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Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

Pagan Idol, San Francisco, CA (bar)

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Name:Pagan Idol
Street:375 Bush Street
City:San Francisco

Humuhumu's Description from Critiki:
Pagan Idol opened in San Francisco's Financial District in February 2016. The bar is owned by the Future Bars group, which owns a variety of craft cocktail bars around the San Francisco Bay Area.

Pagan Idol has a front bar, which is designed to look like the inside of a wooden ship, complete with porthole views of swimming fish, and blown glass tentacle light fixtures.

Red-lit stairs lead to the back bar, which is where the full-on Polynesian Pop experience can be found. A second bar is lined with zebrawood and backed by lava windows. Overlooking the bar is a massive tiki carved by Crazy Al Evans, and a large outrigger canoe hangs overhead. A tangle of ropes and fishing floats decorates the bar. The walls are lined with Tongan tapa cloth designs.

Just beyond, the room opens up, and a night sky of twinkling stars hangs overhead, with a volcano waterfall and two cozy booths. Looming over this room is a second large tiki, this one carved by Ivan Lee Mora. Periodically, the volcano "erupts" and a fog creeps along the starry sky, adding to the moodiness of the room.

The soundtrack is all Exotica and hapa-haole music. The drink menu is all original tropical drinks, but a full array of classic tiki drinks can be ordered off-menu.

[ Edited by: JenTiki 2016-02-25 10:36 ]


I'm hoping some of the folks who were there in the past couple nights will post some of the great pictures I've seen on facebook.

Sounds GOOD for next time 2016 in SF (-:


Here's one of the Massive Pagan Idols carved by Crazy Al Evans....

GROG posted on Tue, Mar 1, 2016 9:05 AM

Did you pose for Al as the inspiration for the carving?

On 2016-03-01 09:05, GROG wrote:
Did you pose for Al as the inspiration for the carving?

Yes Grog! Thinking of you while doing so....


Some decent photos in this article from SFGate:
Pagan Idol: Now Open...

A friend went to the PI recently and shared the pix he took for me of their cool menu. I gotta get up there and try this place out.

Backside of menu

I have finally been here a few times and I feel so stupid that it took so long - I absolutely love this place. The staff are really, really friendly and I've had nothing but excellent service. They are also very happy to geek out with you on rums, syrups, and mixers - my first time there I was treated to a taste of practically all of their syrups, which they make in house. Their falernum is delicious, as are both of their fassionolas.

So far I have had 8 of the 17 regular (non-bowl) drinks and each has been anywhere from really good to excellent. I particularly like their daiquiris and had raved about the house daiquiri and the Hemingway Is Dead (think Daiquiri #3 with Peychaud Bitters) to the missus, so on her first visit she asked the bartender to recommend one for her and was given an off-menu Pagan Breakfast. It's the house daiquiri with absinthe and it's fantastic. The Maybe Grog is excellent and last time it came with a Demerara rock candy swizzle stick, which they apparently got by accident but hope to have going forward. I think my current fave is the Witch Doctor, followed closely by the Sparkle & Froth (which is the drink that comes in their signature mug).

One interesting note: no drinks with coconut. This stood out to me because I cannae stand coconut and was surprised I could try everything on the menu. However, I wouldn't be surprised if there were off-menu options with coconut.

The layout and decor are truly something else, they really transport you. The moody starkness of the front bar is offset by the riot of colour and tiki ephemera in back, and I love being able to chose the room I want to sit in depending on my mood. It's also nice to be able to open a tab at one bar and add to it at another, a minor convenience that makes a big difference when wandering about and taking everything in.

(Sorry the pics are so bright - it was the only way I could properly show the mug details)

When we did our whirlwind SF tiki tour a few months ago Pagan Idol was one of my favorite spots. We were lucky to go at a time that was pretty dead and the bartender was super gracious, chatting with us extensively and giving a grand tour of the place. He also let me try some of their house made syrups including the two fassionolas (I think one had a spice to it?). If I recall, he said the owner has a restaurant (as well as other well known non-tiki bars and liquor stores) and the restaurant mixes up their signature syrups for them. I think the many different rooms, themes and private areas makes for a unique experience. And the drinks were all great. Wish I could have spent more time there.

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