Where to Eat in Austin Right Now
The gist: Resident ramen king Tatsu Aikawa’s latest venture is already racking up the gold stars. Tiki Tatsu-ya is an ‘island world’ restaurant and bar concept with Hawaiian, Polynesian, and Asian influences.
The food: It wouldn’t be a Tatsu-ya without a delicious helping of Japan. The Spam on a Half Shell uses housemade Spam, mango, shio koji, dandelion, arugula, and hibiscus furikake. Then you have the Maguro Poke (arguably the best in town) with tuna, cucumber, kahuku limu, taro crunch, and kukui nuts. Dessert comes in the form of Butter Mochi, which uses a rich yet light coconut cream, pineapple jam, macadamias, and mint. Of course, you can’t visit without trying their creative and colorful cocktails, worth ordering for the photo-ops alone.
The cost: Starters and shareables $8 - $18, poke bowls $18, musubi $12 - $20, cocktails $15 - $16.
Where to Grab a Drink in Austin Right Now
Tiki Tatsu-Ya is the latest addition to the Austin scene by the wunderkind team behind nationally-recognized Ramen Tatsu-Ya, Kemuri Tatsu-Ya, and DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya—and, if you’ve had any friends lucky enough to snag a reservation at this coveted hotspot, you’re all too familiar with the non-stop rave reviews. And you best believe the hype is real. From the moment you enter the space, with its textured walls decorated like the interior of a cavern and covered in 3D skulls, you feel like you’ve stumbled across a secret pirate’s grotto. The drinks are strong enough to satisfy even the most notorious swashbuckler, as well. Go for the Port Light, a mix of bourbon, port, and tropical fruits served in a ceramic cup decorated with a crawling octopus. And don’t sleep on the food, either—shareable bites inspired by Hawaiian flavors like Spam on the Half Shell balance out all those stiff drinks, so you won’t leave the space stumbling like Jack Sparrow.