Forbidden Island is a tiki bar at its best, offering everything it takes to capture that elusive blend of island kitsch, pure spectacle, and festive mood: a nautical wood interior, gaudy cocktails, a jukebox crammed with vintage Martin Denny and Frankie Laine tunes, and a tropical lanai for outdoor guzzling. It’s apparently the only tiki bar in America that makes fresh fruit juice in-house every day, and there are appetizers of the deep-fried variety. Entertainment includes live surf-rock bands and dance parties with DJs.
This Alameda hotspot takes the tiki-bar concept to a foodie-friendly level with freshly squeezed juices, house-made syrups, and an inventive approach to the rum-and-coconut scene. Opt for the invigorating Missionary's Downfall; the frothy, fruity Chamborlada; or the sweet and spicy Captain's Grog, and you'll be one happy lounge lizard. Snacks include good guacamole and chips and spicy, juicy Buffalo chicken bites. (The chicken strips and mozzarella sticks are worth avoiding.) Fabulous wicker/bamboo/grotto/totem-pole setting; there's a comfy patio out back, too.
Hours: Mon.-Thu. 5 p.m.-12 a.m.; Fri.-Sat. 5 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sun. 3 p.m.-10p.m.
Payment Type: cash, American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa