NewTimes Phoenix: When the Sun Goes Down, Exotic Nightlife Locales Light UpJune 13, 2012
From the NewTimes Phoenix:
Even if you're forced to settle for a staycation this year, it doesn't mean wasting away poolside. In fact, you can party like they do in L.A. or New York without ever leaving the Valley. Some local joints mimic the sights, sounds, and feel of nightlife found worldwide, whether it's tango and tapas in Scottsdale or Hawaiian-style mahi-mahi and Mai Tais in midtown.
Space is at a premium at bars in Manhattan, particularly smallish dives like subterranean speakeasy Jimmy's No. 43 or the West Village's 124 Rabbit Club, where many Gothamites retreat for a cramped repast of libations and conversation. A similar scene develops at the tiny, rectangular Wok Star Bar (7136 E. Shea Blvd., 480-483-1939, www.facebook.com/chopandwok), which typically is overflowing with urbanites fighting for elbow space during happy hour or on weekend nights. A variety of concert posters, band photos, album covers, and broken instruments adorning the place give it a rock 'n' roll ambiance not unlike the Bowery's legendary CBGB. And its odd thrift-store décor and the eerie red glow cast by kitschy paper lanterns — not to mention the neighboring Chinese food joint serving cheap noodles and egg rolls — offer a taste of funky New Yorker nightlife in the heart of North Scottsdale.
The warm breezes of early summer evenings blow through Hula's Modern Tiki (4700 N. Central Ave., 602-265-8454, www.hulasmoderntiki.com) when the staff opens the garage doors leading to the patio, which helps add to the tropical aura of the Hawaiian restaurant. Ditto for its sleek and chic mix of Midcentury Moderne style and South Pacific kitsch, including numerous movie posters for classic surf flicks like The Fantastic Plastic Machine, the five-foot tiki statues, and other bits of Polynesian ephemera decorating the joint. This extends to a drink menu that's filled with two-dozen specialty cocktails, including the Mai Tai (natch), the signature Dr. Funk (served in a Fu Manchu-inspired, head-shaped container), or the rum-filled Scorpion Bowl (typically served flaming). Be careful not to set your Hawaiian shirt on fire while taking a sip.
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