This brand new Duboce Triangle bar showcases the dark side of tiki with sky high skulls and plane-crash-in-the-tropical-jungle decor. Though it has sacrificed none of the Disney-quality of the classic tiki bar, Last Rites has managed to do it with a bit more sophistication than many of its San Francisco counterparts. The bar owes this, in no small part, to grown-up cocktails that eschew the blue curacao and sickly-sweet syrups for combinations like the Halfway Tree, overproof rum and fortified wine served in a skull mug and the Hetch Hetchy, a drink made with bell pepper and paprika. But not to worry if you come craving the classics—Last Rites has those too. Try the Marine Layer, a take on the Fog Cutter that adds housemade cashew orgeat (instead of the typical almond) to a base of rum, lemon and egg white.
Since it popped up in the 1930s, the tiki trend has been right at home in San Francisco and the East Bay. And while some of the newer spots boast a bit of swank and cocktails as crafty as they come, the paper umbrellas, bamboo walls, Polynesian masks and grass huts that made “tiki” a household word have never gone out of style. From the immersive Epcot Center-esque Pagan Idol and Tonga Room to the are-they-or-aren’t-they Tiki-themed dives of Bamboo Hut and Hawaii West, tiki isn’t just a far-off island dream, it’s a lifestyle.
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