Mai-Kai Restaurant and Polynesian Show
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
- Vegetarian Friendly, Catering, Delivery, Kid Friendly, Patio/Sidewalk Dining, Takeout
- Full bar
- Parking Lot Available, Valet Parking
- Reservations Accepted
The United States was once filled with roadside tiki bars and dinner-show venues. There, your grandparents would dress up to watch fire dancers and hula girls while dining on crab rangoon and pu-pu platters and sipping drinks called the Jet Pilot and the Zombie. These days, only a handful of those places remain. South Florida is lucky to boast one of the most glorious examples. Perpetually lit tiki torches welcome thirsty travelers from far corners. Sure, the Mai-Kai offers a spectacular dinner show, but the real fun is at the Molokai Bar. Here, servers clad in bikini tops and sarongs serve classic tiki drinks. You'll find no foams, dry ice, or other trappings of molecular gastronomy here. Instead, you'll sip grogs, rum barrels, and mai tais the way they were meant to be enjoyed — from shrunken ceramic heads festooned with tiny paper umbrellas and maraschino cherries in an atomic shade of red. Go ahead and add your name to the lampshades that bear the monikers of thousands of people who came before you, and listen to the thunderous beat of the drums while the show goes on in the next room. Then venture out to the tiki garden for a selfie. It's a slice of Americana that's both fantastic and authentic. Insider tip: Be sure to check out the bathrooms. A finalist in the Cintas Corporation's search for the "top toilet" in 2014, the Mai Kai's restrooms are designed to replicate a Buddhist temple in Thailand and feature shell-shaped sinks, gilded columns, and wooden gods. Don't forget to bring a few dollars to tip the full-time bathroom attendant.
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Related Stories (1)
Mai-Kai Abruptly Closes — Then Assures It Will Reopen UPDATED
Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 4:25 p.m. by Laine Doss
One of the last classic American tiki restaurants shut its doors today with no advance warning.