(Click on the names below to read the full review)
LA Tiki Bars:
Pacific Seas at Clifton’s, Downtown LA – New-ish 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 some 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.
Other 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!
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.
Other Tiki Things in LA:
Tiki-ish Drinks & Hawaiian Fare at A-Frame in Los Angeles – This restaurant serves 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.
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 tribute to Stephen Crane’s Luau lasted less than a year.
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.