We were excited to try the Stowaway tiki bar located in Tustin, just a few minutes down the Santa Ana Freeway from our hotel near Disneyland. This is Stowaway’s new location, much larger and nicer than than old one we were told. We met up with local tikiphile Chris Van Horn who was a great help working through the menu and the venue’s features. Our server Michelle works as a bartender on the weekends and couldn’t have been nicer and kept everything moving promptly. We also got to meet the owner Leonard Chan who discussed the bar’s features (and sister bar The Lost Inferno) and guided us through the bar’s infamous frozen Fernet shots.
There’s a pretty large cocktail menu and a bunch of island-inspired dishes, including a Happy Hour menu that includes a $9 Mai Tai! It’s a good Mai Tai and a steal for that price. I definitely enjoyed the Chicken Skewers that are severed with rice and salad. I also ordered a Singapore Sling that came in a cute mug and the cocktail inside was a cherry-forward flavor bomb. So good, as was Mrs. Mai Tai’s Dragon Lady cocktail with rum and dragonfruit. A fairly large rum selection is also available here.
The highlight of our experience was Stowaway’s signature Cococano cocktail with rum, coconut, pineapple, orgeat, lemon, and fire(!). Michelle got everyone in the bar to chant along with the fire and the cocktail itself was a delightful twist on the Piña Colada.
Mrs Mai Tai came back from the restroom gushing about the clean design and amazing Shag wallpaper inside. Chris mentioned that Leonard is friends with Shag, which made me think like well I wonder how true that is – but a couple minutes later who should walk into the bar but the artist himself with entourage in tow!
Stowaway is a great time, a tiki bar without pretension. The dark and enclosed interior is effective to immerse you in the space where you’ll find plenty of opportunities to escape.