Central California’s newest tiki bar is Cane Tiki Room, located in downtown Paso Robles. As drinking destinations go, Paso’s downtown has some great cocktail bars, plenty of craft beer, and every third storefront is wine tasting. So a tiki bar certainly is a unique offering to appeal to the locals and tourists who come to downtown to imbibe.
Mrs. Mai Tai and I arrived about ten minutes before 4:00 pm when they opened on Saturday. There was a large group ahead of us, but the line soon grew and grew. It was probably twenty deep and the place filled up fast with everyone being reminded of the 90 minute time limit. We saw several groups come in for a one-and-done cocktail, many of which had already been our drinking already. So it was that kind of clientele.
But that clientele had a pretty good experience. Cane Tiki Room is nicely appointed with some coherent and thematic art, plus straight exotica music to set the mood. There is a host station and plenty of wait staff and bartenders, too. While we didn’t partake in the food, they do feature many popular Hawaiian and Chinese favorites. There is a very healthy selection of premium rums and spirits.
We had three rounds of drinks before we left for dinner elsewhere, and found the quality of the cocktails to be quite good. There are a mix of classic stirred cocktails such as the Bumbuzzled (and Old Fashioned riff), but others with interesting ingredients such as Soju Think You Can Dance with Ginger Soju and Yuzu. I liked my Jet Pilot riff called the Space Cadet. The menu is large enough so that everyone has something to try, but not too large to be overwhelming. A skull rating supposedly helps you but I felt that some of the ratings were too low.
Everything seemed pretty damn good… except the Mai Tai made with Macadamia Nut Orgeat, Denizen White Rum, and Cihuatan 12 rum from El Salvador (not one of my favorite rums). Had a funny taste and was really not up to the same level as the rest of the cocktails.
Overall, though, Cane Tiki Room is a welcome addition and we’ll no doubt return.