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Tiki Central / General Tiki

West Coast & Southwest Tiki Update

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Hi there,

New to this site. I just wanted to update something that I had read on perhaps a different Tiki site 2 or 3 months ago. Someone had touted Taboo Cove (Venus club in the Venetian Hotel) in Vegas as the only authentic Tiki bar to spring up in the US in some time. I was just in Vegas three weeks ago and I have to report on Taboo Cove. They were playing top 40's pop when I walked in, which was a turn off as far the Tiki scene goes...furthermore, I ordered a Navy Grog for myself, a Chi-Chi for my girl and a Fog Cutter for a friend. Both the bartender and the waitress looked at me like I was an alien and then after some whispering told me that they could not make those drinks anymore because new management wouldn't allow it. NO LIE! This is what I was told. A Tiki bar that wouldn't make staple drinks of the Tiki culture. On the upside -- I was also at Trader Vic's flagship place in Emeryville, Ca and it is looking great...as is Tiki Ti's in LA. I had a great time getting sloshed at both of them and had a great chat with Mike, the owner of Tiki Ti's. If yer Tiki Friki and you haven't been, definitely go! Take care all!

Hey there, Trader Shlog!

Re: not making the old standards -- that's so sad, it's almost funny. I've never been in any hard-liquor bar that would actually refuse to make a drink. I've been in bars that don't know what a drink is, but they're always willing to take a stab at a new drink. Scandalous!

Re: Taboo Cove's fall from grace: haven't been there myself, but apparently those high hopes and hoo-haw are from when it first opened. If you do a search (link in the upper right corner) for "taboo cove", you'll find many of discussions you'll find interesting.

Welcome to TC!


Re: not making the old standards -- that's so sad, it's almost funny. I've never been in any hard-liquor bar that would actually refuse to make a drink.

I read this line and thought, "Oh yeah?, then you've never been to Taboo Cove!". I paused, read your next comment. Ha ha. Ahhh, Taboo Cove...It's an experience not to be missed, for many reasons, almost none of which are positive.

The BEST thing about Taboo Cove?


midnite :drink:


I won't even talk about that place in Las Vegas with the same intials as Tiki Central.

Went to the Tiki Ti on Saturday and had an excellent Navy Grog and another drink whose name I can't recall. But Robin had a Missionary's Downfall and we both agreed it was the best we had ever had. I've made the Grog Log recipe and it's good but the Tiki Ti version was amazing! Try it next time you go. Robin also had a Uga Booga. Everyone chants "Uga Booga" while they pour a large quantity of Myers's rum as a float (it had to have been a triple so at $12 it's well worth it).

Afterwards we went to Taylor's Prime Steaks in Koreatown. A great classic steakhouse with delicious food at fairly low prices and terrific service. It was recently picked by Citysearch as one of the top 10 steakhouses in the country! Look out, Ruth's Chris!

Other highlights of our trip were going to Kona Lanes on Sunday (sad that they are going to close), having the best Pastrami sandwiches of my life at Langer's Deli (even better than Wolfie Cohen's in Miami - sorry Kailuageoff!), and going to Bob's Big Boy in Toluca Lake.

On Friday we went to the Galley in Santa Monica and I was impressed to say the least. The decor is beautiful original nautical and South Seas. It's filled with bamboo and thatch and nautical bric-a-brac. The only thing they don't have are tikis so it's not exactly a tiki bar but if they did I would say its one of the best I have been to for decor. The bar is real impressive with huge bamboo supports holding up a bamboo and thatch roof (a lot like Maxton's Castaway Cove bar in Portland).

They don't offer tropical drinks on a menu so we ordered Mt. Gay rum and tonic with the juice of half a lime (Robin's invention). We called our drink The Galley - what else? The owner, Ron, greets you at the door to seat you in the restaurant, which has 3 small rooms all with bamboo partitioned booths. We sat at the bar because we weren't hungry enough to order a full dinner and had their excellent steamed clams at $14 for 2 whole pounds (a half order). They have a happy hour daily at 5 for a couple hours when certain appetizers are half price. All the staff are very friendly.

As I mentioned before, Ron loves this place because he went frequently since he was a kid, until he bought the place and restored it without screwing it up. The only thing I would change would be to remove the Christmas lights, but at least they're colored and not white. I think Ron is a pin-up fan because there are lots of pin-up pictures on the walls. I didn't take pictures because there were diners eating and I didn't want to bother them. Next time I'll try to go early and take some.


I also scored lots of good records while down there including the Hawaiian Eye soundtrack album for $5, some Les Baxter, Ventures, and hawaiian records. I also found this mug for $12:

Never got a chance to go check out that bar in the Wilshire Grand Hotel.

The BEST thing about Taboo Cove?


That seems pretty harsh. I know the music isn't Exotica but its still full of eye candy nonetheless. I like the many Bosko carvings on the walls, the vintage menus in frames and the vintage tiki mugs on the shelves. And, of the dozen times I've been there, I've never had bad service.

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