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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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Name:False Idol
Type:bar
Street:675 W. Beech St.
City:San Diego
State:CA
Zip:92101
country:USA
Phone:619.269.2202
Status: Operational

Description:
Website: http://www.falseidoltiki.com/
FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/False-Idol/1591901444437752

[ Edited by: Loki-Tiki 2016-11-09 09:19 ]

http://sandiego.eater.com/2015/12/15/10228454/craft-commerce-smugglers-cove-new-tiki-bar-san-diego

I will be happy to take some pictures and post as soon as it is open.

A


"I am Lono!" -- Hunter S. Thompson

[ Edited by: Hakalugi 2016-09-09 16:05 ]

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Sorry for the sideways images, but when I open each in PhotoShop they're right side up!

H

On 2016-09-09 14:50, arriano wrote:
Sorry for the sideways images, but when I open each in PhotoShop they're right side up!

I'm guessing those were from an iPhone? Nevertheless, fixed! And thanks for posting them.

Wow!

Can't wait to visit what looks like the best place to be in San Diego!

Looks great! Some reports and opinions please.
Cheers

just got back from a trip to San Diego and False Idol. full disclosure, i live in San Francisco, so my benchmark for tiki bars is Smuggler's Cove, and despite the Martin Cate connection, this is no Smuggler's Cove.

what stands out the most is that this place is designed to be an experience, and it certainly delivers. if you don't have a reservation, getting in at all is a challenge (but not an impossible one). if you know where to be and when, you can get in within an hour of opening. the crowd this weekend was mostly hipster locals, with a few tiki aficionados thrown in for good measure, maybe that will shift in time. the decor is top notch, no doubt. only minor complaint is that the restroom is actually outside, which makes for a pretty constant flow of door opening. also, the volcano wasn't working this weekend, so i'm looking forward to going back in a few months to see. the custom glassware is tasteful, but not jaw-dropping. i brought some home.

if you're able to get a seat, then you actually get service, which was awesome. no trips to the bar or waiting in line, unless you want to chat with the bartender and they're not too busy (good luck). my server was friendly and attentive, but really didn't know rum (yet). they don't currently have a rum list, though that is supposedly in the works, and there isn't any of the rum education angle that you get at the Cove.

the menu is somewhat limited (for the jaded), but wide-ranging. we eschewed cocktails available at Smug Co under the assumption that they would be pretty close to the same thing, though in hindsight that might have been a faulty assumption. also, favored rum cocktails over the fair amount featuring other base spirits.

the drinks my party had were: Hanalei Nights, Mai Sha Roa Na, Lona, Steve's Rum Barrel, Alkala's Rum Barrel, and Le Fantome. My favorite was Steve's Rum Barrel, but Hanalei Nights was a very close second. this was the only commercial cocktail i've had with Plantation's Stiggin's Pineapple, and it was an excellent showcase for this rum. Least favorite was Le Fantome, which is sort of like a zombie except instead of having all that fun spice it's got agricole and champagne flavors (which i suppose explains the french appellation). drink i most wish i'd tried: Polynesian Forty Niner (orange-chai-infused bourbon, pear brandy, lemon and orange, with Don's Gardenia Mix (no rum)).

some of the drinks had no garnish at all, and those that did had only a mint sprig or a lonely orchid, though i did see a Three Dots and a Dash with its customary embellishments. i attribute this to the whole work-in-progress feel i got from the experience, one that i am eager to monitor over coming months.

[ Edited by: Bora Boris - Image straightening - 2016-09-19 08:36 ]

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On 2016-09-18 18:17, oroborean wrote:
Mai Sha Roa Na

Best Cocktail Name Ever!!!

O

second trip to False Idol happened. again, we got in without a reservation by being in the right place at the right time, and on this occasion got to sit at the bar. and wow what a beautiful bar.

still no rum list, but happily the "volcano" was working this time, so we got to experience the pyrotechnics. the bartenders seemed quite pleased at people's reaction.

the night's imbibes consisted of: Tonight or Never; Pearl Diver; Mai Tai; Shelter Island Sling; Panther's Fang; Zombie. in other words, a fair mix of the classic and the new. my personal favorite was the Zombie, a well-executed iteration of the original 1934 Zombie Punch, strong and balanced. i'm a bit disappointed that so many of the modern twists on classic exotic cocktails here don't use rum. the Shelter Island Sling, however, based on the Singapore Sling, gets a pass because of the base spirit of the original. quite good and worth trying if you like the original. the Mai Tai was also well executed. it was made with Denizen Merchant's Reserve, so it appears to be a faithful rendition of the Smuggler's Cove version.

the crowd was a bit lighter than the last time and seemed to be a bit older, with most people being relatively new to rum and exotic cocktails. despite the homage to San Diego's tiki bars of the past, i get the sense that this place is less concerned with being a classically authentic tiki bar, with keeping the flame of tried and true recipes burning, and more with being a vibrant part of a modern, innovative hospitality scene and expanding the exotic cocktail market segment. case in point: their navy grog is made with ruby red grapefruit because, eh, most people wouldn't notice the difference. at the very least the tension between fidelity and innovation is at the heart of this establishment, and maybe exists at the level of the ownership. that's my take away from this particular visit, make of it what you will.

