Best Place to Hula: Bring your coconut bra

Conga Lounge

In the 1950s, Bay Area residents enjoyed the noble savagery and tropical kitsch of such establishments as Trader Vic’s and Hinky Dinks. Trader Vic’s lives on, but few others have survived the trade winds of time. Then there’s the Conga Lounge. With its wicker chairs, walls punctuated with tribal objects and Martin Denny records, an impressively large mural featuring the heads of Easter Island, and a straw-roofed bamboo bar, the joint recalls those Polynesian-styled cocktail bars of yore. Resident mixologists concoct the standard exotic drinks (mai tais, Zombies, Blue Hawaiians) artfully, but it’s only after a few specialty cocktails, such as the Sneaky Blue Drink (an aquamarine devil rendered from gin and rum), that patrons get up and do the limbo. On weekends, Conga hosts an array of inventive theme-based retro events; a monthly tiki night features DJs spinning exotica and vintage Hawaiian music, with gals in grass skirts performing the seductive hula. Yeah, there’s always Trader Vic’s, but at this liquored-up little lilypad of a bar, you won’t be turned away when you show up in a coconut bra.

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