DrinkWire is Liquor.com's showcase for the best articles, recipe and reviews from the web's top writers and bloggers. In this post, Please the Palate offers a first peek at Los Angeles's newest Tiki palace.
One year ago, Clifton’s Cafeteria in Downtown LA reopened its doors. The 47,000-square-foot space, covering four floors, reopened with two (of five) bars and a cafeteria. For the last year, there has been anticipation about the opening of the other three bars – Shadow Box, Treetops and Pacific Seas. Well, anticipate no longer as one of those bars has officially opened.
Pacific Seas is Los Angeles’ newest tiki bar. From top to bottom, this Polynesian themed bar is a Tiki wonderland, circa 1940-1950.
Everything about Clifton’s is a bit surreal. The decor has a Disneyland-esqe quality to it, from the taxidermy animals to the 40-foot tree that reaches three floors in the center of the atrium. And Pacific Seas is no exception.
You will wander up to the third floor and enter the Art Deco Map Room departure lounge. A room with a maps on the walls, a few suitcases and other travel inspired decor will get you in the mood for your journey.
As you turn the corner, you will be face-to-face with a boat in the middle of the bar, from which drinks can be served. But there is also a microphone on top for a singer to perform.
There is a lot of bamboo and trees, making you feel like you have entered a tropical paradise. And there is a stage for performances by Polynesian dancers.
Take a seat at the bar or in one of the more secluded tables. No matter where you sit you will find objects from around the world, including items from New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Hawaii and Fiji. There is even a 1600-year-old jade Mayan god sculpture. And there are also some items salvaged from the original Pacific Seas restaurant that was owned by Clifton’s and located in downtown Los Angeles.
The cocktail menu offers traditional tiki cocktails, including the Trader Vic’s mai tai recipe, a Singapore Sling and a daiquiri.
It is also possible to order pu pu dishes such as pineapple Hoki-Poki platter, bluefin tuna served in a pineapple shell along with heirloom teardrop tomato skewers, wonton crisps, crab cakes, Lobster Dynamite and Zombie Fish, created by Chef Andrew Pastore.
Pacific Seas may be kitsch but that is what defines tiki culture. So take a journey back in time at Clifton’s Pacific Seas.
648 S. Broadway
Downtown Los Angeles