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The Galley in Santa Monica

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thejab posted on Tue, Oct 8, 2002 4:30 PM

Next time I'm in L.A. (in a week) I plan on checking out The Galley in Santa Monica. Along with the great H.M.S. Bounty it seems to be one of the lasy nautical themed joints in L.A.


Here's another good review. I especially liked reading about how the owner fixed up the place but didn't mess with the decor.

Does anyone have any comments about this place?


I have to drive all the way across town to get to Tiki-Ti. I have to get on a plane to visit Forbidden Island. I can however walk to the Galley. They make the best darn Mai Tai in walking distance. I'm going to get one right now !!


I agree, the Mai Tai at the Galley is real strong, very nautical, this place can get really busy at night, parking is a bitch. The Bounty on the other hand is quieter, very charming less nautical, I never ordered a Mai Tai here but the drinks are decent and not too pricey. The building itself is interesting, I think it is called the Gaylord Hotel (Boris can correct me here). You will see the inside of the building if you walk over to the men's room...:)

Yep, it's the Gaylord next to where the Brown Derby shaped like a hat used to be and across the street from where the Ambassador Hotel / Coconut Grove used to be.


They pour a cheap strong drink at the Bounty !! Mixed drinks are around $5-$6.

Legend has it that Sirhan Sirhan ate here right before he walked across the street and shot RFK.

[ Edited by: JOHN-O 2008-05-17 01:16 ]


everyone knows the dairy used to be across the street.and there's a hugh parking lot out back


Talked to Captain Ron yesterday. He took over the Galley on July 1 1989 after the original owner died and the place was closing. Ron bought it as he couldn't bear to see it closed and had been a long time customer. So he bought it, cleaned it up and left it as was.
In the same year the Galley opened, Don the Beachcomber opened in nearby Hollywood, 1934.
You can spend hours roaming around looking at the many puffer fish, posters, fishing floats and bamboo booths.
Lots of historic photos scattered on the walls too.
They have a happy hour menu from 5 to 6:30 for bar food which was good.
The mai tai was strong, it was their own version served by Johnny (thats her name) the friendly bartender. Unique taste, one was enough.

Way to go Ron for preserving this place.

[ Edited by: Ojaitimo 2008-05-23 17:31 ]


I went last night and had a good time .
Great food and yes, a strong (main stream)mai tai.
I just think they need to get rid of all the Christmas lights.


Decent decor. That Mai Tai sounds good, I don't know of anywhere in Ohio you can get a decent one.


I've actually grown to enjoy the Galley (Hawaiian-style) Mai Tai more than the Trader Vic's (Downtown location) traditional version. I like how the drink changes as you start with the stiffness of the dark rum floated on top and then begin to taste the tang of the pineapple juice as you sip further.

[ Edited by: JOHN-O 2010-07-06 00:01 ]


A bump for my beloved Galley. I took an out-of-town friend there this last weekend, her response was "What a cool Tiki bar !!". Yes even if there are no actual Tikis, even those with a layman's knowledge feel that "Tiki" vibe. (But just for the record, I am not making a case that it's a classic Tiki-style bar).

Imagine if the original DTBC or Trader Vic's were still in existence, intact in all of their 1930's Pre-Tiki glory. People, wouldn't you make a beeline straight there on your next Tiki Roadtrip ?? Here's the deal, both of those places are dust, but the Galley still stands proudly in Santa Monica (since 1934).

Even "Tiki Roadtrip" author James Teitelbaum highlights the spot in his latest "Tiki Town" article on Los Angeles (Tiki Magazine, Summer 2010).

Yes, the net new Tiki Revival places are fun but there is no substitute for historic authenticity.

Don't miss it !! :)

[ Edited by: JOHN-O 2010-07-06 00:39 ]

A good bump for a worthy place. John, do they still have those cool pin up cocktail napkins we can see in the post above?


They certainly do.

Actually that Mai Tai photo gets the dark interior ambiance just right. The place isn't as bright as Tim's flash photos suggest.

I went to the Galley for the first time about 3 weeks ago. We had to sit on the back patio since the place was packed on a Saturday night, but we still had a good time. The service was good and when I asked for some extra cocktail napkins our waitress brought me a handful. The food was also good.
I loved the atmosphere of the place and definitely recommend it.
Google Images has plenty of pictures of the inside and outside of the restaurant.


I love this place!

The bartenders are fantastic and if you ask them to make an off-the-menu drink they never dissapoint.

I love their food and the decor is the best.

From the outside we didn't know what to expect but everytime I am in town we make sure to hit this place for happy hour.

I can't wait until I move to SM so that I am closeby...its one of my favorite spots.

Pages: 1 14 replies