Hula Hula

Lower Queen Anne's way to a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day.

The most celebrated songwriting efforts of R. Alex Anderson are immortalized in the ukulele-laced diddy "Mele Kalikimaka," and while perhaps not well-known stateside, it's all you'll hear upon island arrival—and most likely en route, piped cheerily over the din of crying babies and droning jet engines—during the holiday season. That's because (as the song goes) "Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii's way to say Merry Christmas to you," and while most of us are bound to the U.S.A.'s larger, less exotic land mass for winter's dark, drizzly, gray, depressing, SAD-inducing . . . uh, where was I going with that? I've suddenly lost all sense of happiness and motivation. Ah, right—while most of us are stuck in Seattle, island vibrations can be felt emanating from Hula Hula, the new Hawaiian-style tiki lounge housed in Watertown's old digs. The halls are decked entirely in tropical trailer-park kitsch, from stools adorned with brightly painted hibiscus blossoms and actual inflated puffer fish hanging from the ceiling to slatted plastic lounge chairs draped with striped beach towels. And though a bit over-the-top, it's one of the only places in town where you can sip a mai tai in authentic surroundings. A menu of $8-a-plate pupus (Polynesian for small eats, and in this case hefty price tag) is served until midnight; the pork sandwich is stacked high and drips with spicy BBQ sauce, and though the bacon-wrapped, jack-cheese-stuffed prawns are ridiculously good, they won't aid anyone in the bathing-suit department. Thankfully, for those of us who won't be seeing the sun again until June, this hot spot can be frequented sans string bikini or Speedo. AJA PECKNOLD

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