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Tiki Bob's Cantina and Library of Virginia's A La Cart 

Tastemakers

They answered the phone "Aloha, ." The greeting shouldn't have surprised us. Tiki Bob's is a Polynesian-themed restaurant. Richmonders have been clamoring for a Polynesian-themed restaurant for years. Haven't they?

Well, whether Richmond asked for it or not, Tiki Bob's is open for business in Shockoe Bottom. Behind the doors you'll find lots of hanging surfboards, tropical drinks and leis. Tiki Bob's is like the Hawaii episodes of the Brady Bunch, except you can't turn off the restaurant whenever you want.

How's the menu? Get ready for "Polly-Wanna Coladas," "Hula Wraps" and "Congo Bongo Wings." The "Tikitizers" section of the menu offers all the usual fried and cheese-filled suspects. There is a section with all the standard soups and salads, followed by the "Big Kahuna Dinners," filled with chicken breasts, flank steaks and shrimp kabobs. The restaurant is open for dinner only Thursday through Saturday. 110 N. 18th St. 644-9091.

Who knew that fine dining was available in the hallowed halls of the Library of Virginia? Well, A La Cart might not be fine dining, but it sure is fine eating. Owner/chef Jeffrey Evans is a Johnson and Wales graduate who spent time as a sous-chef for The Frog and the Redneck. He started A La Cart as an actual cart in the library, but has since graduated to full-scale café status. If you get hungry while looking at the exhibits on women's suffrage and abolitionists, just remember that plenty of coffee, bagels and lunch specials are now available on the first floor. 800 E. Broad St.
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