UPDATE: Tiki Takeover - Lost Lake in Chicago

A few weeks ago, I shared my take on the top Midwestern tiki bars, with the disclaimer that I'd personally only visited two of the three. Well, I'm happy to share that as of last week, I crossed the third off my bucket list -- and it's just as good, if not better, than expected.

On the outskirts of Chicago's Logan Square, Lost Lake is a landlocked tropical oasis. It was a chilly weeknight when we walked into its sticky-sweet haze of balmy air, bamboo and banana-soaked rum -- seriously, if a bar can take on a persona, this place is Ricky Ricardo crossed with a dash of Sean Connery

Get there are soon as you can! I hear the line forms even before its 4 p.m. Saturday opening -- but I promise, it's totally worth it. When you make it in, you have to try the Mystery Gardenia -- and I dare you to limit it to just one. 

Only adding to its intrigue, you have to be looking to find Lost Lake. The only indication is a small neon "tiki" sign out front, along with a discrete hanging parrot-shaped sign. 

Only adding to its intrigue, you have to be looking to find Lost Lake. The only indication is a small neon "tiki" sign out front, along with a discrete hanging parrot-shaped sign. 

I started with the Ripples on an Evaporated Lake -- a curious coffee-laden choice for a weeknight. It was good, but certainly not something to put on your must-try list.

I started with the Ripples on an Evaporated Lake -- a curious coffee-laden choice for a weeknight. It was good, but certainly not something to put on your must-try list.

Easily our favorite cocktail on the menu -- the Mystery Gardenia!

Easily our favorite cocktail on the menu -- the Mystery Gardenia!

My partners in "lime," enjoying the Mystery Gardenia and that night's vacation beer selection.

My partners in "lime," enjoying the Mystery Gardenia and that night's vacation beer selection.