Drift Polynesian Restaurant & Tiki Lounge

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4341 N. 75th Street, Scottsdale
480-949-8454

If you grew up in the 60s, when South Pacific-themed restaurants were all the rage, you'll probably like Drift, which puts a modern spin on all things tiki. Dimly lit and almost cave-like (shades of the original Trader Vic's!), the place looks cooler than Moondoggie hanging ten on a surfboard. Not surprisingly, the clientele is mostly composed of young people who actually look good in skimpy beach clothes, which is pretty much what they wear to Drift. There was a time when this Polynesian playground was more of a pick-up, hook-up kind of place than a restaurant. But now that Chef Patrick Karvis has come on board, the re-vamped and far more sophisticated menu draws a few boomers as well, most of whom are suckers for exotic drinks served in punch bowls and lit on fire. Go for inexpensive belly-fillers such as crab dip, spare ribs, pot stickers and the inevitable pu pu platter, or take a look at more ambitious selections such as shrimp tostones with toasted plantain chips, coconut and ginger-poached salmon with scallion and cilantro vinaigrette and pan-seared halibut with ponzu sauce and sweet potato gratin. Desserts, now house-made, run to pina colada cheesecake with strawberry coulis and toasted coconut. But watch it! You want to look good in that bikini. Lunch and dinner daily. $-$$