A lot can happen in 15 years. For South Shore Tiki Lounge it means the pleasure of celebrating serving Maui as a community social hub for 15 years, with some of the best tiki cocktail culture, live music, late-night dancing, outstanding pizza, delicious pupus, and all-around good vibes. The bar has 15 years of Best of Maui reader-voted awards tucked into its cap, taking many Best Pau Hana, Best Bar, Best Place to Dance, and Best Pizza top honors. To kick 2020 off right they are adding a variety of veggie dishes to the menu and a few new boozy tiki cocktails inspired by bartender Sebastian Stevens.
Stevens moved to Maui two years ago after bartending in whiskey-heavy Santa Cruz for eight years. For him, the rum and fresh juice oriented tiki drinks were a breath of fresh air.
“My move to Maui two years ago sparked my newfound interest in high-end rums and tiki cocktails,” says Stevens. “The tiki scene is all very new for me. This is why it’s so exciting!”
Tiki’s has a new Velvet Mai Tai, Painkiller, and Volcano Jalapeno Martini. I had Stevens break it down.
“First, you have the Velvet Mai Tai,” he says. “With this one, we really wanted to add an elevated mai tai to the menu for those who wanted a more authentic experience. This cocktail showcases the Plantation Pineapple Rum as its base, fresh fruit juices, and Velvet Falernum. Finished off with a float of the Plantation O.F.T.D., which is an incredibly flavored overproof rum at 138 proof, this cocktail packs a punch!
“Next is the Painkiller made with Pusser’s 15 year. This cocktail is a classic blend of navy rum, pineapple and orange juice, cream of coconut, and sprinkled with nutmeg on top. It’s foolproof with the use of the rich and full-bodied Pusser’s 15, so good! Lastly, the Volcano Jalapeño Martini – for those spice lovers! Using Deep Eddy lemon vodka, pineapple juice, mango and lime, and a habanero shrub for the heat. A killer martini with li hing mui powder on the rim.”
Tiki drinks have a long tropical history, and South Shore Tiki Lounge has fully embraced their culture. The indoor-outdoor easy breezy covered patio is the place to take in live music, good food, and imbibe. It’s about the flavors not the frills.
“I love simple cocktails and I love the way they look: classic,” says Stevens. “Don’t get me wrong, we all like nice big garnishes and umbrellas, but there is something to be said for simplicity. Speed is also a big factor for Tiki Lounge. If we keep the drinks nice and streamlined, the customer can enjoy their cocktails faster even if we are in the middle of a rush.”
To sup up all the boozy goodness, the menu covers sandwiches, salads, pizza, and pupus. They do a lot in their small kitchen! They make many items fresh to order, and you can taste it. The pizza crust is crisp, a thin style with parmesan crusted into it. Their white pizzas are some of my favorites to order, rich and creamy and full of toppings… But this is the new year, so I am working on eating wholesome. That’s exactly what Tiki expected.
“We recognize that more and more people are eating healthier and more plant-based, including a couple of our own employees who are vegan,” says Alma Tassi, owner at South Shore Tiki Lounge. “We’ve always had those options on our menu, but we wanted to expand it so we’re accessible to that audience. ”
You might recognize their Go Green Pizza as a regular on their specials menu, but now it’s made the leap onto the daily menu. Then the Arugula Quinoa Salad and their House-Made Black Bean Veggie Burger followed suit.
“Once we decided to put the Go Green Pizza on the permanent menu, we had to incorporate the arugula into other dishes to keep the product moving and fresh,” says Tassi. “So we added the Arugula Quinoa Salad as well as using the arugula for our vegetarian burger. The Arugula Quinoa Salad is a light and bright dish with arugula, tomato, carrots, and dollops of goat cheese with lemon vinaigrette. Another favorite salad is the Gimme a Beet Salad. It has marinated red beets, goat cheese, and clementines on greens. My kids love it!”
The arugula salad actually pairs well with the Go Green Pizza. Pizzas come in the menehune or large size. I can’t ever leave Tiki without ordering a large pizza to take home, but maybe now it’s gonna be a pizza and salad. Gimme a Beet has been a long-standing order of mine, but now the arugula salad will be a contender. The lemony flavors over the peppery arugula, and the quinoa with goat cheese balances everything out.
The South Shore Tiki Lounge has live music daily from 4-6 pm, with late-night entertainment starting at 10pm daily. Happy hour runs from 11am to 6pm. For more info go to https://southshoretiki.com/
South Shore Tiki Lounge
Kihei Kalama Village
1913-J South Kihei Road
HAPPY HOUR 11 AM – 6 PM
LIVE MUSIC 4 – 6 PM
OPEN DAILY 11 AM – 2 AM
KIHEI KALAMA VILLAGE – 1913-J S KIHEI ROAD