Saturday, December 6, 2014

Warm Up to Tiki Happy Hour at The Church Key (West Hollywood)

It may be winter (as if there's a real winter in LA), but you can pretend it's warm with The Church Key's new happy hour. Yep, they're going all tiki for happy hour, taking place Monday-Friday, 5:30-7PM. There's no bad season for tiki.

Tiki cocktails are $9 each and there are plenty of fun options, complete with tiki mugs and excess garnishes. We started with The Professor (Selvarey Cacao, coconut, pineapple, orgeat) and Polynesian Pearl (Bacardi Superior, Bekrovka, lime, OJ, allspice, cinnamon, vanilla)
As is always the case with proper tiki drinks, they are strong but dangerously easy to drink.

Blue Hawaii (Malibu, blue curacao, creme de coconut, pineapple)
I haven't had one of these in forever, but we let go of our cocktail snobbery for the moment because, well, frankly it tasted delicious. Interestingly, according to Wikipedia this drink should've been the Blue Hawaiian, whereas the Blue Hawaii uses a sweet and sour mix instead of creme de coconut. Either way, I know I would prefer the one with coconut.
One of the booziest offerings may be the aptly named One N Done (Bacardi Superior, Sailor Jerry, Gosling's dark rum, pineapple, OJ, orgeat, Peychaud's bitters). This was also one of my favorites.

The odder pops are kind of a signature at The Church Key and you can get them for $6 each for happy hour, and they're still prepared using liquid nitrogen on the Pan Am carts.
Odder pop
Actually (as the bartender said), the cocktails in these pops are so strong that liquid nitrogen is really the only way to freeze them.

For Tiki happy hour, you'll see flavors like Singapore Sling (gin, pineapple, lime, benedictine, grenadine, combier, angostura), Zombie (rum, dark rum, passion fruit, orange, lime, angostura), or for a relatively lighter one, Peruvian Lai (pisco Porton, guava, lime).
Personally, I liked the zombie the best. 

They're also offering island-themed food like Pu Pu Platter and a selection of skewers and sliders.
I would recommend the Shrimp and Chinese sausage with passionfruit ($5, 2 per order)

There's also the tender Grilled skirt steak with sesame cilantro marinade ($7)

And because you can't have island fare without pork and spam, get them both in the Kalua pork and spam slider, "Hawaiian style", teriyaki pineapple sauce ($5)

I also really liked the Rock shrimp po'boy, pickled egg remoulade, butter toasted brioche ($7)
The batter on the shrimp was quite nice and the toasted brioche held its own.

For dessert, don't miss the seasonal-flavored Brioche donut ($3)

This donut is quite decadent but had a wonderfully fluffy texture. It's on the dinner menu as an order of 3, so this is your chance to get just one for yourself (and for a cheaper price).

The tiki happy hour will go on throughout the winter. As a plus, around this time street parking around the restaurant is pretty easy to find.


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