A small sanctuary in Ari that is as close to an island escape as you’ll get
While a large proportion of Bangkok’s ever-growing cocktail bars are dedicating their booze to good ol’ classics or tipples with innovative twists, tiki cocktails—those tropical-style concoctions that usually blend rum and spices with a whole lot of juice—sadly seems to have gotten left behind. But a new Hawaiian-themed restobar in Soi Ari is trying to restore prominence to these fruity tipples, not to mention giving Sukhumvit regulars a reason to revisit this hip neighborhood.
Pakalolo, named after a plant grown in Hawaii (we suggest googling it up yourself), is a small sanctuary that is as close to an island escape as you’ll get on a sleepy alley off Soi Ari. Its interiors feature a laidback, tropical charm courtesy of vividly colored banana leaf-print wallpaper, Polynesian tribal masks and a lodge-style bar made of bamboo—it’s a setting that’s perfect for downing an umbrella-decked quaff. Limited outdoor seating is available; essentially, a couple of beach chairs sitting on the other side of the road against a wall painted with colorful graffiti.
Cocktails come with rather catchy Hawaiian names like Kuwo, a sweet and fruity concoction that combines dark rum, pear vodka and apricot brandy with pineapple, passion fruit and lime juices (B320), and Awa Awa, a mix of rum, peach schnapps, orange juice, passion fruit, gooseberry and lime (B320). A few mocktails are listed on the menu, but even these can be given a boozy upgrade with a shot of selected spirits.
The food selection sees a mishmash of several international cuisines. You have Japanese-style sushi rolls like Holy Crab (unagi, crab and cream cheese, B370 for four pieces/B690 for eight pieces), and the Beef Wellington-twisted dish dubbed “Beef Peterson” (breadcrumb-crusted, deep-fried beef patty served with an intense tomato sauce, B280). It’s also one of very few places in Bangkok where you can grab a bowl of tuna poke (spicy, Hawaiian-style raw tuna salad, B180).
Pakalolo may not convert all cocktail enthusiasts to fruity tiki-style tipples but its easygoing vibe will surely make it one of Ari’s most reliable staples.
Soi Ari 4 (North), Phaholyothin 7