Drunken Dragon: Tiki Drinks and Korean BBQ in a Hidden Lair
Drunken Dragon opened just a few weeks ago, but already it's one of the buzziest places in town.
Photos by Laine Doss Tiki drinks: Order one, or disturb the gods.
Located in a strip mall on a patch of Alton Road that more resembles a war-torn town than South Beach, the small restaurant is unassuming from the street. In fact, the only way you know this is the place is the fact that people are walking in and out of the unmarked spot. That, and Siri tells you the Drunken Dragon is located between Bank of America and Domino's.
Inside, it's a different story altogether. After taking your name (better make a reservation to snag a coveted barbecue table), pretty hostesses lead you to the bar, where you can sip a tiki libation while taking in the ambiance. Drunken Dragon partner Jarred Grant tells us it's a mix of local neighborhood English tavern and Japanese izakaya.
It's best described as a modern version of those classic tiki palaces of the 1950s and '60s complete with an A-framed roof, nautical rope accents, and chinoiserie wall decor. After pointing this out, Grant agrees the bar does have a "Polynesian look to it," adding that he and his partners didn't actually get renderings for the space. "They wanted to charge us $10,000, so we opted out. Luckily, it turned out well. It was taking a leap of faith and hoping for the best, and it did, because it turned out great."