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Tiki Central / General Tiki

In and around Whittier

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Hi all,

My husband and I are picking up a car in La Puente on Monday the 3rd and are planning to combine this with a pilgrimage to Oceanic Arts. We're wondering what other Tiki related sites in or around the area we should see on our way back up to San Francisco.

Also, we found a rate of $38 a night at the generic Whittier Days Inn, but are wondering if anyone knows of more interesting or even Tiki themed motels in the area with similar rates.

Looking forward to your comments and our trip to sunny Southern California!


Hit The Bahooka on Rosemead Blvd in Rosemead. Only about 20 minutes from Whittier (that's if you don't stop for red lights).

To expand on that a little...
take Whittier Blvd west from O.A. past the 605 fwy to Hwy 19/Rosemead Blvd, turn LEFT on Rosemead. Look for tall A-frames on the left side of the street, go past them and U-turn at the next intersection (at the Shangri-La Lodge) [not a place to stay]. Go on the inside of the median. This is the beginning of a Tiki tour on which you will see, in addition to the Bahooka, SIX of the apartment buildings pictured in the Book of Tiki (in part):

1.) Three apartment complexes side to side:
The nicest 3 story A-frame, once was called the "ALOHA ARMS", is now "......?"
BOT p.63

2.) Right next to it, the "SAMOA", now sans sign, BOT p. 218 (just the sign)

3.) After the empty lot, the "KAPU TIKI", BOT p.224/225. Outrigger beams and name are now gone.
Note remnants of tropical landscaping in lava rock boulders and (now concrete) walkways which once were waterfalls and -ways, in all three complexes.

Continue North on Rosemead for a while, past theWhittier Narrows Park. After a while back in civilzation, on the left at 4501 Rosemead is BAHOOKA. Time it so they are open (call 626/ 285-12 41). After sampling the traditional YAMS (in honor of Thor Heyerdahl, who based his migration theory on Tikis and Yams), continue North. Watch on your left for the

4.) KAHLUA Apts, BOT p.227. Tiki picture spot. Continue North to

5.) KONA KAI Apts, also on your left. This sister of the Kona Pali (BOT p. 222-225) is still well kept, note the individually carved beams behind the lush foliage, and the lobby mosaik. Continue North towards the 210 FWY, eyes glued to the right,

6.) The OUTRIGGER Apts, BOT p.15. Since the publication of the BOT the Tiki has been freed of it's green camouflage.

This TIKI TOUR c Sven Kirsten 1992

PS: If you are still up for more, take the 210 West to the 134 West to Glendale, exit Brand Blvd, go South and have early dinner at DAMONS on Brand, on your right.

-Oh, just reread the post and saw "on our way back up to SanFrancisco"....welllll, I guess you could just cruise by these places, but it ain't urban archeology if you don't get out and explore the site.

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki on 2003-01-28 18:29 ]

laney posted on Tue, Jan 28, 2003 6:28 PM

I love Bahooka! Everytime I go the manager razzes us about not comming more often. Some advice though...
Walk around everywhere-even if the lights are out.
Ask if they'll let you feed a carrot to the big fish up front.
The soup is really good.
Don't order steak-get the chicken-it's the best! You can have the yam as a side with it.
When ordering drinks, know that they'll make anything, I mean anything, in a bowl for two.
Buy a shirt-cool tikis on the back.
Just my two cents worth-have fun!


Nice tour, bigbro! I've stumbled (after a Bahooka visit!) onto a couple of those apartment buildings before, but I'll be printing your tour out so I can bring it with me next time I go to the area.

I wonder if Tiki Road Trip (upcoming book by our own member JT aka 'tikibars') will have any apartments in it?

....a little gossip on Bahooka: In the spirit of the ancient Tiki Lounge tradition of graphics rip-off (since Don The Beachcomber took the icons from the Covarrubias maps), the T-shirt logo is ripped off from young Mark Ryden, then an aspiring artist fresh out of Pasadena Art Center. Young Mark, as a fan of Tiki AND the Bahooka, whipped up a fine rendering and offered it to the owners for a fee. They grumpily declined, as many Tiki oldtimers were inclined to react to any young Tiki fan boy's interest back then......but imagine his surprise when he found his art work gracing their new T-shirts a while later. (They took out the fez wearing monkey holding a pig stuck on a stick, though.)

