Palisade: Cheesy and Tropical

If you're up for a little hula and sunshine but can't hack the plane ticket, the Hawaiian-themed 4–6 p.m. daily happy hour at Palisade delivers—on atmosphere, anyway. Between the ocean view, the West Side Story Muzak, and the tracksuit-clad Magnolia moms sipping post-workout margaritas in rattan chairs, Palisade's bar captures the je ne sais quoi of a cheesy tropical resort hotel. But the $2.95 happy-hour pupu menu, a small group of inauthentic takes on Hawaiian favorites, reflects the restaurant's awkward balance between Pacific fusion and trendy, tourist-focused seafood. After pleasantly sweet but weak guava margaritas ($3.95), we tucked into Kalua pork spring rolls, meat-malnourished and greasy, but still satisfying with a dab of sticky coconut barbecue dipping sauce. The ahi in our poke tasted as fresh as anything I had on my trip to Kauai last month, but capers...in poke? We loved the moist Kobe slider (note that $2.95 gets you only one), even though it was served completely naked. On a clear day, the view from Palisade is stellar. and as long as you can stand the indoor babbling brook, it's kind of fun to sit and gape. Next time, I'll wear an Aloha shirt and white Keds.

 
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