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Place for yummy exotic/polynesian drinks and food in Boston?

  • l

Looking for a great place for dinner and drinks in town that serves exotic/polynesian style drinks. Something similar to Pho Republique, or is that the best?

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  1. You want Polynesian drinks and food? Boston is not really a hotbed for the latter ....

    1. For a lovingly ironic twist on Polynesian, I enjoy the Lava Lounge, attached to the East Coast Grill in Inman Square, "a neo pseudo tribute to the American Polynesian restaurants of the 1960s."

      Drinks in pineapples, pupu platters, etc, all done with the Schlesinger level of quality that makes so many Boston hounds salivate over the East Coast Grill.

      2 Replies
      1. re: finlero

        Is there any way to make sure you end up in the Lava Lounge, though? I always thought it was luck of the draw. Will ECG seat you there if you ask?

        1. re: DavisSquare

          They'll definitely seat you there if you ask, with the [probably obvious] caveat that it could likely increase your wait time.

          For the record, they also rent the Lava Lounge out for private functions, so if you and 20 of your closest friends have a hankering for faux Polynesian tack, you can reserve in advance.

      2. There's always the Tiki Island restaurant in Medford. See http://www.tikiislandrestaurant.com/

        1. This far into the thread and no one has mentioned The Kowloon in Saugus?

          I second teh vote for the Lava Lounge, but if you have a car and want to go just outside the city, you can't go wrong with the Kowloon.

          2 Replies
          1. re: tamerlanenj

            I had such high hopes for Kowloon, but the food there is just awful! The kitschy environment is fun but I don't think I'd go back for an actual meal.

            1. re: cambridgejen

              Really? I've heard good things about the PuPu finger food.

          2. I know there's some mixed opinion on the board about this, but I happen to really like Tiger Lily, which is on Westland Avenue near Symphony Hall. They've got all the requisite drinks in neon colors, served in coconut shells, with umbrellas and long straws for sharing. The food is also quite tasty. The chicken wing appetizer is very good, and the mango chicken is what I usually end up ordering when I go.

            1. Penang might be worth a look for the fun atmosphere and good food, although not the drinks and it's Malaysian not Polynesian.

              1. If you want old-school Polynesian, there is the Tiki Lounge across from Fenway, and the Kowloon on Route 1. Most of the other old-school places have either gone by the wayside (Royal Hawaiian, Aku Aku), or are REALLY bad, IMO (Bali Hai, among a few others).

                Never been to Pho Republique, but I hear it is a bit overpriced for what you get.

                3 Replies
                1. re: hiddenboston

                  Sadly the Tiki Lounge is no more (see the La Verdad topic on this board..), while the food was barely better than what you might get in the park it was still a fun place pop into before a game. They made a nice mojito as well.. Will be at the game on Tuesday, hope to try the fish tacos I keep reading about out here. As for the Kowloon, the last (underline last) time I went there was horrifying. While I can enjoy a good dive bar, even a good old grungy biker bar, if I am sitting down at a restaurant (you know, with waiters and menus...) I feel that some minor standards of decency should apply, and that might include requiring male diners to actually be wearing shirts. It was my birthday and hoping for something silly and fun I had my family take me there, and when the drunk, loud, and shirtless party was seated next to my mother and sister any forgiveness for the imperfections in the food was tossed. The atmosphere in the parking lot was even sketchier, with creepy guys hanging around their cars, whistling at girls walking by and disappearing into the cars with others every so often for god knows what kind of transaction. Never again.

                  1. re: ChrisConcord

                    They actually let them sit in the dining room with no shirt on? You're not just talking a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off or something?

                    1. re: Joanie

                      They had shorts, sneakers, and some gold necklaces. That's it. Ugh. This was probably three or four years ago, but the memory of disgust lingers on... It was too bad, I grew up as a kid listening to Eddie Andelman describe the place as the funnest, most delicious place on earth, and had been really looking forward to a good time. The furniture looked like it was purchased used from a bowling alley, many years before. We were even seated right next to the restrooms, with a parade of people going past us the whole time.

                2. Check out the Golden Temple in Brookline. Sit at the bar and tell Sam what you want and he'll make it for you. The Maitai's are killer and I love the Stoli Dolis. The food is excellent old style Chinese American. Pricey place but elegant and worth the money.
                  On the other hand ...
                  If you're looking for a Scorpion Bowl, Hong Kong restaurant in Cambridge is famous for their secret recipe. The food is another story but after a few Scorpion Bowls I don't think you'd know the difference.

                  1. What about drinks at the bar at Khao Sarn? They mix up a great cocktail (including a few exotic ones like Cobra's Blood) and the food is much better than anything you'll find at Peking Tom's or the like. Not Polynesian, by the way, it's Thai.

                    1. It may not be Polynesian, but I really like Betty's Wok & Noodle Diner down near Symphony. Great atmosphere, tasty noodles and apps, and delicious sake-based cocktails. The only downside is that they don't have a full liquor license. So saketinis it'll have to be.