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Mai Kai in New York Times

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The New York Times did a travel article on Fort Lauderdale today, and getting a good mention was our beloved Mai Kai.....

In Praise of Kitsch

Remember the heyday of the tiki bar, when fruity rum drinks were served in Polynesian-themed glassware and pupu platters were the appetizer of choice? The Mai-Kai (3599 North Federal Highway, 954-563-3272) has never forgotten it. This Fort Lauderdale institution, founded in 1956, is a potent reminder of the state's pre-Disney, kitschy past. The menu may be predictable, but the food is far better than the standard tourist fare. On a recent visit, the pad thai ($18.95) and grilled mahi-mahi ($25) were winners, although the pupu platter ($13.95) was something of a greasy disappointment. Many dishes and drinks come with curious rituals: the striking of a gong or the lighting of a sparkler. Stick around for the 45-minute show ($9.95 cover charge, performed twice nightly), replete with hula-mad dancers and fire-twirling showmen.

The full article can be found here --
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[ Edited by: ikitnrev on 2004-02-27 14:08 ]


Pad Thai is 18.95? AMERICAN?

Talk about inflation.

In better news, Trader Vic's Thailand, although expensive, is still cheap by western standards. Meals at 10 bucks a head, drinks at 5. We got out of there paying less than 70 bucks for the 2 of us, with cocktails and apps.

Still, anywhere else in Thailand, that meal would have been 20 bucks.



Mai Kai in the NY Times. Wish they included a photo!


I have to add that, they extemely under played the Mai Kai. The food at the Mai Kai is as good as you will have anywhere. Seriously. It may seem high priced, but you will not be disappointed. "The Best"

i.e. I have traveled around to places out of the way to get good Peking Duck. I thought I had had good duck. I had the Mai Kai duck and the good stuff I had had before would rate maybe a 7 to the Mai Kai's 10. And 7 is is really too high. Mai Kai duck is the food of the gods...

Oooh I'm going to have to try that Peking Duck now, Swanky!

I'm partial to the tuna steak, myself. It's one of the freshest, tastiest tuna steaks I've ever had.

I agree that the prices seem high, but only until you taste the food -- most of it rises to the occasion (and the price).

Stay away from the special dinner+show menu, however -- the food on that menu is rather bland compared to the full menu.


If you stick to the meats and poultry from the special oven and the fresh fish you can't go wrong. But the Chinese stir fry dishes aren't very good. But I'm spoiled because we have so much good Chinese cuisine in and around San Francisco. The Mai Kai's food is head and shoulders above all other Polynesian restaurants that I've tried. Trader Vic's is the second best.

Definitely good food at the MK, can't wait for Hukilau....

Mmm.... foood....

But, $18 for a Pad Thai is out of control.

There are like 100 Thai places in Chicago, I eat it a few times a month, and even the fancy hoity toity Thai places don't get more than $6 to $7 for a Pad Thai...

You are not just paying for the food.

You make a great point tikibars; however, you can get cheap food most anyplace. What you are paying for at the Mai Kai is an atmosphere that is second to none, food cooked by artisans in chefs robes, and service that sets the absolute STANDARD! Dining, at least at the Mai Kai, is not about how much food you can shove down your gullet at what price. Its about the service. The Mai Kai is a fine dining experience and one that not only has delectable delights that please every palate presented with perfection by professional servers but a visual and aural cascade of lights sounds smells that attack the senses with a thousand pleasant stimulations. And that's before you see the floor show. The Mai Kai is an experience and worth every dime.

Sorry to delve into a commercial but I cannot wait to go back again.


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