***** (5 stars)
The three most important characteristics of tiki bars, in no particular order, are drinks, food, and ambiance.
Lost Lake scores particularly high in the drinks category, with some of the most complex, subtle, varied and interesting cocktails I’ve encountered. Also, be sure to request the rum list. Although it has not been kept up to date, there are hundreds of interesting rums to choose from. About half are available, and there are many more that haven’t been added to the list. If you’re a true tiki fan, then rare rums are a particular delight.
Most tiki bars offer the same pseudo-Polynesian fare, so it was interesting to see the menu at Lost Lake, which avoids all of that, and has some truly nice offerings. I hear from regulars that the food has improved over the years, and we certainly liked everything we tried. The Orange Sesame Cabbage was a particularly good slaw, and didn’t even need the chicken we added. Pork dumplings and chicken wings were also both good. Our favorite was the green chili dip, which had just the right spice level. It was served with crispy wontons, radishes, and sweet potato slices. It was so good we had two orders.
The weakest aspect of Lost Lake is the decor, which is okay, but not at the spectacular level of Three Dots and a Dash or the Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale. The bar area theming is little more than banana leaf wallpaper, but the farther you go back the more interesting it gets. The back room has rock walls and puffer fish light fixtures.
For tiki mug collectors note that they offer unbranded tiki mugs; only the glassware carries the Lost Lake branding.
Service was friendly and attentive. If you’re a tiki drink fan, Lost Lake is definitely a place that should be on your list to visit.
3154 W Diversey