If you’ve ended up at Reef to eat you may not like yourself in the morning. The menu is Hawaiian (oddly paired with other influences like Jamaican jerk chicken and tons of tacos) by way of Boise (eek, quite a pairing) with many of the drinks strong and overly sugary. Recipe for stomach/headache city. That being said, there is a certain perverse charm to Reef and the Tiki Lounge.
Maybe that is because The Monster grew up with what is assuredly one of the greatest restaurants/lounges/all around swank examples of old faux Hawaii, The Kahiki (RIP old friend) in Columbus, Ohio.
The décor here is trying but the better examples put this to shame. Sure there are some mini Tikis and thatched roofs but it’s all superficial. This could be Bennigan’s in three days. The Monster grew up with waterfalls and exotic fish and huge flames from giant Tiki Gods and a building that was born to be. Check out The Kahiki in all it’s past glory…
All that aside, The Monster digs places like this. Crab Rangoon and pupu platters and coconut prawns. Total filthiness but also tons of fun.
And so it is with trepidation/excitement that Forbidden Nachos are ordered. Tortilla chips, Jack and cheddar cheese, jalapenos, green onions, hand cut pico and lime crema with chicken and a side of spicy black beans.
Diving into some adult beverages that look like kiddie drinks The Monster is altogether pleased when a huge mound of Forbiddenness arrives. It should be forbidden to finish by anything less than six people.
And it is swampy good. Sure, the chicken is dry. But you load up nachos and add in drinking and voila, three cheers to the chef.
So while Reef may not be a dining destination, with live bands, stiff drinks and a fun/cheesy vibe it can make for a fun night out.
Why go? The Kahiki closed.
Monster rating: 2½/5 Monsters
125 South 6th Street
Boise, ID 83702