***** (5 stars)
I’ve been to many tiki bars over the years, including originals back in the ’70s and many new ones created during the current Tiki revival. But I’ve never been to one as spectacularly wonderful as the Bamboo Room at Three Dots and a Dash.
If you’ve been to Three Dots and A Dash, you know it has some of the greatest Tiki decor anywhere, and some very good cocktails. My problem with it has always been the cacophonic noise level, the result of its great popularity and high seating capacity. So even though I only live two blocks away, I only visit at off hours (which there aren’t many of!)
The Bamboo Room solves all of that. It has nice decor, and the perfect Tiki bar ambiance, with appropriate surf music and other interesting selections and an intimate volume level conducive to conversation and learning.
And learning is really what it’s all about. I can’t urge you strongly enough to opt for the $50 guided tasting at the bar. You will experience cocktails assembled at a level seen almost nowhere, and you will be guided through a sampling of different styles of rum.
Your visit will be tailored to your tastes, interests, and level of experience. Mine began with a complimentary daiquiri, then a spectacular zombie, a rum tasting, and then several other wonderful cocktails that I’m glad my camera remembers! I was also able to taste (at extra charge) a small sample of the famous “Black Tot”. If you’re a true Tiki aficionado, you know how special that is.
At the Three Dots and a Dash main room there is a somewhat limited selection of cocktails, and by necessity, they can’t all be prepared from scratch. Here every component is lovingly assembled. My bartender described himself as part bartender, part florist! I really appreciated the way the component rum bottles were displayed with each cocktail, so I could understand where the flavors were coming from. And there are plenty of non-rum experiments as well.
The food is the same as in the main room, and is not a highlight. If you want a Tiki bar with interesting food, check out Lost Lake. But here it is all about the art of the perfect Tiki cocktail.
You will definitely get your money’s worth in the Bamboo Room, and if you can keep your head about you, it will come away with a new understanding of the whole tiki experience.
The Bamboo Room at Three Dots and a
435 N Clark St