Desperate to find relief from the heat, I found my way inside Adrift, the new tiki bar on South Broadway. Shuttered from the late afternoon sun, the bar was blessedly cool and featured kitschy, 1960s-era Hawaiian decor: shiny bamboo paneling, carved wooden tiki heads, blowfish hanging from the ceiling.
A friend and I settled into a booth and ordered from the list of island-style cocktails. She opted for the frothy and coconuty Macadamia Nut Chi-chi (pictured), and I chose the Polynesian Paralysis, a cool and refreshing blend of rye and orange, lemon, and pineapple juices. Both were strong cocktails, and deceptively so—you couldn't detect the alcohol.
Knowing we'd be in trouble if we didn't eat, we ordered a round of ahi tuna poke, topped with fresh crab, and served with paper-thin slices of fried yucca, as well as a plate of three roasted mushroom empanadas topped with a sphere of goat cheese. Despite chef Wade Kirwin’s talents (he spent years at Vesta Dipping Grill ), these weren't the well-crafted gourmet small plates you'd find downtown. The poke was a bit too salty, the goat cheese lacked tang—but even so, both dishes were a noticeable notch higher than traditional bar fare.
218 S. Broadway, 303-778-8454