Happy Hour

Happy Hour: Da Big Kahuna in Fort Lauderdale

The Place: Da Big Kahuna, 17 S Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. 954-530-4867.

The Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.

The Deal: $3 well cocktails.

The Digs: Beach Place is filled with sadness, and perhaps it's most apparent at the Da Big Kahuna. Seemingly only half alive,

Da Big Kahuna could blame its dead atmosphere on opening during the summer doldrums. After all, the season hasn't started yet, and Beach Place is really only relevant during the tourist season. But on a recent visit, half the food items I tried to order were unavailable. They didn't have the specialty coconut cups they make such a big deal of, and the beer taps sat there lonely and disconnected, waiting for the day drafts would run through their veins.

For a Hawaiian-themed bar owned by an affiliated bar on the islands, it still, oddly, has all the authenticity of any other Beach Place tourist trap. The giant tikis are plastic. The rest of the décor looks like what you might find in a backyard tiki hut. The music is mostly reggae. And the most non-standard beer available is Red Stripe.

The Verdict: It's not a good sign when 1) the server laughs after you ask if they have any Hawaiian beers and 2) then responds by asking in Christine O' Donnell fashion, whether Hawaii produces beer or not.

The only specials during happy hour are on well mixed drinks -- probably because it's all they have available. Other than your usual range of bottled beers, the most unique drinks are the cocktails on the back of the menu that start at $8 and run to $25 or more. Who knew 99 Bananas was so top shelf?
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Pat Rothblatt