In an interview with us, Lamar "Lolo" Kumangai said it best. "What you can't teach in bartending is being able to give good service and provide a good experience..." and we couldn't agree more. In this edition of Behind the Stick, we talked about his journey leading up to a bartender at False Idol while he crafted up his Earthy and tropical libation called MATCHAloha.
Recipe:1/4 tsp matcha powder, .5oz lemon, .5oz oj, .5oz piña, .5oz passionfruit, 1oz coconut cream, 2oz Overproof Rhum Agricole
What's the story behind the MATCHAloha?
We added this cocktail to our recent holiday menu under a different name and the creamy green color matched well with our Grinches Lair theme. (look for it soon on our new menu) I wanted to include matcha in the cocktail name and initially had some really bad ideas and was bouncing ideas off my wife. This drink reminds me of being in Hawaii, which has become my second home and boom there you have it MATCHAloha!
Describe the taste.
Earthy and tropical.
If you had to pair this cocktail with a dish, what would you pair it with?
Spam musubi, of course.
What kind of experience can guests get at False Idol?
Guests can expect to be greeted with a warm smile and tasty libation. When you come to False Idol, we hope to transport you to a different world, where you can relax and kick back a few, but beware, they are sneakily strong.
About Lolo Kumangai
Are you from San Diego?
I was born and raised in Spokane, WA. Spent my twenties in Seattle where I went to college and moved to SD just over four years ago.
How has your journey been leading up to your role at False Idol?
I have been a bartender for about seven years and I was initially hired as a barback when we first opened [False Idol]. I was bartending at a restaurant across the street and couldn’t turn down an opportunity to be a part of the False Idol family. Two months after we opened, I worked up to bartending and the rest is history.
Define the perfect cocktail.
Does a shot and a beer count?
What are some cocktail trends you are noticing in San Diego?
A lot of talented people are doing really unique things with cocktails it’s hard to keep up!
What's your favorite drink to make behind the bar?
This is a trick question to me because my favorite thing to make behind the bar is whatever the guest is in the mood for.
What's your favorite spirit?
It depends on the mood, but tequila and rum hold the top two spots on my list.
What do you do in your spare time when you're not creating cocktails?
Spending time with my wife when I’m not working is priority (she’ll see this right? haha).
What's next for you?
Personally? Well I just got married and am excited for this next journey in our lives starting a family.
Professionally? Ultimately, I would love to own my own bar some day.
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