Best Undercover Tiki Bar - 2011
Cana doesn't sport moai, tappan cloth or any of the decorative signifiers that scream "tiki fetish," but bar manager Allan Katz makes a convincing case that tiki drinks are the missing evolutionary link between America's golden cocktail era and its swinging cocktail revival. The drinks are precise, nuanced and clever, full of creative riffs on classic recipes. The sharp Tennessee Isle, a rum-based twist on the Sazerac, is made with coconut bitters and overripe mango–infused absinthe. The Misti Dawn Swizzle, a dolled-up gin swizzle, plays passion-fruit and lime juice against each other in perfect tart-sweet balance. With its cheeky drink descriptions, Cana's cocktail menu, organized by increasing potency into three sections (Daggers, Pistols and Cannons), makes for some of the city's best bar literature. At the boozy end of that menu, you'll find the Twenty-Eight Days Later. Inspired by Don the Beachcomber's original Zombie, it contains mescal, Tuaca and no less than three kinds of rum swimming in pineapple, pomegranate and passion-fruit juices. It's classic yet thoroughly modern and, like the rage-filled zombies of the Danny Boyle film for which it was named, it hits hard. 714 W. Olympic Blvd., dwntwn. (213) 817-5321, canarumbar.com.