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki on 2003-01-28 20:00 ]

On 2003-01-28 18:28, bigbrotiki wrote:
After sampling the traditional YAMS (in honor of Thor Heyerdahl, who based his migration theory on Tikis and Yams), continue North.

Yes, these yams are DELICIOUS!! Make sure you give these a try!

On 2003-01-28 18:28, laney wrote:
When ordering drinks, know that they'll make anything, I mean anything, in a bowl for two.

Definitely feed the fish - You will actually hear the carrot crunching through the glass as he devours it!

On 2003-01-28 18:28, laney wrote:
When ordering drinks, know that they'll make anything, I mean anything, in a bowl for two.

You can also ask them to make them flaming. Actually, they will make anything flaming - drinks, punch, appetizers, etc. - all you have to do is ask. It makes for an interesting presentation!

Well, there's my two cents worth. Enjoy the tiki tour and enjoy Bahooka!

if your in town wed-sat, go to tiki-ti in silverlake(killer drinks, rich history) and take sunset(west) all the way to the beach, turn right(now your on pacific coast highway) and go 2 lights or so(4mi..ish) to los flores ave. and turn left into the parking lot of dukes(on the beach in malibu) and order the bbq salmon and have a blue hawaiian!!.ENJOY!!

True, as PolyPop said they'll make anything flaming, last time we were all there we ordered a Baxdog - Flaming.


On 2003-01-28 18:17, bigbrotiki wrote:

-Oh, just reread the post and saw "on our way back up to SanFrancisco"....welllll, I guess you could just cruise by these places, but it ain't urban archeology if you don't get out and explore the site.

I didn't mean to sound so San Francentric! Since the car we're picking up is a dodgy (no pun intended) 1963 Dodge Dart GT without a working parking brake or turn signals (hey, it was only $500), we're having to make this a fairly direct trip until we can make the car more reliable. After that, we intend to make many proper Tiki tours in Southern California with much exploring on foot.

Thanks to Bigbrotiki for the great itinerary and to everyone for the Bahooka suggestions!



Hi all,

Just wanted to post an update about our fabulous Tiki tour in Whittier and Rosemead:

  • First stop for these humble disciples was Oceanic Arts. We wondered if we had died and gone to heaven! We were greeted at the door by Susan who after hearing that we had been sent Otto and Sven, said, "Well, I'd better put on the music to complete the atmosphere." Then, she let us loose. We wandered, at first in a daze, but then started spotting things that we either needed (split bamboo for picture frames) or couldn't pass up (Don the Beachcomber-esque straw hats for $2). As we were making our third or fourth walk-through, Leroy greeted us and proceeded to regale us with stories about long lost and forgotten Tiki sites. After about half an hour, we made our way to the front and met Bob. As soon as we mentioned Tiki Central, he slapped a couple of sets of Oceanic Arts drink stirrers and a signature notepad on the counter and proceeded to tell us of Tiki sites of the present (Anyone been to Club Mallard in Albany? Came highly recommended by Bob.) After about another twenty minutes, we made our purchases (sadly paltry due to our recent car expenditure) and proceeded to Sven's Tiki Tour...

  • Had already checked out all the BOT references, but there's nothing like Tiki in the flesh (or wood as it were). Of course, there was no resisting getting out and exploring, which we did at each point -- pictures to prove it are forthcoming. Got many a funny look from the tenants who seemed oblivious to their surroundings. After stops 1-3, we were definitely hungry and thirsty and the Bahooka didn't disappoint...

