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Tiki update: Tacoma Cabana a few weeks from opening downtown

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on Oct. 2, 2012 at 4:08 pm | No Comments »
October 2, 2012 4:08 pm

The new downtown Tacoma tiki restaurant and lounge Tacoma Cabana had expected to open two weeks ago – as I wrote in this article – but a short delay with a liquor permit most likely means a mid-October opening, said owner Robyn Murphy, who will operate the lounge and restaurant with Jason Alexander.

The duo closed their popular sandwich restaurant Villa Caffe and Imbibery this summer to prepare their new home at 728 Pacific Ave. (formerly home to Surreal Ultra Lounge).

Tacoma Cabana will be an evening destination – operating Tuesdays-Saturdays, opening at 4 p.m. Murphy will handle kitchen duties while Alexander will be behind the bar – the same jobs they performed at Villa Caffe, which the duo opened in January 2010.

Tacoma Cabana will serve a mix of beach food – Murphy cheekily calls it “vacation fusion.” Murphy said her menu will draw on Caribbean, Polynesian, Hawaiian, Thai, Filipino and southern influences. If you can eat it on a beach, it’s a candidate for the menu. She plans to keep prices in the $10-$15 range. She sent me a sample menu, which I’ve included below. I’m looking forward to trying her loco moco plate after my Polynesian dine-around in 2010 found a few pretty good versions of the classic surfer breakfast.

Alexander said his cocktail menu will span two pages. He plans about 30 Polynesian inspired craft cocktails that will include three styles of mai tais, handmade daiquiris and zombies. Here’s a fun thing – he competed in a national mai tai contest this summer to prep for opening the restaurant. He didn’t win the contest (he jokes that he “lost bad”), but diners may see his competition mai tai on the menu – it’s a mimosa inspired concoction with tiki bitters and a float of champagne.

The look of the restaurant is pure tiki fun – complete with a surfboard. Photos are up at the Tacoma Cabana Facebook page.

Tacoma Cabana, a Craft Tiki Bar
Where: 728 Pacific Ave., Tacoma
Hours: Tentatively set for 4 p.m.-late night, Tuesdays-Saturdays.
Contact: or Facebook
Age restriction? Under-21 diners will be allowed until 10 p.m.

The menu:
Cabana Meatball skewers (apricot bbq) 5
Cheese Quesadillas (cheddar and jack cheeses, sour cream, jalapiña salsa) 5
Bali Hai Pork sliders (pineapple bbq sauce) 7
Rumaki (marinated and grilled pineapple wrapped in bacon) 7.50
California roll (crab, cucumber, avocado, wasabi avocado cream) 9
Coco chicken skewers (Curry coconut and lime marinated chicken skewers, Thai peanut sauce) 7
Tiki platter (seasonal and tropical fruits, cheeses, macadamia nuts, white and dark chocolate, toasted coconut) 12.50

cup 5.00 bowl 7.00
Tortola chicken soup (pureed vegetables, grilled chicken breast, corn tortilla, lime sour cream)
Cabana Chef’s Soup of the day

Tiki Chicken: Organic baby greens, grilled chicken breast, pineapple, almonds, grapes, apple, green onion, thyme, mayo, toasted coconut, fresh cracked pepper
Alii sunset: Organic baby greens, chicken skewers, halved cherry tomatoes, cucumber, shredded carrots, sweet cherry peppers, sunflower seeds, cotija cheese, jalapeño ranch dressing
Polynesian Chicken: Organic baby greens, grilled chicken skewers, halved cherry tomatoes, mandarin oranges, crispy Asian noodles, sesame ginger dressing

Turkey jerk panini (Boar’s Head jerk turkey, Beecher’s cheese, jerk remoulade, lettuce, and red onion. Hawaiian bbq chips or green salad) 10.50
Kona Burger (chicken or beef, pepperjack, guacamole, jalapeños, lettuce, tomato and red onion. Hawaiian bbq chips or green salad) 11
Teriyaki Burger (chicken or beef, Swiss, grilled pineapple, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and red onion. Hawaiian bbq chips or green salad) 11
Creole macaroni and cheese (chicken, andouille sausage and peppers, two cheeses. Green salad with your choice of dressing) 11.50
Loco moco (classic surfer’s breakfast, white rice, hamburger patty, two eggs, and brown gravy) 11.50
Jerk Chicken (bbq grilled and basted with our own jerk remoulade, white rice and a grilled fruit skewer) 11.50

White chocolate crème brulee, torched caramel 6
Fruit kabobs with toasted coconut cream 5
Macadamia nut junkanoo cookies with vanilla ice cream 5

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