn around its profit potential, Martin told SFist, "I certainly have many ideas to make it a sensation again. And of course I'd love to operate it, but the Fairmont hasn't exactly been calling."
With that, here's one of Martin's favorite light and refreshing summer cocktails, which should be no problem to recreate at home. And cocktail hour swiftly approacheth.
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/4 oz simple syrup
4 oz coconut water
2 oz gin (or white rum, or a combination for a Caribeño Especial)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Shake and strain in to an ice filled glass and drop in a lime wedge.
Photo: Married... with Dinner