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FIRST LOOK: The Grass Skirt

San Diego's tiki boom continues with this new spot in Pacific Beach


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The tiki just keeps on coming. Once marginalized as a chintzy reminder of canned juices and island-dreaming American kitsch, the most astute craft cocktail minds have revived Polynesian pop. Earlier this year, Consortium Holdings partnered with world-renown tiki expert Martin Cate to open False Idol in Little Italy.

And now, the team behind Kettner Exchange and Vin de Syrah is set to open The Grass Skirt and Good Time Poke in Pacific Beach. Going into the former spot of Good Time Charlie’s (910 Grand Ave.), the concept should be a solid addition to P.B.’s slowly improving food and drink scene—which was a quagmire of Jagermeister and fried drunk food for years.

Chef Brian Redzikowski oversaw the development of the menus, and he’s a talent, having worked at Le Cirque, Nobu, and Joel Robuchon. Good Time Poke will be the daytime grab-and-go poke spot, with traditional and not-so-traditional riffs on the classic Hawaiian dish (including octopus, yellowfin, etc.) and kombucha on tap.

Grass Skirt, designed by Davis Krumins (Fluxx, Parq, Rustic Root, etc.), will be the nighttime hangout with fuller dishes designed by Redzikowski, such as: big-eye tuna cones with bonito flakes, pickled ginger, and sesame; kimchi fried rice; shrimp toast sandwich with Vietnamese herbs, hoison and spicy aioli.

Beverage director Steven Tuttle is also a top talent, and he started R&D’ing the tiki cocktails at Kettner Exchange last year. Grass Skirt’s menu will be chock full of falernum and assorted tropicalia, with drinks like the “Carmen Miranda” with white rum, añejo rum, overproof Jamaican rum, lime, pineapple, coconut, banana, and cinnamon; and “Oaxacan Dead,” with mescal, a signature rum blend, pineapple, lime, passion fruit, pomegranate and absinthe.

Inspired by Lost Lake tiki bar in Chicago, Grass Skirt will have plenty of booth seating, fire pit tables, swings, and plenty of Trader Vic and Don the Beachcomber-inspired design.

Enough with the words. Please enjoy the first known photos of The Grass Skirt. 

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Restaurant reviews, food trends, top cocktails, wine, beer and generally the best eats and drinks in San Diego, by Food Editor and general good guy Troy Johnson.

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