When did Clarendon turn into Arlington-by-the-Sea? You've got the flip-flop-covered-walls of Clare and Don's Beach Shack, Dewey favorites Love Seed Mama Jump and Kristin and the Noise performing regularly at the Clarendon Ballroom, and now Mama Quan's Tiki Hut, which promises island drinks and a sun-drenched patio just blocks from the Metro.
Things started well enough: There's plenty of outdoor seating, and the minimalist interior is covered in old surfboards. The back room has a pool table and a few other games. A chalkboard behind the bar announced that cocktails were served in 24-ounce tiki glasses. But inflatable Corona products hanging from the ceiling should have been our cue that something was amiss.
If you're going to call yourself a Tiki Hut, you need a good Mai Tai in funky Polynesian glassware. Mama Quan's can't get this basic requirement right. The only recognizable name on the menu was a Suffering Bastard, which is what I felt like after ordering the Papa Quan cocktail. Though the ingredients made it sound like the legendary Mai Tai, it's in fact a tepid blend of rums, fruit juices and wayyyyyy too much grenadine, served in a neon-blue plastic cup that resembles a child's version of a glass from Trader Vic's. Erin described it as a melted slushee, and she wasn't far off. My friend Kathryn hopefully ordered the Grandpa Quan, made with Myers dark rum and pineapple juice, but was served some clear fluid that tasted closer to bathwater.
As for the food, it's pretty much what you'd expect to find from a poolside snack shack. You'll find wings, coconut shrimp, peel-n-eat shrimp and a smattering of salads and sandwiches. We opted to split the flash-fried fish bites with remoulade and the shrimp skewers. The skewers, which can also be ordered with beef or chicken, were heavy on the marinade and slightly undercooked. The accompanying cole slaw was the highlight with zippy peanut and ginger flavors. As for the fish bites, the consistency was not quite right with flaky breading that couldn't contain the watery fish, but they're easy to share and less messy than a plate of wings.
Two saving graces: A huge patio (covered in grape vines from its previous incarnation as Aegean Taverna) with ample seating, though it is already packed with the after-work crowd, and a daily happy hour with $2 bottles of Bud Light and Miller Lite from 5 to 7. No wonder everyone outside was sipping those instead of fun summer drinks.
--Fritz and Erin
Posted by: Arlington, VA | June 16, 2006 12:44 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Arlington | June 17, 2006 3:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Jessica | June 17, 2006 3:22 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: nikos | June 17, 2006 10:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: susan | June 18, 2006 4:39 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: reston | June 19, 2006 10:44 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Susan | June 19, 2006 11:14 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: dc | June 19, 2006 8:35 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Dupont | June 19, 2006 8:53 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Arlington Girl | June 20, 2006 12:59 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: J | June 22, 2006 4:29 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: me | June 23, 2006 2:19 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: susan is a retard | June 24, 2006 3:07 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: susan | June 24, 2006 4:59 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rebecca tax | June 25, 2006 9:28 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Susan | June 29, 2006 9:17 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: LoganCirc | June 30, 2006 11:10 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Clubbers? | June 30, 2006 12:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: susan has an agenda | July 3, 2006 1:59 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Clarendon Newbie | July 7, 2006 12:29 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: susan | July 11, 2006 1:32 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Lazy Sundae Lover | July 12, 2006 7:56 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Tom | August 1, 2006 3:03 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Whoa, the Taxes are posting a lot | August 11, 2006 11:22 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Adrienne | September 29, 2006 12:20 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.