It’s not often that you feel a sense of giddy anticipation when you walk into a bar, but I shivered and smiled upon stepping into the exotic, subsea gloom of The Golden Tiki, an invitingly murky beach bum’s basement stocked with skulls, velvet nudes, carved wood and cargo nets. It felt like the first time you walk into Disneyland — the promise of safe immersion in a powerful fantasy — except here, you’re immersed in alcohol. For that purpose, I recommend The Golden Tiki’s Scorpion Bowl ($35). Feeding one very thirsty alcoholic or three sorry-ass lightweights who should get out of my sight, it’s a citrus-heavy punch bowl plied generously with pineapple juice, gin and heavy pours from a couple of rums, including a notoriously potent 151 version (in other words, 75.5-percent alcohol). Flaming limes top it off, because tiki! Best of all, it’s not the molar-melting sugar bomb you might expect; the judicious dose of citrus flavors give The Scorpion Bowl a respectable, grown-up drinkability, so your craft-cocktail friends can hang — at least, that is, until they start oozing slowly to the floor.
3939 Spring Mountain Road, 702-222-3196, thegoldentiki.com