Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mai-Kai - Fort Lauderdale headliner for food and entertainment since 1956

Mai-Kai
3599 N. Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308
954-563-3272
Open daily at 5 p.m., except for Valentine’s Day weekend when it opens at 4 p.m.



For a review of the Mai Kai's Molokai Bar, see:
 http://janesbits.blogspot.com/2011/08/molokai-foot-stompin-summer-nights-at.html

By Jane Feehan

Bob and Jack Thornton opened the Mai-Kai in 1956 and for years it reigned as the place for dining and entertainment in Fort Lauderdale. In early days, locals and tourists could mix and mingle with movie stars and musicians visiting the up-and-coming vacation town. The Thorntons - and celebrities - are long gone but the Polynesian-themed restaurant remains. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places Nov.18, 2014.The Mai-Kai is still a great place to go, retaining its classy tropical South Seas d├ęcor, Asian food and distinctive Polynesian floor show. In September 2015, it was voted "Best Tiki Bar in the World," by Critiki, a community for fans of mid-century American Polynesian pop culture.  

The dinner menu is expansive, offering chicken, beef, pork, duck, vegetarian and seafood dishes served with an Asian spin. After dinner, adrenalin-pumping Polynesian drums herald a colorful dance review. I’ve seen such reviews in other states, including California, and none tops this one. It’s great entertainment for under $15 (check current prices).

Most visit the Mai-Kai for special occasions or events but their Molokai Bar provides a cozy venue where no reservation is needed to sip one of their signature rum drinks, listen to low-key live music and enjoy some of the same appetizers served for decades. The PuPu platter and other small dishes still tantalize.

There’s plenty to see after a visit to the Molokai or the main dining room. Visitors can meander through a piece of South Seas fantasy replete with Polynesian sculptures, lush tropical foliage, sultry pools of water, and torch-lit plank bridges and paths.  The Thornton’s formula for success still emanates from every Mai-Kai detail. Copyright © 2011. All rights reserved. Jane Feehan.

For a review of their Molokai Bar, see:
 http://janesbits.blogspot.com/2011/08/molokai-foot-stompin-summer-nights-at.html
Service: excellent. Reservations for dinner required. Dress-code – sophisticated casual. Valet parking only.
For more Fort Lauderdale nightlife (mermaids)  see: http://janesbits.blogspot.com/2012/04/underwater-grace-mermaids-at-fort.html









Tags: Fort Lauderdale night spot, Fort Lauderdale entertainment, Fort Lauderdale catering and events, places for weddings in Fort Lauderdale, Polynesian floor show, banquets and catering, Valentine's Day idea, Best Tiki Bar in the World
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