The Jungle Bird opens with tiki flair and Hawaiian eats

The Jungle Bird opened last night to much fanfare. By 5 p.m., the place was already swarmed with folks trying to beat the rush as well as supporters from the industry. In other words, it was poppin'.

The owners of Tank House transformed the former location of Kru at 2516 J Street into a colorful, intimate tiki bar with just enough playful cheesiness to really make that throwback ‘50s vibe come alive. Think bamboo lanterns, patterned wallpaper, Hawaiian shirts and tall totems, plus a low-key back patio.

Cocktails fall in line with the festive decor, with plenty of rum, fruit juice and tiny umbrellas to go around. To pair with your mai tai or lava flow, chef Matt Brown, formerly of 58 Degrees & Holding Co., developed a menu of fun Hawaiian and Asian small plates: Kalua pork on Hawaiian rolls ($7), pork sisig tacos ($6), pork bao $7). On the larger end of the spectrum, there’s mochi-fried chicken with coconut bread ($12), macadamia-crusted mahi mahi ($14) and coconut fried rice with Chinese sausage ($10). 

This is Sacramento’s only tiki-themed bar, though the short-lived Rum Rok made an attempt at the style late last year.

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