Photograph by Felipe Buitrago
Smoke Tiki Lounge and Barbecue
Address: 152 Post St, San Jose; 408.292.4266; www.smoketiki.com
Hours: Open daily 11am-2am; 21 and over
Amenities: Dance floor, live music, DJ music, patio, frou-frou drinks with umbrellas
By Jim Harrington
I'VE GOT this one friend who absolutely dreads the fall. He's one of those endless-summer cats, the kind who doesn't own a pair of long pants. He'd spike his arm with a hit of sunshine if it was available. The new Smoke Tiki Lounge, which officially celebrates its grand opening Thursday, is exactly what the doctor man ordered for those looking for a dose of sunny times during the cold-weather season.
Located near the Blank Club, at the corner of Post and San Pedro, Smoke is the latest exporter of "Jawaiian fun" to be found in the Bay Area's thriving tiki scene. Although the ribbon won't officially be cut until tonight, the place has already hosted a number of "soft" openings. Those low-key gatherings have helped generate a strong advance buzz about the place.
The biggest buzz is about the attractive outdoor patio area, which will likely soon reign as the best place to sport a silk Tommy Bahama shirt. The club plans to host live music on the patio from 5 to 10pm each Thursday and Friday. Beyond that double shot at week's end, Smoke has yet to finalize its regular entertainment lineup. Still, organizers expect to showcase DJs and live bands both inside the club and on the patio on a regular basis.
The drink menu includes the usual suspects, many of which come with umbrellas. The frou-frou favorites include the Blue Hawaiian, Bahama Mama, Jamaican Sunset and Sex on the Beach. The signature drink is the Smoke Mai Tai, which boasts Myers light and dark rums mingled with orange and pineapple juices, a dash of grenadine and a 151 floater.
Hawaiians may not have invented eating, but they certainly have perfected the art. I'm looking forward to getting elbow deep in such island-inspired dishes as the Asian five-spice spare ribs with pineapple salsa, Thai chicken satay and steamed dim-sum. Of course, I might just stick with the smoked prosciutto and papaya skewers. That and a cold beer pretty much sounds like nirvana to this Irishman in the Hawaiian shirt.