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The Purple Orchid

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The Purple Orchid in El Segundo, is a cool Neo Tiki Bar. They have it all, Tikis, Mugs, Thatch, Pufferfish lamps, and good drinks. It's an open, well lit bar with pool tables and a fun crowd. They play "popular rock" (like Zep and U2). The purist may prefer a darker more intimate setting, that plays exotica. I for one really liked the Purple Orchid. They make a good drink too.

Our bartender.

Book of Tiki wallpaper.

Pufferfish and Jagermeister.


The door to the men's room (or Gent's, as Woody calls it). The Ladies room has a more feminine Tiki.

Mai-Tai Bowl, $12.00, Pinkish in color, good. I like it.


Nice pics Al, I like the decor!

The Purple Orchid is very close to where I work, but I don't get in there all that often. This is defineitely an "evolving" tiki bar in that it gets a little bit more tiki everytime I go in there. Once upon a time it was a bar called the Panama, which catered to the workers at the nearby Standard Oil refinery. The Panama was a bit redneck, the music was mostly country western and the drinks were mostly beer and jagermeister. When I first went to the Purple Orchid, pretty much only the name was different. The clientele was Panama clientele, the music was still country, the bartenders were Panama bartenders and the drinks were still beer and jagermeister. You kind of felt intimidated to order one of the "fru fru" drinks (as they called them).

The bar keeps evolving into more of a tiki bar. These pictures show a different Purple Orchid. Last time I was there there were no tiki bowl drinks and less tiki decor. It looks to me like a return trip to the Orchid is in order. If they would just get the pineapple out of the mai tai, though, and maybe expand the drink menu beyond just 4 rum drinks.

If Jimmy Buffet and Margaritas are not tiki, then certainly jagermeister and martinis are not. It takes more to make a tiki bar than a few pufferfish.


As I have said before, there are ways to do this stuff right. Someone might approach them about having a monthly traditional night. Those who like that sort of thing would be more encouraged to show up and order the fru-fru drinks if they were surrounded by Aloha shirts and Exotica was playing. One night a month. If that goes well, two, then maybe 4 then maybe more. Those who care need to work on it.

There is a Tiki Bar in the works for Knoxville, TN. We have our hopes, but chnaces are, it won't be traditional. But we have our following here. If they give us a regualr night, we will Dj the music, host the party and make it a hit. The fun will grow from there and they will hopefully find that the traditional way will work, will get people in and will make them a name in the area. Even if it's just for a sort of "Happy Hour" daily.

I always wanted to have a bar and make it "Dino Hour" myself...

the PO is slowly gaining levels and atmoshpere of a great tiki bar. it is the first to open in the south bay in over 20 years. i tried to hype it on the yahoo club. it is 2 years old and totally surpasses "panamas" by far.

they got rid of the crappy bud signs above the pool table and went with tapa print style lamps. very nice.

there is somewhat of a shrine to hawaiiana inset in the wall at one end of the bar. looks like a place where a tv once was. it has your standard hula girls and tikis. nice to look at after a few drinks.

they do have live surf music some nights and at least there is good reggae in the juke to set the island mood. we tried bring up an exotica night, but there aren't enough people to keep the vibe going.

kind of like taboo cove. (sigh of discontent)

as stated by most...... it is still evolving. if you are in the area, please frequent it and ask for more exotica.

there are more rum drinks on the menu served in tiki mugs and seahorse mugs. real nice.

there is the resident tikiphile who knows the history of the place to the nth degree. by him a shot of blueberry schnapps and he will be your friend.
i think they have it as the bar is fully loaded with the good stuff. have fun and i'll see you there....someday

don't press enter(return).....just press tab.

purple orchid is far from where i reside, but it is still great. we must take control by our presence.............zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.......what?

[ Edited by: ob seagull on 2002-10-20 01:24 ]

mainly losers hang hear. this place is full of them. there is some jimmy on the juke box. other than that the drinks are for queers and so are the shirts. don't waste your time kooks.

this jerk would be so lucky to hang in a place like this. we should all charge this place and keep people like parrot "F"head out of there as well as here in tiki central.

It's now a proven fact that homophobes get farmore turned on by gay porn than the average person. Therefore, I imagine that if Parrot lets himself go with a couple of Mai Tai's at the Purple Orchid, (Assuming it's the place he hopes it is) he'd end up having the time of his young life.

Trader Woody

We're doing an exclusive, one of a kind Purple Orchids mug - it's kinda hourglass shaped and is an ultra cool overall style similar to their logo tiki god which lends itself well to an excellent mug design. Should be there in early December.

That mug sounds cool.
I think that we all know that Tiki bars in the traditional sense really can't survive in today's bar world. People view them as gimmiky and would rather hear Britney on the box than Don Ho. They have to do what they can to survive. -eg. Taboo-
That is what they hinted to me at Sam's Seafood the other day. People don't like the traditional stuff as much as us I guess. I'm glad to hear about the Orchid.

i am so glad that there will be a personalized tiki mug for the PO. i bought the two faced tiki the last time i was there.....well because i was drunk. there is just a stamp on the bottom, that is pretty cheezy, but represents. the other mug with the PO tiki face on it was okay, but all were chipped.

thank you so much for making the mugs and adding to the support of this place. it really needs the local TC members to help with business, ideas, and requests for the juke box. does KORN belong here. i think not.

i would charge it almost every night. i am a huge fan because i am an expat. in san diego, raised in E.S.. i make it there when i pass through.

to all who don't know, just remember, when in the LA area check it out and also my favorite, TIKI TI.

watch out for that guy who plays the benny hill theme song on the sax outside, he does a good job, toss him a buck for a big mac.


Went to the Purple Orchid on Saturday evening for the first time in many years. It's a fun place. More blue collar tiki bar than the fancy, Disney-esque ones that are popping up these days. But drinks were good and at prices that don't empty your wallet.

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