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I made it to The Islander, the latest Seattle attempt at a "Tiki Lounge" (their words) and, surprise, I liked it. A lot. The Islander is not a dark and cluttered trader/beachcomber style place (Humuhumu and BongoTiki made this comment already). Instead of faking a lost era, it has a contemporary take on the Polynesian joint with lighter colors (a likeable pale green on the walls) and modern uses of favorite Tiki bar materials (such as fishnets and floats being used sparingly as window treatments). Vintage Tiki and Hawaiian objects are used throughout the lounge and restaurant. It's uncluttered but not sparse. Pretty much wherever your eye lands there's something to look at. A few small Tikis and at least two larger ones, plus a mural across one wall featuring a couple Tikis. The place is full of light as the whole west wall of The Islander is windows (the lounge has views of Puget Sound) It's a thoroughly pleasant environment, made even more so by the Hawaiian music on the sound system (No Reggae! No oldies!). The bar menu has about a dozen fancy drinks ($6-$8). 6 were sampled by me and the friends and all the drinks were well balanced and flavorful (not as good as home made but still some of the better fancy drinks I've had out). The Zombie ($8) came in a large Tiki mug (no, they don't sell them though the waiter said someone talked the owner into selling a couple the other night), and it was appropriately strong (that's not a signature of a good drink for me, but I've discovered it's a rarity). The appetizers (we tried about 8 ) were all great, very original takes on potstickers, sushi, and wonton things, all with excellent sauces and great presentation.
Like I said, The Islander is not an eternal twilight Tiki joint, but I like what it is. They've gone way beyond the norm for new Polynesian places. If you live here don't hesitate to check The Islander out. If you're visiting you'll find it conveniently located near Pike Street Market.
The Islander is at 96 Union Street. 206-344-8088. Happy Hour 4-6 DAILY with cheap wells and beers, $3 appetizers, and no deals on the specialty drinks.
This message was edited by woofmutt when he discoverd to his horror that the number 8 next to a parenthesis mark produced a smiley face with sunglasses. Uhg. 8)
[ Edited by: woofmutt on 2003-07-28 00:56 ]
Hey woofmutt... is it worth entering it into Locating Tiki?
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