Tiki Bars in Los Angeles

(Click on the names below to read the full review)


Outside the Tiki-Ti in Los Angeles

LA Tiki Bars:

Tiki-Ti, Los Angeles – If you visit only one tiki bar in LA it should be the Tiki-Ti — bring cash and order a Ray’s Mistake. It’s on my list of the Top Tiki Bars in America.

Pacific Seas at Clifton’s, Downtown LA – Brand new entrant to the tiki scene, with the most elaborate decor in town.

Tiki No, North Hollywood – NoHo tiki bar with topnotch decor, a young-ish crowd and improved drinks.

Tonga Hut, North Hollywood: A remodel a few years ago gave a midcentury modern makeover to the oldest still-operating tiki bar in LA.

Damon’s, Glendale: Over time, this decades-old steakhouse transformed into a cozy den of tiki decor — with terrific steaks.

Kahuna Tiki, North Hollywood: This sushi spot has a patio with a tropical feel. (Skip the drinks, though.)


A glimpse of the tiki and luau supplies available at Oceanic Arts

Tiki Stores in Los Angeles:

Oceanic Arts, Whittier – Legendary warehouse with everything you might need to decorate your own tiki bar or throw an epic luau.

Wacko, Los Angeles – A kitschy wonderland filled with art books, Tiki Farm mugs, Shag prints and retro toys that’s also home to La Luz de Jesus gallery.

Home With The Beachcomber Store, Simi Valley – If you didn’t bring back enough souvenir gifts for people after your Hawaiian vacation, you can stock up on Hilo Hattie-type Aloha wear, Kona coffee, and chocolate covered macadamia nuts.


A tiki-themed drive-in — a retro lover’s dream come true

Tiki Places in Los Angeles:

Mission Tiki Drive-In Movie Theatre, Montclair – One of the few remaining drive-in theatres in Southern California also happens to be tiki-themed!

Aloha Apartments, Gardena – A Hawaiian-themed apartment building not far from Bruddah’s

IMG_1329
Sunset at the Tiki Festival in Long Beach

Tiki Events in Los Angeles:

Tiki Night at the Egyptian Theatre – Every summer the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood hosts a luau in the courtyard followed by a tiki-related film screening.

Tiki Festival Long Beach – A weekend with tiki carvers, Hawaiian food stands and Polynesian dancing and music performances on the beach, capped off with fire knife dancers.

IMG_6454
Tiki on the City of Downey’s 2012 Rose Parade Float

Other Tiki Things in LA:

Tiki-ish Drinks & Hawaiian Fare at A-Frame in Los Angeles – Chef Roy Choi’s restaurant is now serving up house-made Spam, tiki-inspired cocktails and more.

Tiki-fied El Camino at the Burbank Car Classic – This gorgeous 1959 Chevrolet El Camino was tricked out with tikis, lauhala matting and bamboo.

City of Downey’s 2012 Rose Parade Float – For the 2012 Rose Parade, the City of Downey created an “Enchanted Paradise” float with tikis, a bamboo hut and a volcano waterslide that also erupted real fire.

L.A. County Fair – Somehow I always stumble on something tiki-related at the annual L.A. County Fair.

Tiki Farm’s 10 Years of Tiki Mugs – A look at a few of the hundreds of different mugs produced by “the hardest working company in tiki.”

Blue Hawaiian Cupcakes – Yummy Cupcakes has a roster of more than 200 flavors, and every month they feature rotating daily specials. Their cocktail-inspired offerings include Mai Tai, Pina Colada and Blue Hawaiian.

IMG_2641
A night at Bahooka was like having dinner in Davy Jones’ locker.

Gone But Not Forgotten:

Bahooka, Rosemead – This nautical restaurant dished up ribs and fried fare, but the real star was a big carrot-eating fish in one of the hundreds of aquariums. Bahooka closed in March 2013.

Luau, Beverly Hills – This recent tribute to Stephen Crane’s Luau lasted less than a year.

The Beachcomber Cafe at Malibu Pier – There’s still The Beachcomber Cafe in Orange County, but I’ll still miss the Tonga Lei Room (see below).

The Tonga Lei Room at The Beachcomber, Malibu – A tiny dining room that packed a big tiki punch.

Trader Vic’s, Los Angeles – The famous chain of tiki restaurants launched a new generation of mostly ill-fated locations, including this one downtown at LA Live that closed in March 2014.

Advertisements

One response

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s