False Idol

If you’re looking for a lush hideout in San Diego, look no further than False Idol. This tikki bar commits to everything that a good speakeasy should be, while really expanding on what a speakeasy could be. Although it doesn’t look like many of us are going to get bored of the prohibition theme any time soon, that doesn’t mean I’m not all for casting a wider net and scooping up more fans of the speakeasy. So how does False Idol do that?

For starters, there’s no street-side entrance. If you want to enter this tikki bar, you have to get to it by going into the neighboring establishment and ask for the entrance. From there, you’ll be led to a… walk-in freezer?

Open the freezer door and you’ll find no frozen meats and veggies, but a long, dark hallway. Walk into the darkness past the crates of fruit and spooky skulls, and you’ll find yourself in a tiki bar! How did that get in here?

Every inch is decorated in bright colors, enriched by warm lighting that contrast the dim surroundings. Take a seat and peruse the menu if you wish, but I bet you’ll keep stealing glances at your surroundings. This place is a work of art, and it has a story to tell, hidden in the newspaper clippings and “ artifacts”. The crown jewel is a giant water feature in the center of the room, seconded by the large fireplaces that look like wide smiling mouths. Running your eyes around the room, you can begin to piece together the story that your surroundings are holding onto.

As soon as you think you’ve seen your fill, is that a roll of thunder? Don’t pack your purse and flee the patio just yet, it’s only one of the stunning light and sound shows that happen throughout the night — one more piece of the rich layer cake.

Hey I think I’m forgetting something – the drinks! The menu is good for snacking and the cocktails are a regular treat. It wouldn’t be a proper speakeasy without a drinks menu, would it? Whether you wanna get refined or just plain ol boozy, there’s a cocktail on the menu with your name on it. If you’re like me, you’ll go for the cocktails and stay for the surroundings.