HE COMPLETED THE VENTIKI CHALLENGE!!!
And with flying colors, might I add; the guy barely flinched.
Serving as both a spectator and head cheerleader for Chad in his quest for the gold, I will take the reigns and write up a solid review...because I don't think he remembers much from last weekend.
Basically, the concept of the challenge is to drink all 19 drinks listed on the card. The first 100 people to successfully complete this challenge receive a t-shirt, a Ventiki logo glass, and their name immortalized on a plaque for all to see.
FOOD - Fresh sushi, poke bowls, pulled pork, ribs, even a Spam option..literally, I would order one of everything on the menu if I had the financial and stomach capacities.
AMBIANCE - Maui is my favorite place in the world, so anywhere that can re-create that hybrid of serenity and culture gets my stamp of approval. But it's not that Ventiki just threw plastic leis and palm trees around their bar and called it tiki...no, no. The attention to detail is meticulous; everything from the light fixtures, to the tiki mugs, to the straw-hut roof is completely on-point.
STAFF - Because we literally spent two whole days at Ventiki, we bonded with the owners, Scott and Carrie, as well as the various bartenders. It was insightful to talk business and booze with Ventura locals, and it is majorly impressive to see a local business doing so well within their first nine months of business.
Ventiki is significantly more crowded at night, but we are able to find a station to sit, snack, and slurp down a few more cocktails.
I stick with my new best friend Mai Tai, while Chad knocks a couple more off the list. Wearing down, but still sturdy, he opts to finish the remainder of the list on Sunday. Although fucking delicious, ahi tuna and coconut shrimp skewers are not enough to sop up the booze in our systems, so we stumble over to Cafe Fiore for a carb-loaded dinner.
It's 11:00am and we're the first to arrive. The bartender looks up from slicing fruit garnishes and greets us with a smile, "Here to finish the list?" An apprehensive Chad nods his head yes, then takes a seat to tear into his first beverage of the morning: Blue Hawaii.
He consumes four more drinks before we decide to saunter over to the Harbor to grab lunch. Aww...little dolphin rider >>>
At lunch, our fair competitor couldn't resist a $2 Bloody Mary, which caused a significant set-back when we returned to Ventiki. I guess vodka, tomato juice and horseradish didn't mix so well with the mass amounts of rum and fruit juice from earlier in the day.
WAY TO GO, CHAD!
Although he's still feeling the hangover today, we at The Underbelly are extremely proud of his achievement. If you're in the Ventura area, stop on by Ventiki. Always a good time.