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Kala Kai, San Diego, CA (motel)

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Name:Kala Kai
Street:4405 Ocean Blvd.
City:San Diego
Phone:(714) 488-1004

The Kali Kai Motel (not to be confused with the Kali Kai Apartments in Los Angeles) was situated at the western most end of Grand Avenue, in the Pacific Beach section of San Diego.

The back of a Kali Kai postcard reads:

'Surf side... at Ocean and Grand Blvds. in Pacific Beach

Kala Kai

Located half way between colorful San Diego and famous La Jolla. Rest in a gracious Polynesian setting on the blue Pacific. A short five minutes to Fishing, Boating and Water Skiing at Mission Bay - or - off pier Fishing. Shopping and Dining. Just steps to sunning on the warm sands of the Beach and delightful swimming in the surf. Or enjoy our musical pool and sundeck overlooking the Ocean.'

Not sure what the 'musical pool' is.

[ Edited by: tikipedia 2005-12-02 21:23 ]


That is a great postcard. Any chance of zooming in on the photo on the right side to get a better view of the sign and the art out front?

Saw this old rate sheet from the Kala Kai that had a Tiki on it, so there must have been Tikis somewhere on the grounds.



Thanks for posting these. Despite the fact that my family moved to Pacific Beach in 1975, I have no memory of this place at all, at least not by that name. And the Ocean Park Inn which nows occupies the site looks to be late-1980s in origin.

Ha, I don't recall catching this post when it came up 5 years ago, but that sign is indeed very cool. And those modernist wall designs! Splendid!

The Tiki on the back is actually based on a very common Tiki pendant/ key ring design, and thus unfortunately bears no guarantee for full-size Tikis on the grounds. It almost looks like there could be some along the yellow wall, but the resolution is too low. And judging by the size of this operation, this postcard is the only piece of photo documentation we'll ever get to see of the place.

Spotted a matchbook from the Kala Kai that featured a more unique looking Tiki - they had to have Tiki I say! Bosko, any intel on this place?


Found this photo of the pool. It is the other half of the postcard that Tikipedia originally posted.

It did have a Tiki fountain by the fence!


kiara posted on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 9:27 PM

I wish there was more info/artifacts from this place.
Here's a sheet of stationary featuring that unique Tiki.
It must have been standing somewhere on the property.

Man, how I would love to see a good shot of those mod murals on the left and right - but what are the chances…lost in the sands of time, sigh.

Saw a few more artifacts from the Kala Kai.

Postcard with a close up of the wall sign, but no images of the art.

An another matchbook type.


I scored a new postcard with some more images of the Kala Kai motel.

You can see the googie sign and a root-ball Tiki in front of the motel in this close-up.

The close up of the pool area shows the cool modern statues on the wall. There are some Tiki masks on the top balcony railing as well as a shield and spear on the bottom railing.

Back of the card.


Dig it! Proof of Tiki found! Now we need to see a better shot of the OTHER mod mural wall, the one on the tower that can be seen behind the sign in the first postcard. :)

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2014-09-30 22:02 ]

Kala Kai ad with the logo Tiki.

Did anybody get a photo of the cool Kala Kai sign that Dave Hansen made for Tiki Market Place?



The initial 2004 post mentions a postcard, but it's no longer visible. I found that I own a copy of it, so here it is again.

A friend found a few wooden matchbooks and gave them to me. I tried to make the scan as high quality as I could, but it doesn't always transfer to TC with the same resolution. If anyone wants higher res pics, let me know.

These seem similar to other images that they have used in the past, but a cool find none the less. DC does such an amazing job finding and categorizing all of these old images for us to view and have record of, I am glad I finally have something to contribute.

Those look great Treg

A couple of slides showed on ebay with photos of the Kala Kai sign and the Tikis.


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