- Starting in the 1930s, the Tiki bar represented America's most joyously brilliant perversion of a foreign culture -- for all we knew, the Polynesians didn't even drink -- but somehow by the 1980s, the dream had died. Bringing back authentic inauthenticity, Frankie's Tiki Room. Open 24-7, this off-the-Strip lounge is brimming with the possibly Polynesian, from blowfish lighting to idols, decor, and seating hand-carved by a cadre of seventeen artists, including Crazy Al Evans, Tiki Bosko, Tiki Ray, Billy the Crud, Tom "Big Toe" Laura, and the real Sgt. Hulka of the group, Bamboo Ben. Vintage concoctions run from the "Zombie" to the "Lapu Lapu", but because fear of innovation helped kill the original craze, they've also created 15 originals, including the "Green Gasser" (151 and citrus rums, melon liqueur, energy drink) and the "Thurston Howl": with rum, brandy, gin, and Pernod, you'll be seeing "Ginger" whether you're looking at Lovey Howell, or Lovie Smith. Because only cowards care about taste, Frankie's utilizes a 5-skull potency system, topping out with the 160-proof rum "Bender Ender", and bottoming with the Demon Rum/ginger beer "Lava Letch", actually rated at 2 skulls ("Why didn't you just make 1 stronger?" "These go to 5."). If you get so tiki'd you can't remember salient facts about yourself, slide a quarter into Frankie's carnival-inspired, handle grip "Vice Testing" game, where you'll learn whether you're most addicted to bad TV, sex, drugs, or drinking -- possibly the same scientific method by which we determined the Polynesians were festive drunks in the first place.
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