Let’s face it, vacation season is upon us and while most Valley residents can’t take the entire summer off to soak up the sun poolside or sip tropical drinks on sandy beaches, we can still pretend. Enter the vacation dining experience; one part staycation and one part tropical cuisine and ambiance.
If seeing (and tasting) is believing, you could mistake these five local hotspots for an evening in paradise. Read all about it after the jump.
Hula’s Modern Tiki has given Central Phoenix diners an aesthetic escape from the typical desert decor since opening its doors in 2009. From brunch to late night cocktailing this modern-meets-mid-century tiki bar and restaurant has it all. The Hawaiian-inspired menu offers a variety of ways to customize their selection of fresh fish and the vast assortment of island favorites, complete with authentic touches of plantains, coconut and pineapple. With daily Tiki Time happy hour and drinks named the Tiki Bastard, One Eyed Pyrat and Pink Bikini Martini you know you’re in for a good time.
Originally founded in Honolulu in 1988 by Roy Yamaguchi, Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine is now available at two Valley locations: in Chandler and at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge. This perfect combination of fresh ingredients, traditional Hawaiian favorites and “Aloha-style service” will have you certain you can hear the sound of the waves breaking on the shore. Interrupt your palate’s ordinary inland routine and indulge in “Hawaii Kai” style beef short ribs” or “Roy’s Roasted Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi,” afterall, indulgence is what a vacation is all about. If you still haven’t forgotten the Summer temperatures outside, order a Mai Tai with the fresh Ahi Poke … or lather yourself up with Banana Boat, your choice.
For those who exclusively associate Tommy Bahama with festive Aloha shirts, this one’s for you. The beach-loving retailer we all know and adore has launched a line of similarly-themed restaurants, including a Scottsdale location. Whether it’s fish tacos or coconut shrimp you’re after, this “celebration of island lifestyle” is where it’s at. From the retail shop to the lanai (perfect for watching the sunset) you will feel as close to that well-deserved relaxing getaway as possibly imaginable.
Last but certainly not least is Central Phoenix’s caribbean gem; The Bread Fruit restaurant and rum bar. With a collection of 108 rums, rum and cigar pairings and an exotic menu to boot, Bread fruit is nothing short of an island oasis. If rum isn’t not your thing, try the 100 percent Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee served in a french press (you’ll be glad you did). Once you’ve made your beverage selection and let the smooth reggae music take you away, it’s time to embrace the unique, yet distinctly appropriate menu offerings. Rum-glazed prawns or plantain avocado spring rolls? Signature seafood or traditional jerk chicken? There are no wrong answers.