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Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

Zamboanga, Los Angeles, CA (restaurant)

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Street:3828 West Slauson Ave
City:Los Angeles

Long gone. The building is a VFW today.

[ Edited by: Polynesiac 2008-10-09 09:32 ]

Though not "tiki" per se, the menu touts as being "The worlds Most Beautiful Polynesian Paradise". I'm assuming it means outside of polynesia itself!

Here are 2 drink menus and a postcard from the 1930's:

Menu 1:

Menu #2 (I like the ape shape of the menu):

The postcard (the interior looks intriguing. I like these pre-tiki escapist establishments, LOTS of bamboo. Also note the fish float hanging from the ceiling and other debris):

There's a cool photo holder at Akriva Tropica: http://www.arkivatropika.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?item_id=15
A matchbook over at Extinct Restaurants & Cafes in Los Angeles (scroll down to "Z"): http://www.latimemachines.com/new_page_43.htm

Polynesiac - putting the "F" back in "ART"

[ Edited by: Polynesiac 2008-10-09 09:26 ]

Here it is today:

Nice menu! Here is a link where the descendants of the owner chimed in (always a high point on TC !):


...and here some info regarding Joe Chastek's other venture:



Art Fern cut's off his Slauson - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HXkfDeR9Nw

great links, big bro! I thought it had been discussed here before, thanks for pulling it in!

Fascinating post on his other establishment as well.

Some very interesting information on the Zamboanga on this thread and on the link Bigbro provided.

Just got this great old photo postcard of the Jungle Room Bar at the Zamboanga.


Here is another old photo card of the dining room at the Zamboanga.


Its interesting how they describe it as South seas, when Zamboanga is a city in the Philippines, tropical but not really South seas.
I guess the world was a much smaller place back then.

Picked up this matchbook from the Zamobanga with some nice graphics.

Cool Tropical Drinks

Dancing in a Polynesian Paradise - I wan't to go!


Here is an old souvenir photo holder from the Zamboanga.


It looks like after the Zamboanga days the location became The Ginza a Japanese Night Club.

I’m pretty sure I’d prefer it over the Zamboanga. :D

I Love it ! ....

"Chinese fried shrimp prepared by celebrated Chinese Chef "Murphy"


Looks like the Ginza's other location, at 254 E. First, is now the 15-story Kajima Building.

I have the two linen color postcards from the Zamboanga featuring our boy Joe Chastek.

You can see some changes to the interior and exterior and even to Joe if you compare the two cards.

Some close ups - the exterior



The dining room






The bar

And the bandstand with that great mural.

Back of the card.


I accidentally found this souvenir photo on the internet today while doing a quick zamboanga search:

check out the background! And the happy couple! What amazing stories they could tell...

I found it on this article about night clubs from the turn of the century to the '50's, which is an interesting read in and of itself. There are a few other links with interesting pictures/menus/etc of non-tiki/polynesian influenced night clubs. Check it out:


That is a really nice photo of the interior, some great detail in the background.

I saw this unusual artifact from the Zamobanga on ebay, a souvenir statuette of the Tailless Monkey.



Cross-posting an actual site visit from my Frank Bowers thread since this is the "official" Zamboanga thread. :)

Sigh! That souvenir monkey statue really is the bee's knees, no, the Maltese Falcon of Pre-Tiki sculpture!
Much more so than my puny lil' Trader Vic sculpted Sea Otter: :D

I picked up a couple of postcards from the Zamboanga. The first one is from the Lounge Bar.

A few close ups.

The back of the card. It was advertising the opening of Dick Peterson (of the Spike Jones Band) and was sent to the Herald Examiner in February of 1950.

I also got the postcard featuring the Frank Bowers mural, surprised it was not on this thread yet.


Anyone been there this Century?

On 2011-06-23 07:59, christiki295 wrote:
Anyone been there this Century?

John-O has. See more here:

On 2011-04-07 10:07, JOHN-O wrote:
Cross-posting an actual site visit from my Frank Bowers thread since this is the "official" Zamboanga thread. :)

Libby Jones dancing at the Zamboanga, 1956:

Wow, phantastic photo! I put it thru I-Photo to bring up the mural a little more -

I love studying the details of that mural, it is really the most iconic of all of them. I wanna GO there and peruse every part of it unobstructed! Like, is that some kind of stage with those bamboo poles..? Can someone zoom in into that section of the postcard? I am not at home to do it.

What a shame that it is no more. (Kudos again to the urban explorers who checked on that)

Perusing this thread, I was reminded of the less famous murals, all intriguing in themselves:

The Tailless Monkey mural behind the bar, very well visible:

And then: Was this mural on the left a Hollywood film celebrity caricature mural, like the big heads on small bodies suggest?:

...and was it painted over when the stars began to seek out other digs?

And what the heck was depicted on the mural next to it, as seen in the linen card?:

Will we ever know...?

Staci posted on Thu, Aug 16, 2012 8:49 PM

Hello I am searching for pictures in relation to this club and any information on joe. my great grandfather used to own Joe's BBQ across the street from the Zamboanga Club. My grandma worked there and said the Zamboanga always had big bands, celebrities and business men. They would grab late night BBQ at my grandpas after 2AM (and apparently they tipped big). if anyone comes across a picture or any info on my great grandpas restaurant across the street please let me know! Thank you for your help.

Well this is interesting. I got a matchbook from the Zamboanga that list "Zamboanga Lou" as the owner. Joe must have sold out at some point.


Well wouldn't you know it, I just got the verion of that matchbook with Zamboanga Joe!

Looks like Lou did a quick little old-style photo-shop job.



Here's an exterior shot of the Zamboanga.
Couldn't find anything on here so thought I would share.


Nice photo! I found the image in the archives and did some close-ups.

A closer view of the street scene.

The mural.

The entrance.

And a few more views.

Love this place.



On 2014-07-16 17:45, Dustycajun wrote:

Love this place.


Hey DC, you gonna be at Sven's book signing and preso this Sun at PO ??

We can go have a drink at the (former) Zamboanga afterward if you're interested. :)


Your on! See you there.



The building is now closed and up for lease. Sorry DC, we tried !! :(


It was still worth a visit, thanks for the tour.

Another photo of the interior.


[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2014-07-21 18:38 ]

There's an original menu and a handwritten radio commercial script for Zamboanga on eBay right now with a BIN of $99: http://www.ebay.com/itm/231168868403

Flea market photo of people at what seems to be this restaurant - note the monkeys:

Mahalo for da post Lizzie!

Pages: 1 36 replies