First Bites

Drunken Dragon: Tiki Drinks and Korean BBQ in a Hidden Lair

Drunken Dragon opened just a few weeks ago, but already it's one of the buzziest places in town.

Located in a strip mall on a patch of Alton Road that more resembles a war-torn town than South Beach, the small restaurant is unassuming from the street. In fact, the only way you know this is the place is the fact that people are walking in and out of the unmarked spot. That, and Siri tells you the Drunken Dragon is located between Bank of America and Domino's.

See also: Porfirio's Offers Upscale Mexican Classics: Enchiladas, Taquitos, and Manchego Cheesecake

Inside, it's a different story altogether. After taking your name (better make a reservation to snag a coveted barbecue table), pretty hostesses lead you to the bar, where you can sip a tiki libation while taking in the ambiance. Drunken Dragon partner Jarred Grant tells us it's a mix of local neighborhood English tavern and Japanese izakaya.

It's best described as a modern version of those classic tiki palaces of the 1950s and '60s complete with an A-framed roof, nautical rope accents, and chinoiserie wall decor. After pointing this out, Grant agrees the bar does have a "Polynesian look to it," adding that he and his partners didn't actually get renderings for the space. "They wanted to charge us $10,000, so we opted out. Luckily, it turned out well. It was taking a leap of faith and hoping for the best, and it did, because it turned out great."

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss

Latest Stories