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Tiki Bars Unleashed

2008_10_tonga.jpgThe Wall Street Journal runs an epic 2000-word piece on tiki bars, focusing on the Bay Area's particular affinity at places like Trader Vic's, Forbidden Island and the Tonga Room. The article attributes the tiki bar's return to a number of factors, including the ages-old escapism it provides, particularly relevant today seeing as how the craze began during the Depression. But there's bad tiki too: "Anything sleek and postmodern -- say, a steel-and-glass totem -- is bad tiki. Anything you can find in the luau section of your local party store -- think cheap plastic leis and cardboard cutout hula girls -- is bad tiki...Campy tiki provides no escape at all." [WSJ, photo]