Surf Shack Funhouse at the LA County Fair

When we go to the LA County fair, we spend the day eating ridiculous food and taking solace in the air-conditioned marketplace buildings. Then around sunset we head out to the carnival rides for a turn on the ferris wheel during the magic hour.

While we crunched numbers to figure out how many tickets we’d need to get, I took notice of the nearby Surf Shack funhouse on the midway.

Closer inspection revealed quite a few tikis!

These garish cartoon masks were even incorporated into the attraction as “obstacles.”

On a separate note, don’t funhouses make you want to sing tunes from “Grease”?

More tiki sightings at the fair to come!

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Tiki at the LA County Fair – Pomona, CA

The end of summer is usually a bummer, but it also means the return of the Los Angeles County Fair. We always follow one rule: arrive hungry.

A trifecta of fried foods from Chicken Charlie’s: deep-fried artichokes (the ones we had last year from a different vendor were better), deep-fried s’mores (winner!), and a fried chicken sandwich in a Krispy Kreme jelly donut.

With all the bacon air fresheners, bacon jelly beans and other bacon-based items on the market, it’s safe to say that bacon has jumped the shark. But we still had to try the chocolate covered bacon.

There’s also a wine tasting tent where you can put together your own sampling flights. (This is California, after all.)

Then there’s the carnival rides that give you plenty of opportunities to lose that aforementioned lunch…

So what does all this have to do with tiki? Well, here’s the cheap tie-in to my blog’s theme.

A pony named tiki! Actually, I did find quite a bit of tiki at the LA County Fair, you’ll just to have to check back for it in my next few posts….More cute animals and ridiculous fair food after the jump!

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Sharkeez – Manhattan Beach, CA

The sombrero-wearing shark mariachi and the full name of “Baja Sharkeez Mesquite-Mex Coastal Cantina” tell you straight up that this bar’s identity is anchored far from the South Pacific. That is to say, Sharkeez in Manhattan Beach is far from a tiki bar.

However, it does surprisingly have a few desirable design elements that one might find in a tiki bar, like a grass mat and bamboo ceiling…

As well as a thatched hut and some nautical/beachcomber ephemera. They just need to replace the disco balls with glass fish floats and they’ll be on their way. (I also dig that red naugahyde lined bar.)

Although, there actually was a tiki mask here, if that’s what you want to call this thing. (I think I’ll just call it ugly.)

But what keeps me coming back to Sharkeez is the weekend “Rise & Shine” breakfast special. Before 11:30 a.m. you can get eggs, bacon, hashbrowns and french toast or macadamia nut pancakes for $4, plus as many plastic cups of mimosas as you care to drink in an hour.

A word of warning to would-be brunching wenches—the former fratboys still show up this early in the morning to cheer on their alma maters. The last time I was there, one even sat down at our booth uninvited and proceeded to finish a half-eaten piece of bacon off my plate.

Afterwards, just stumble down to the beach and sleep off the cheap champagne for awhile…preferably on a tiki towel!


Baja Sharkeez

3801 Highland Ave.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
310-545-6563

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