Happy Hour at Lani Kai

Mr. T had the day off last Friday so we met up for some early evening drinks. I feel like we never enjoy happy hour because he gets out too late so this was a real treat. We met up at an old favorite, Lucky Strike in SOHO and then walked over to Lani Kai right at 4:00 for the start of their happy hour. First of all I love the décor and feel of Lani Kai. The tiki theme reminds me of the Hurricane Club but the vibe and space are much more relaxed and laid back.

I’ve pretty much been obsessed with frozen cocktails since Mexico so I couldn’t pass up the chance to try the Bermuda Triangle. A frozen blend of Cachaca Coconut, Kalamansii and Lychee juice- this was absolutely delicious! Seriously the best frozen drink I’ve had since coming back from the wedding. And for only $5 during happy hour an absolute bargain as well.

Mr. T found his favorite drink right away as well with the Hawaiian Iced Tea. They used vodka infused with tropical black tea, mint, tea syrup and lime juice for this concoction. I took a sip and gosh darn it if this wasn’t absolutely delectable as well! This is something I could drink all day in the hot summer sun. Of course you’d be peeling me off the pavement if I tried to do that because these drinks were just as strong as they were delicious.

After a couple rounds I was already feeling the boozy effects so we ordered a couple sliders to share. The Pork Bun slider came out with a large slab of pork belly confit with pickles, Japanese cucumbers, Bibb lettuce and a Lani Kai special sauce. This wasn’t much different than the Pork Bun you’d find at Momofuku or Ippudo except maybe a tad less fatty.

The BBQ Short Rib Slider was made with a ginger barbeque sauce and topped with a crunchy slaw. I’m not usually a ginger fan but these really hit the spot. I liked the tropical take on a regular rib slider and at $3 a piece the meat filling was more than ample. After being satiated by the buns we decided to have one more drink and this time I tried out the Pacific Swizzle- white rum infused with rosehips, lemongrass, hibiscus tea, lime and passion fruit.

This was definitely my least favorite of the cocktails. I found the rosehip flavor a tad like drinking perfume and the passion fruit gave it a little too much sweetness. It was certainly still a decent cocktail but not one I would order again. Overall Lani Kai was a fabulous happy hour stop. The bartender was great, answering questions and refilling drinks with a smile. I only wish this place was closer and I would make it my local.

Lani Kai