THE JUNGLE BIRD
2516 J St, Sacramento, California 95816
A Beauty and the Beast reunion took us to Sacramento in January 2017 and our love of Tiki Bars took us to The Jungle Bird. Our Uber dropped us off in front of this fairly new establishment which has only been in operation since October 2016. There was a small line outside, but when the doorman found out we weren’t there for dinner in the restaurant he let us in right away, something we were extremely grateful for given the near-freezing temperature. Luna is very much a SoCal woman whose veins stop working if exposed to chill for too long.
Once inside and surrounded by vibrant lighting and custom-carved tikis, all seemed right with world. Steeped in floral wallpaper, puffer fish lamps, and plastic birds, the atmosphere still comes off as more refined than a majority of it’s kitschy predecessors. The compact bar was quite full and we had to scout out a table to jump on as soon as it was clear of it’s current inhabitants. Not surprising given the newness of the place and the fact that it was a Friday night. Once seated, we were quite comfortable, that is until the group next to us decided to try to fit five people around a table designed for two. Personal space violations aside, we still enjoyed the energy in the room.
It took a moment to get the server’s attention, but after we did we found her to be prompt and attentive. The menu offered a pleasant mix of traditional tiki cocktails and original house recipes served in a variety of groovy tiki mugs. The fact that the majority of them are not available for purchase was disappointing, but they do offer a branded coconut style mug and a custom painted Mai Tai glass designed by Tiki Tony . Pierce ordered the Don’s Zombie and Luna went with the Lava Flow. Pierce found the zombie put a strong, rum-scented wind in his sails and Luna gleefully dove into sweet, boozy brain-freeze. Both cocktails definitely met our expectations. If we didn’t have an early morning ahead, we probably would have gone for a second round.
Overall we had a great time and loved the vibe. We look forward to returning, hopefully on a lighter night, for dinner and to try more of their original concoctions. If we find four of you to join us, we may even take the Three Hour Tour…