[ Edited by: oroborean 2016-11-08 16:10 ]

On 2016-11-08 16:07, oroborean wrote:
case in point: their navy grog is made with ruby red grapefruit because, eh, most people wouldn't notice the difference.

I don't know if that's definitely the reason. I just got back from a week long trip to the Bay area and hit up 6 bars. At the ones that served a Navy Grog or other drinks involving grapefruit, I asked if the whites were available in the area yet (we normally start seeing them in Texas around now). None of the bars said they had white and one said that even when they are available they stick with the ruby's to keep consistency with the drink. I think that's to be expected and is why I rarely order drinks with grapefruit at a bar.

Me personally, in a pinch, I prefer fresh squeezed red or pink grapefruit over bottled white that likely has been pasteurized, even if it's 100% juice, which has an off-putting taste. But at this point in my life I'm more apt to just wait til the season is here and enjoy the crap out of them at home for as long as I can and just avoid Navy Grogs from bars throughout the year.

O

I don't know if that's definitely the reason.

i didn't mean that to sound as judgmental as it sounds, just trying to be accurately descriptive. to be fair, the bartender did say they were limited to what they could get from their suppliers. but that was after first being invited to believe that i would never taste the difference in a navy grog or at least that certainly most would not.

I'm more apt to just wait til the season is here and enjoy the crap out of them at home for as long as I can and just avoid Navy Grogs from bars throughout the year.

thanks, this is good advice. white grapefruits have been a revelation for me, which is what prompted my posting in this thread. i had been avoiding grapefruit drinks altogether.

I just got back from a week long trip to the Bay area and hit up 6 bars. At the ones that served a Navy Grog or other drinks involving grapefruit, I asked if the whites were available in the area yet (we normally start seeing them in Texas around now). None of the bars said they had white and one said that even when they are available they stick with the ruby's to keep consistency with the drink. I think that's to be expected and is why I rarely order drinks with grapefruit at a bar.

this is the second week in a row i've been able to find white grapefruit in the city for home use, so if the bars can't find it they aren't looking hard enough. i think most bay area customers are sophisticated to understand and appreciate seasonality, but at the same running a commercial bar requires some compromise in the interest of profit and consistency. it would be great to hear more about your experiences.

On 2016-11-09 15:36, oroborean wrote:
white grapefruits have been a revelation for me, which is what prompted my posting in this thread. i had been avoiding grapefruit drinks altogether.

...it would be great to hear more about your experiences.

Same here. I used to use pineapple in place of grapefruit in some drinks or avoid others altogether cuz I hated the taste of grapefruit, but when I discovered whites, it was a revelation. When they're in season, I go to town on them. There's a great thread about grapefruit: http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=42747&forum=10&90

I'll be posting an in depth review of my SF tiki tour in another thread when I have some time to put it all together.

I have gone through the drink menu here and there are very few "bad" drinks on the menu. If you do prefer some drinks at Smugglers Cove, they will make drinks off menu and have a backlog of some SC recipes. These guys know their drinks and they will happily accommodate your needs.

I finally made it down to False Idol this weekend (phone died, unable to take photos). I must say, this place is unlike any other tiki place I have ever seen. Bosko did an amazing job. When you see a place with wall to wall carvings, you realize how much filler is in a normal tiki bar. It's amazing. It feels like you are inside a carving. It's hard to describe.

I do wish the lights on the rock wall were toned down a bit and I wish the bar had more memorabilia in it. But this place is truly a masterpiece.

The drinks were fantastic. The three I had were tart, citrus strong drinks. The menu tends to lean that way. It was a Saturday night. Our reservations were at 7. The place was filled.

I at first thought I would be put off by needing reservations and didn't think it needed the whole speakeasy entrance. But the more I thought about it, it's a great form of crowd control. The Craft and Commerce restaurant was slammed. Without the reservations and the hidden entrance, the place would have a line down the road and the place would be slammed. They are able to keep a comfortable crowd. I did appreciate it. The bartenders did a great job (a million times faster than Smugglers Cove). They were attentive and on point.

Please visit False Idol if you have a chance. You will be stunned by how beautiful this work of art is.

Tiki Shaker, glad you had a fun time and it was nice to meet you in person finally!

Thanks Luna, great meeting you too!

I got an email this morning from the False Idol's "info" email address confirming how they ask guests to make reservations. I've heard very good things about this place, and I'm planning a visit in early September. I can't wait!!!!

*To make a reservation, please visit us at FalseIdolTiki.com. Reservations can be made up to 30 days in advance.

We also offer walk-in space on a first come, first serve basis. To be added to our waitlist, please see the hostess inside Craft and Commerce at 675 West Beech Street, on your desired evening.

Mahalo!

  • FALSE IDOL -
B

We took a visit to False Idol last weekend. We thoroughly loved the decorum. I appreciated their recreation of classic tiki cocktails, particularly from the San Diego area. What totally I loved was no stinkin' wide screen TV's! I can't stand those in bars! Great job False Idol, I hope to visit again next time we're in San Diego!

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