December 5, 2010

Lani Kai: It’s Not Tiki, But I Don’t Mind

Filed under: My Travels,New York,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 5:49 pm
The upstairs bar at Lani Kai
Lani Kai's Sign

The next stop on our New York adventure brought us to Lani Kai, in SoHo. Lani Kai is a new bar from Julie Reiner, the woman behind Clover Club, Flatiron Lounge and Pegu Club. She was raised in Hawaii, so the fake kind of Hawaii that we love isn’t really her thing. She’s been very clear with folks that her new bar is not a tiki bar—not at all because she doesn’t want to be associated with tiki bars, but rather because she wants people to walk in her door with the right expectations.

She and her staff are passionate about cocktails of any stripe, but particularly traditional tropical cocktails. The menu is full of outstanding originals that fit right in with the classics, and they’re also ready and able to go off-menu for the historic drinks you know and love.

One drink I got to have at Lani Kai was the cocktail highlight of my whole trip: Joe Swifka of Elettaria’s Tiki Mondays fame made us a [REDACTED]. It was amazing. It tasted just like a real [REDACTED] from [REDACTED]. Many have attempted to recreate the [REDACTED], but I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a [REDACTED] that came as close as this one. Thanks, Joe!

We’d already eaten, so I missed out on trying the food menu, but I imagine it’s pretty terrific. If you’re not a drinker and you’re looking for Polynesian Pop awesomeness, Lani Kai isn’t what you’re looking for… but if you want to take a trip to the glorious tiki past with your tastebuds, head on over.

See more pictures of Lani Kai in Critiki.

4 Responses to “Lani Kai: It’s Not Tiki, But I Don’t Mind”

  1. Tweets that mention Humu Kon Tiki : Lani Kai: It’s Not Tiki, But I Don’t Mind -- Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Humuhumu, Let's Tiki. Let's Tiki said: Lani Kai: It’s Not Tiki, But I Don’t Mind [...]

  2. Raymond Says:

    Why the redaction’s? What drink were you referencing?

  3. Humuhumu Says:

    The drink is one from another establishment, with a much-coveted, secret recipe. Sorry, Raymond, I can’t tell!

  4. Raymond Says:

    well, if that is the case, i think i know what you are talking about. interesting…very interesting….

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About Humuhumu
Humuhumu is the creator of several tiki websites. She is a designer and programmer based out of San Francisco.

- Website Design and Programming

- A Worldwide Guide to Tiki Bars & Polynesian Restaurants

- Tiki Mugs & More: Track & View Collections




Arkiva Tropika
Mimi Payne’s massive Polynesian Pop collection

Barefoot Bloggin’
A surfin’, ukein’, freewheelin’ monkey boy

Beachbum Berry
Author of Grog Log and Intoxica!, and one of my dearest drinkin’ buddies
Blog from the user interface designer extraordinaire

Worldwide Guide to Tiki Bars & Polynesian Restaurants

Dumb Angel
A look at the 1960s Los Angeles mod, pop, surf, and music scene

Eye of the Goof
Pop culture with a tiki tinge

Forbidden Island
My Wednesday hangout, the Bay Area’s best tiki bar

Humuhumu’s Life in Photos
Pictures of my adventures
I build websites

Junkyard Clubhouse
Random interesting things from Humuhumu & Hanford Lemoore

Kevin Kidney
Kevin loves tiki, I love Kevin, you will too

Tiki links galore

Mai Tai Online
Montreal-based tiki ‘zine

Tiki Mug Collection Organizer

The Jab
Follow the way of the jab

Tiki Bar TV
Public Access meets Modern Drunkard

Tiki Central
Community forums

Tiki Magazine
Periodical publication covering the wide world of Tiki

Tiki Talk
Hot Lava’s Tiki Blog