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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Portland
Food
Feel
Price
5.7
9.0
$30
Hawaiian, Pan-Asian
Bar

Hours
Daily 4:00pm–11:00pm

Features Date-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, AmEx

Northeast Portland
2733 NE Broadway
Portland, OR
(503) 281-8454
Thatch Tiki Bar
Portland ambition meets mid-century Americana kitsch

Who doesn’t love a tiki bar? That 1960s Americana kitschy-fabulous image just pops into everyone’s head so clearly. Whether you’ve been to Disneyland’s Polynesian Resort, San Francisco’s Tonga Room, or the iconic Bahooka in the suburbs of Los Angeles—or even if you’ve only glimpsed a tiki bar in a ridiculous romantic comedy involving a disastrous Club Med getaway—you will feel a familiar tinge upon walking into this hilariously fun room.

Although it looks totally unassuming from the outside, the inside bursts through the door like a cracked-passionfruit, lava-colored lighting emanating from dangling puffer-fish bodies and tortoise-shell-like lamps. A wooden bridge spans a dribble of water from shell fountains, and leaves modern Portland utterly behind you, freeing you up to make all kinds of bad decisions, so long as they’re served out of a large goblet with several decorative umbrellas.

Take a seat in a space-age orange booth underneath some bamboo and fake-grass thatching (naturally) and beneath the watchful eye of tiki carvings (complete with phallic-worship detail), and order something out of a coconut, or something fruity—it’s allowed here. There will be no judgment if bitters aren’t your thing and you never understood the rye resurgence. There will only be Blue Hawaiians, Mai Tais, Fog Cutters, Tiki Punches, and Singapore Slings. The outside world still belonging to Portland, however, these cocktails will go above and beyond the call of fruity duty, with blue Curaçao and orgeat, expert balance, and some signature creations. And you know you want a flaming bowl of tropical fruit and liquor. You came this far, so why not? But you’ve gotta share between three people. Did we mention it’s a bowl? Of liquor?

The food is similarly authentic to the era, but it’s done a bit better than you’d expect. Crab Rangoon is just silly, but when these deep-fried wonton wrappers are filled with real crab in addition to the cream cheese, they get a little serious. Groups absolutely must order the pu-pu platter, which consists of egg rolls, fried shrimp, and other vaguely Chinese-Polynesian finger foods, with a little hibachi grill in the middle for cooking meat skewers. Dipping sauces go beyond quotidian teriyaki with coconut and ginger elements. Okay, we admit it, the food’s not really very good. But...it’s fun to say. Pu-pu. Really, it’s fun to do anything here.

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