  • Boy, didn't it disappoint! What a fabulous experience! Coming in from the bright Southern California sun, we were a bit dazed by the aquatic darkness of the Bahooka. We'd read all about the 140 fish tanks, but were not prepared for the "lost-in-a-sunken-shipwreck-in-the-tropics" atmosphere. Since there was no one in the front, we wandered around a bit and found our perfect booth -- in the corner, surrounded by three fish tanks. We ordered our double Shark's Tooth flaming and were thrilled with it. And then the food came. Since we usually eat at tacquerias or vegetarian restaurants, we had forgotten the quantity of food one gets at a good ol' American family style restaurant. Our veggie burgers with grilled onions were huge and the best we have had! And with the piles of fries and salads and baked yam for dessert in honor of Thor, we were painfully, but happily stuffed by the time we finished -- everything! After waddling around a bit more, we spotted the giant piranha (which we were informed is not a piranha, but a related fish, the name of which we instantly forgot in our sodden state). Even though we called the fish the wrong name, our wonderful waitress, who we then discovered was the legendary Go-Go, humored us by feeding the fish a carrot. Yes, you can hear it crunching through the glass. We cannot recommend the Bahooka highly enough and will get there ourselves as often as we can.

  • Continuing our tour, we found our favorite spot of the tour at the fountain in front of the Kahlua - great moss! Once again, the tenants at the Outrigger looked at us suspiciously, but we were too giddy to care. Our first taste of proper Southern California Tiki!

Throughout the tour and our trip back up to SF, our 40 year old Dart performed well and has only had a couple of hiccups in the past week, so with a little more work, we are hoping to drive it to -- and meet you all -- at the Tiki Oasis in May.

Cheers to you all,

[ Edited by: kah706 on 2003-02-10 23:37 ]

Slant six, baby... :)

Push Button Tranny?


Yes, slant six, push button transmission, two door, hard top, GT, but we're getting off topic and should scoot over to the Dodge Dart forum at Yahoo to continue this. :)

To get back on topic, we already have our Tiki mascot for the dashboard picked out for after we finish restoring her.

-- Kelly

Thanks for the update kah706 - glad you enjoyed the tour.
On our honeymoon/Tiki-quest (oct-nov 2001)we did a very similar tour, we also started at OA (and we also enjoyed Bob, Leroy & Susan's great hospitality), only we spent $300 + $700 shipping (yes, we got "a little", carried away ), and eventhough we read the BOT we forgot all about Rosemead Blvd, and stumbled upon it by chance. We were so surprised that we had to go there the next day and explore some more.
Unfortunately for us, the Bahooka was closed when we were there, so we'll have to try it it the future.
How about some pics?


P.S. & Very OT - Sounds like a nice car - have fun restoring it! I LOVE Mopars...I have a 70 Dart Swinger, unfortunately, financial difficulties have led me to stop driving it after a need for some costly repairs. I also had a 74 Dart Sport parts car I just sold. Oh and I suposedly have a 72 Challenger waiting for me in Fl for a parts transplant from my crashed 70 Barracuda...


Kelly wrote:
"Anyone been to Club Mallard in Albany? Came highly recommended by Bob."

It's not a tiki bar but is an old hunting lodge themed bar with tiki patios decorated with stuff from OA (and one that serves excellent drinks). I mentioned Club Mallard last year in this thread as a stop on a potential East Bay bar crawl:


Which brings up the question: How about having an East Bay crawl on Sunday following the SF crawl?



I really think an east bay crawl deserves a Saturday night of it's own, Sunday might be too much for another crawl. But...What about a meeting on the patio of the Mallard on Sunday for a little hair of the dog? Maybe that would work.

If memory serves me, doesn't your girlfriend work there?



Good idea to just go to the Mallard on Sunday. Yes, Robin bartends there. Also, she did the decor on the tiki patio and she painted the mural on the upstairs patio.

What's the most recent news on the bus? It didn't seem like many people were into it. I probably will try to find someone to be driver or take a cab.

Also, what's the plan for Friday? Are people meeting at TV like last year? And then go to mrsmiley's.


Sorry, I should have put that last post in the Tiki Crawl thread.

Are the apartments on the way to Bahooka from Oceanic Arts?
Thank you!

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