Trader Vic’s – Las Vegas

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Our trip to Vegas a few weeks back might be considered the kick-off to this summer’s Baseball/Tiki Road/Plane Trip (though the baseball element was missing in this leg). We stayed at the Bellagio, so it was quite convenient to stop at the Trader Vic’s in the Miracle Mile Shops across the street before we went to go bet on the ponies. (Our strategy is to bet on the horse with the most hilarious name…It actually works out often enough.)

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For being a Trader Vic’s in Vegas, of all places, the decor is pretty understated. Not so sure how I feel about these modernized tiki touches in the bar area, but I do love glass fishing floats in any situation.

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For me, these giant dudes are the saving graces of the restaurant. They’re larger than life, now that’s what I expect in this town!

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I might have insisted on sitting outside so we could see the fountains (Mr. Baseball doesn’t understand what’s so captivating about a water show), but it was ninety degrees out and I’d never really gotten a good look at the inside of Trader Vic’s.

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Picking my poison was a rather difficult process with all the choices. I kept second guessing myself and finally went with the Tonga Punch ($9.50), made with light rum, Curaçao, grenadine and orange juice. It was ok, but I wouldn’t order it again.

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Mr. Baseball got a ciabatta sandwich from a special insert on the lunch menu that offered more straight-forward American stuff without much Polynesian flair.

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Happy hour lasts from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. and as we were on Vegas time and having a rather late lunch, we were able to get two of the pork sliders with plum sauce for a buck a piece. The rest of the specials included very un-tiki 2-for-1 well drinks, $5 baskets of wings/calamari and $15 buckets of Corona.

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I had the Hawaiian Poke ($11.50)—ahi and hamachi tartare with avocado and taro chips. There’s something indulgent about ordering seafood in the middle of the desert—definitely not locavore-friendly!

Next time I make a visit to Vic’s it will be for Mai Tais at night on the patio. Cue the fountain show!

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6/5/09 Update: As the great Sam Butera once sang: “There’ll be no next time!” The Las Vegas Sun has reported that the Trader Vic’s Vegas is closing. This is precisely why I’ve been trying to visit so many tiki sites on these trips…you never know when they’re gonna get shut down!

Trader Vic’s – Las Vegas
Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood
3663 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
702-405-4700

Trader Vic's (Planet Hollywood) on Urbanspoon

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Tiki on “Terminator”

This month, Mr. Baseball and Netflix have been catching me up on famous movie franchises before we go see their re-launches. Part one was “Star Trek: Wrath of Kahn,” followed by “Terminator” and a few others.

So, imagine my surprise when about halfway through the movie, we see this!—The Tiki Motel, aka the where the magic happens that creates John Connor. Indeed, the tiki sighting was so unexpected that I neglected to crop out all of the word “Pause.”

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Of course, there weren’t any actual tikis, besides the one in the name. And though the motel is still around twenty-five years later, the original signs don’t seem to have been so lucky, at least not according to Google Maps.

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Some die-hard “Terminator” enthusiasts, The Arnold Fans, recently made a pilgrimage out to 7301 Santa Fe Ave. in Huntington Park and chronicled the Tiki Motel at length. Thanks for saving me a trip, guys.

My First Tiki Bar!

The other day, Mr. Baseball and I went to the local Ralph’s to get some groceries. We were browsing around, getting the usual—bread, milk, copious amounts of pasta—when we walked by the check-out registers and there was, lo and behold…

a tiki bar???

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It looks super classy next to all those cases of Natty Ice, right?

Apparently, Ralph’s now sells patio furniture…who knew? Well, not too many folks I guess, since it was all on clearance at 40% off.

At first I was just amused that I would find something tiki in a supermarket. But then I got to thinking about the summer, and sipping mai tais by the pool and then it wasn’t long before I was enlisting family members (and their truck) to help me haul it away.

I asked the manager if they had any boxed up in the back and he said no—that was the only one and it had to go as is. Yikes! But it’s on wheels so it wasn’t too bad. Mr. Baseball tried to get the manager to throw in one of the cases of Natty with the deal, but he wasn’t having it. :)

Now, who wants to help christen it?