From Our Editors
Forbidden Island: A User’s Guide
- Traditional tiki drink: a classic Mai Tai with Appleton Estate rum from Jamaica, lime juice, orange curacao, and orgeat. Fittingly, the drink was invented a mere 8.8 miles away in 1944.
- Shareable cocktail: served in a bowl, the Virgin Sacrifice, made with mango, cinnamon, and various rums, is served for six with an elaborate tableside show.
- Small plate: fried coconut shrimp
When to Go: Stop in for happy hour (Tuesday–Friday, 5–7 p.m.), which features discounted Mai Tai, Navy Grog, well drinks, beer, and select bar snacks. If you’re in need of some hair of the dog that bit you, head in on Sunday morning for the special “Island Time” menu of exotic drinks.
Word on the Street:
- USA Today named it one of the nation’s 10 best tiki lounges.
- A feature in the [Wall Street Journal] raves about the decor, proclaiming “[It’s] as close as you will come to a tiki bar of World War II vintage”. They also gush about the drinks, saying “[They’ve] applied the new high-end-cocktail-culture insistence on hand-crafting and fresh ingredients to old, long-lost recipes . . . such as the Nui Nui, a delicious Don the Beachcomber original.”
- “What makes this particular bar unique is its postmodern dedication to fresh, organic, top-quality ingredients . . . Even the maraschino cherries are naturally colored and flavored and free of preservatives.” — East Bay Express
- “Wash up on the remote shores of this Forbidden Island, a cool, retro tiki lounge with waterfalls, bamboo huts and vintage cocktails.” — SF Gate
While You’re Waiting
- Admire the kitschy tiki decor, including glowing pufferfish and velvet tropical paintings.
- Take a load off in a high-backed wicker chair, or stage a reenactment of that one episode of The Brady Bunch in which Bobby finds a tiki god and mysteriously vanishes forever.
- Check the calendar for theme nights, which may feature anything from live tropical music to actual luaus.
- If you grab a seat on the patio, you’ll have to order your drinks inside and bring them out on your own; the lounge’s liquor license doesn’t extend to the outdoors.