2733 NE Broadway, 503-662-8454, halepele.com. 4 pm-midnight Sunday-Thursday, 4 pm-1 am Friday-Saturday. Happy hour 5-6 pm daily: $5 Cuban sandwich (normally $8) and a list of eight $6 tiki cocktails including a lovely crushed-ice Blue Hawaii.
Established: August 2012
The first thing you hear will most likely be the thunder, followed by a roar of "WHOA!" as a giant flame flares up and back down, affixed to a piece of charcoal on a lime slice in the center of a cauldron filled with mint leaves, flowers, giant long straws and a whole lot of rum. At Northeast Broadway's Hale Pele, you feel like you're in the best little bar in fake Hawaii—one where the servers wear Hawaiian shirts, the menu is an actual book of drinks with illustrations, and everywhere you look, there's sea glass, a tiki pillar or a cloud of fog from a smoke machine. That menu can be dense, filled with illustrations of pineapple garnishes and tiki drawings marking the alcohol level in each drink. Here's a guide for ordering: If you definitely don't want to risk $9 on an unknown drink, get the piña colada ($10) or the chi-chi ($10). If you do want to risk $9 on an unknown drink, go for the Lapu Lapu ($12). And if you're there for the flames, get the volcano bowl—if three other people at your table want it. But if you're the only person going full-in, you can get the Jet Pilot ($12), a fire drink for one. Pro tip: It's not on the menu, but there's a volcano bowl that serves two ($25).
Bar story: When describing the story of how his bar came to be, Hale Pele owner Blair Reynolds often points to his childhood affinity for Disneyland. You can see these amusement-parklike theatrics throughout the bar, from the light-up moat and drawbridge that takes you into the restaurant to the fog machines and storm sound effects that play on the hour.