Tiki Bar at the Waldorf Reopens

One of North America’s oldest Polynesian-inspired bars and an East Vancouver institution will relight the torch when Tiki Bar at the Waldorf officially reopens its doors to the public at 1489 East Hastings Street on Saturday, December 15.

More than 60 years after it was first launched, the iconic nightspot will unveil a new menu of signature exotic cocktails and Polynesian-inspired fare as well as refurbished tropical décor that features bamboo, palm trees, a collection of Edgar Leeteg black velvet paintings, wood carvings and a half-domed twinkling twilight ceiling that brings a little piece of South Pacific paradise to the city.

Originally known as the Tahitian Cocktail Lounge when opened by former owner and US Marine Bob Mills — who became enamoured with Polynesian culture while stationed in Bora Bora following World War II — Tiki Bar at the Waldorf became the first tiki room in the Pacific Northwest when it began shaking up Mai Tais, Daiquiris and Piña Coladas in 1955. Since 2013 it has been owned by Viaggio Hospitality Group, which also operates such local destinations as Ancora Waterfont Dining and Patio, UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar and Cibo Trattoria.

Behind the pine, Bar Manager Aimée Corvo (UVA, Homer St. Cafe and Bar, Maenam, The Acorn) will offer an inspired selection of handcrafted cocktails that pay homage to old classics culled from the Caribbean, Pacific and all points south with unique libations like the Mezcal-and-Cachaca-fuelled ‘Cobra Women’, sour-inspired ‘Trés Trés Tik’ and Pisco-and-tequila-powered ‘Beach Party’. The menu of tiki tipples also features signature shooters and retro boozy bowls perfect for groups that are served aflame and pack a true tiki punch.

On the food menu, Tiki Bar features Polynesian-inspired fare including highlights such as tiki wings (teriyaki glaze, five spice), tuna poke stack (Hawaiian tuna poke, fresh avocado, wasabi aioli), tequila lime prawns (tequila marinated tiger prawns, grilled pineapple salsa), tiki burger (teriyaki glazed ground chuck, grilled pineapple, caramelized onion, tomato & teri-mayo) and Maui ribs (full rack, Maui-inspired glaze).

“We want our guests to be instantly transported to a lush piece of Polynesia when they walk through the doors or order one of our signature cocktails,” says Tiki Bar General Manager Brenton Smith, who joins the Tiki team following positions at Granville Island Brewing and Whistler’s O&R Entertainment. “This spot has long been a favourite for locals and visitors alike and we’re excited to keep channeling that tropical feel and providing an exotic escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.”

Tiki Bar at the Waldorf is open Tuesday to Saturday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. with happy hour food and drink specials on offer from 5 to 7 p.m. as well as live nightly entertainment featuring a rotating roster of local musicians and DJs. On Wednesdays, the Tiki Bar will take guests on a trip to the bygone Hollywood era of Tiki with karaoke hosted by Awesome Entertainment.

Juke Fried Chicken Hosts Turducken Feast

Christmas Turducken Feast
Available exclusively for pickup on Sunday, December 23, each Juke Holiday Turducken Feast package feeds six to eight people and includes pre-sliced turducken with stuffing and gravy, large sides of fried Brussels sprouts and herb-roasted potatoescranberry saucehoney roasted squash, and country biscuits with whipped schmaltz. In true Juke fashion, all items except the country biscuits are gluten free. Continue reading “Juke Fried Chicken Hosts Turducken Feast”

Uma Sushi

Uma sushi is a neighbourhood restaurant tucked away on W 8th and Cambie. Famous for their sushi donuts that started at Richmond night market.

We started with Uma’s salmon on fire sushi donut – aburi salmon, avocado, crabmeat, masago and furikake. There is a layer of salmon in between the rice. It was fresh, simple and had hint of smokiness. The attention to detail and execution was outstanding. I could probably eat 2 of these to myself. They are quite small.

The sashimi donburi was again, simple but fresh and tasty. I would say this is an appetizer sized dish. The dinner donburi may be bigger.

All in all, I would definitely go again.

Caffe La Tana Set to Open It’s Doors

Team behind East Vancouver’s Osteria Savio Volpe & Pepino’s Spaghetti House open the doors of their third concept, La Tana – Italian for a fox’s den.

An old world-inspired establishment, Caffè La Tana is styled after the Italian alimentari: a small, neighbourhood gathering place serving pastries and simple meals; brewing strong, Italian-style espresso; and stocking locally sourced organic produce; fresh house made pasta; and the finest imported Italian meats, cheeses and dry goods.

In addition to groceries and coffee, central to the La Tana kitchen is the exposed Pasta Fresca table where fresh pastas — hand-cut everyday egg noodles, special seasonal stuffed pasta, and lesser known, harder-to-find shapes like trofie, tajarin, and orecchiette — will be made on the premises daily and will be available uncooked for purchase as well as prepared in-house for lunch. In addition to plates of pasta, small meals such as ‘eggs in purgatory’, panettone french toast, and bombolini with vanilla cream; veal tonnato, prosciutto & mortadella stuffed gnocco fritto and a porchetta sandwich, will be available throughout the day. Continue reading “Caffe La Tana Set to Open It’s Doors”

El Santo

El Santo, is a Mexican restaurant located in New West that focuses on quality ingredients and sustainable food practices. The food is delicious and price is very reasonable. The environment or decor was fun and relaxing.

We went here for lunch and had one of the most satisfying meals we have had in a long time.  I have read the reviews on Google and people were complaining about the price and portion. Relative to other dining Mexican establishments in the lower mainland and downtown that I have been to, this is right on par. El Santo, is more affordable than chains such as Cactus, White spot etc. where an entree will set you back $28. My pet peeve of other bloggers and reviewers. If you want cheap, stay at home and cook.

Whew, now that I got that off my chest.

My favourite dish was the braised ham hock with a side of tortilla’s and rice. This is a huge dish and meant to be shared. The braised beef was tender, juicy and packed full of flavour. Soaked the tortilla with some of the broth and I could have ended my meal there and be completely satisfied.

We had the verduras torta, which is essentially a sandwich. It comes with a choice of potato or salad. Stuffed with poblano peppers, zucchini, sweet onion, tomato, Oaxaca cheese. The bread held up to the sandwich, you get a balance of spicy, sweet, savoury and sour.

Finished up with churros, cinnamon & sugar dusted, dulce de leche. I may be bias because I have a sweet tooth but this was amazing. Reminds me of of the freshly made PNE mini doughnuts, but with a little more crisp, dipped with a milk sauce that had a tinge of coffee for punch.

So go and try it for yourself. Don’t get caught up in reviews or you will miss out on some amazing food.

El Santo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Grain Vegetarian Fare

I went to this cute cafe, Grain Vegetarian Fare on a whim. They serve fresh healthy Japanese influenced cuisine. They also have a few organic grab and go dishes in the cooler, organic food sauces and grains and a range of healthy baked treats on sale.

It was a cold and wet day so I went for their soup. We had the minestrone and cheese and potato soup. Continue reading “Grain Vegetarian Fare”