Check Out the New Logo for The Tiki Chick!

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As a Valentine’s Day gift, my dear Mr. Hockey surprised me with a logo for The Tiki Chick blog, which is something he’s talked about doing for years. Through Fiver.com he enlisted a cartoonist to create the final product, but he came up with a complete mock-up with as many tiki references as he could fit in, including a Moai, the Enchanted Tiki Room, and Rufus the carrot-eating fish from Bahooka (the “K” also matches the bamboo font from Bahooka’s sign).

(Sidenote: I’m just sickened by this whole situation with the new owners and Rufus’ uncertain fate…It’s still a developing story but you can get caught up here.)

Anyway, you can even spot Mr. Hockey and Charlie floating nearby on the Kon-Tiki raft. We have a bunch of business cards with the logo on the way so be sure to ask for one if you see us out and about at a tiki bar!

(Walking in a) Tiki Wonderland at the Tonga Hut

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Maybe you’ve already started taking down the holiday decorations, but I just have to sneak one more festive post in. (I guess my new year’s resolution should be to be more timely with my blogging…)

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Last month, the Tonga Hut in North Hollywood hosted their annual Tiki Wonderland event with tiki vendors, art, tunes and tacos.

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Mr. Hockey was a good sport and accompanied me, and I think he’s glad he did because the art show introduced him to Krampus. He loves the idea of this scary beast that kidnaps the naughty children at Christmas.

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Tonga Hut had some new merchandise available at their booth, including a T-shirt collaboration ($20) with Vintage Roadside and signature rum barrel mugs produced by Tiki Farm in two glazes ($20).

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Meanwhile, Trader Pup’s Outpost had these neat tapa-style print stockings with shell necklace details ($16). I picked up the red and green ones to hang under my Bamboo Ben outrigger mug shelf in our tiki room.

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Polynesiac Jim makes awesome tiki ornaments (featured in last year’s Tiki Holiday Gift Guide). One of this year’s new designs was based on the “tiki babies” that come down from the Tangaroa tree at Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room. I also loved these Kon-Tiki pirate pendants!

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When Bahooka closed last year, they sold some of the decor during their final days but there was still a lot left. A tiki fan named Steve made a deal with the new owners to purchase all the remaining barrel lamps, plastic parrots and other things. He has a thread on Tiki Central where people can contact him about buying some of these Bahooka artifacts. I talked with him quite a bit and he seems like a real stand-up dude.

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I spent most of the time browsing the wares in the parking lot, but we did duck inside the bar so I could sample the Tonga Hut Rum Barrel ($12), a recent addition to the cocktail menu made with Montanya and Demerara rums, juices, homemade falernum and pimento dram. It was smooth and a little spicy and — as advertised — “everything a tiki drink should be.”

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Related Posts:
Tiki Wonderland 2010 at Tonga Hut
Saying Goodbye to Bahooka
Reviews of Tiki Bars in Los Angeles

Saying Goodbye to Bahooka

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It’s always a bummer when tiki bars shut down, but hearing last month that Bahooka would be closing was a particularly tough blow (as you might have been able to tell from all my tweets on the subject).

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It was such a unique place with its mazelike corridors and intimate booths surrounded by fish tanks. (See my previous review for more photos of their nautical style.)

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The owners said they wanted to sell due to an illness in the family and wanting to retire. Word on the street is the space is going to be turned into a new restaurant, which would be better than a parking lot as was also rumored. The fish tanks are supposed to stay but the tiki stuff is going. The Bahooka owners are also keeping the rights to the name with the intent to start selling their signature salad dressing. (UPDATE: The building’s fate is apparently in limbo again…)

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Bahooka had long been a special occasion spot for local families, and they turned out in full force to say farewell. The response was so great that the restaurant stopped taking reservations a few days after announcing the closing. I snagged one for Saturday, March 9th, the night before they were supposed to officially close. (Although they ended up deciding not to re-open the next day.)

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These fellows donned their best “Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas” attire to pay tribute to Bahooka’s cameo in the movie. Probably not a coincidence that they were standing next to the framed film stills of Johnny Depp.

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As the kitchen was running through the last of the food supplies, they were serving a limited menu of sandwiches, teriyaki chicken, fried shrimp and ribs. (Glad I got my fill of crab puffs and stuffed shrimp on a previous visit.) But more importantly, all their cocktails were still available so we shared a couple of Honey Bowls.

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They’ve been selling off bits and pieces of the decor for the past couple weeks, but I’ve heard the big stuff will be sold in a yard sale on March 17th. The details are supposed to be announced on Bahooka’s Facebook page. (UPDATE: Andrew Meieran purchased many of the iconic items for his upcoming relaunch of Clifton’s Cafeteria. Los Angeles magazine has more on the story.)

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By the entrance they had a table where they were selling those glowing tikis in the photo above ($75 & $100), wine glasses ($2), drinking goblets ($5) and this 46-year-old paiting ($100), which Mr. Baseball saw somebody later purchase.

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Behind them was a pile of plastic parrots waiting to be adopted into new homes for $20 each.

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Some tiki artists were inspired to create commemorative items for Bahooka’s closing, like these tiki pendants ($40) made by Tiki Al. “Goodbye Bahooka – 2013” was written on the back.

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Also on offer were postcards featuring Eric October‘s drawing “Last Bowl at Bahooka.” I love how it captures so many iconic things about Bahooka, including tikis based on ones in the restaurant, bucket lamps, parrots, a chain running through the table, and of course Ruffus noshing on a carrot.

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I couldn’t resist giving a goodbye kiss to that famous fishy face. Here’s hoping our currents cross again someday…

Related Posts:
Bahooka Ribs & Grog Review
Tiki Treasures & Polynesian Pin-Ups Event