It’s tiki chic all the way at the Valley’s beloved Hula’s Modern Tiki, with just the right amount of kitsch popping against the Midcentury Modern-inspired design. The original Phoenix flagship controversially relocated last year, from Central Avenue to Uptown (Seventh and Colter streets, in the space that formerly housed Ticoz Latin Kitchen), but we have to say, we love the groovy new digs. The open-air bar and patio at this and the Old Town Scottsdale location make people-watching easier and more fun than ever.
Beeline straight to the starters section for $6 apps during happy hour (exception: ahi items; it’s only fair to pay a premium price for a premium product). Dishes like crispy coconut shrimp rolls and pork potstickers with peanut sauce skew toward the sweet side, so we recommend balancing the sugar with some intensely savory and tangy items. Our favorites: Samurai Beef Sticks with charred scallions (so good you don’t even need the accompanying sauce) and Hawaiian ceviche bursting with citrus juice, coconut milk, garlic, chile and cilantro, garnished with crunchy wonton chips. Add a creamy note with the Hawaiian mac salad and you’ll be in full-on island mode.
Draft beers cost $4 (including Hawaii’s Kona Brewing Co.), bottled beers will set you back $3 and all glasses of wine are $1 off during happy hour. But how can you come here and not order one of Hula’s Signature Tropical Cocktails? For $6-$7 each, you can get a pleasantly citrusy (not cloyingly sweet) Mai Tai, a sweet and deadly Painkiller, a gingery Dark & Stormy or one of more than 12 other tiki tipples.
THE INSIDER SECRET
We have two good ones for you. First: You can book a private party in the Captain’s Cabin, a clandestine cove within the Phoenix location that has its own dedicated entrance and nautical décor “reminiscent of a 1940s-era Tahitian sailing ship – right down to the vintage pothole door and the reclaimed plank wood walls,” says Hula’s owner M. Dana Mule. Second: Hula’s offers a weekend brunch with all-day drink specials (open-6 p.m.). Discounted brunch Mai Tais? “Shut up and take my money!” to quote Fry from the animated sci-fi sitcom Futurama.
Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 3:30-6 p.m. Weekly specials include:
- Monday: Mystery Mondays
- Ask your server about the $5 mystery cocktail or shot every Monday.
- Tuesday: 2 N’ 2
- Get two appetizers and two tropical cocktails for $25 after 6 p.m.
- Wednesday: All Night Happy Hour
- Enjoy regular happy hour pricing from 3:30 p.m. to close.
- Thursday: Word of the Day
- Follow Hula’s on Facebook and Twitter or text HULAS to 90210 for Thursday’s “word of the day” to repeat to your server for specials after 6 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday: All-Day Happy Hour Drink Specials
- Order discounted drinks galore until 6 p.m.