Welcome to the Tiki Central 2.0 Beta. Read the announcement
Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

The Tahitian, Pasadena, CA (restaurant)

Pages: 1 30 replies


Name:The Tahitian
Street:137 So. Lake Ave.

Only open for Lunch Monday through Saturday 11:00am-2:30pm and from 3:00pm until 11:00pm for Sunday Dinner. They served Cantonese and American styled luncheons and dinners.


Here are some additional items from the Tahitian. One of my favorite menu covers.


A nice napkin.



sweet DC...you seem to have quite a collection! Thank you for sharing! The napkin looks as if it has tribal embossing?

I picked up a business card from The Tahitian. These are always nice to find.


I had read that the Tahitian in Pasadena was the first of the two restaurants to open, with the Studio City location following. I picked up a matchbook that has just the Studio City location listed on the front, suggesting otherwise. First time I have seen one of these with a single location.

Here is the back of the matchbook compared to the one with both locations.

It looks like they just added the Pasadena location to the design further suggesting that Studio City was first.



A pink lamp in the image of the Bumatay carving from the front of their menu.

There's a picture of a green version on page 152 in the Book of Tiki.

[ Edited by: Tattoo 2011-07-14 16:28 ]

Aaah, quite a rare artifact! Judging by its color, it's entirely possible it came from the infamous Tropicana Lanes in Inglewood:


This thread should also not be without Bai's spectacular NEW Tahitian mug!:

(here in my "Paris Tiki" altar)

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2011-07-15 09:10 ]

I just got this fantastic tri-fold postcard mailer from the Tahitian restaurant in Studio City. This thing is big and looks like brand new.

This is a holy grail piece with never-before-seen photos of the interior and exterior of the restaurant. Some close ups.

First up, the killer bar area.

The cool fireplace room. Looks like Strikow Tikis overhead of the fireplace.

The dinning room and buffet areas.

The luau set up.

The banquet room with a great wall mural.

And finally, the amazing exterior shot, just oozing with Tiki Modern. The carved outrigger beams, the ultra-mod tiki torches, the fishnet float lights, and the sign.

You can get a glimpse of two large Tikis by the front and back doors. They look like they could be Bumatay carvings.

Here is the information on the back of the mailer. They really had it all going on, from banquets to Luaus and even a continental Tiki buffet!

This is one of the coolest items I have found in a long, long, time.


I love having paper ephemera pop up that I didn't even know existed. Cool fireplace, and major Tiki Spoon and Fork redemption :wink:

It's a bit low on the TYPSY scale, and the overall look is one of a Luau party banquet room, nice, but not too much money spent on serious carvings of the higher O.A. range, or elaborate landscaping like interior/exterior waterfalls. I would venture a guess that there was another restaurant in there before.

Nevertheless, great to see interiors and the exterior that I have never seen before, good find! Thanks for the scans and zoom-ins.


This good news is the Ventura location was replaced by a shopping center, and the Pasadena location was replaced by a parking lot. Hurray! :(


Fantastic bar shot, thanks DC!


Great mailer DC! And for me it answers the question of the origin of the pink Bumatay Lamp.

It seems the pink version of the lamp was used at the Studio City location and can also be seen in the other interior shots of the restaurant. I guess the green version was used at the Pasadena location.

[ Edited by: Tattoo 2012-08-19 16:17 ]

Looks like someone made a youtube clip from the Studio City post card.

The Tahitian Studio City, CA.

kiara posted on Tue, Oct 9, 2012 1:55 PM

This is not an image from the Tahitian, but was a few doors down, maybe a block from the Studio City location. The address was 12056 Ventura Blvd. Amazing to think that these 2 buildings stood there for so long. Not to mention Dupars and the Armet & Davis designed car wash that once stood on the corner of Laurel Cyn. and Ventura Blvd. All basically on the same block.

Casa de Cadillac still exists on Ventura.

I was digging through my files and found these seldom seen images of the postcard from the Tahitian in Studio City. I have never seen this card for sale. Anybody got one?


[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2014-05-07 20:23 ]


One block east of Laurel Canyon.

A ton of musicians lived in Laurel Canyon back then, it's possible they may gave gone there for a drink.


It'll be cool to find pictures of them there.

An old dining guide ad for the Tahitian Restaurants in Pasadena and Studio City.



Here is a picture from the Tahitian in Studio City.

Some news clippings from Tahitian in Pasadena.

First time I have seen the exterior A-Frame port-cochere and sign.

The two owners on the Tiki bridge at the entrance.

The owners again

With the story of the restaurant decorations - impressive!

Passport to paradise at the grand opening in November 1961.


You are amazing DC!

From the Los Angeles Public Library photo archives.

Gloria Jean Schoonover is a former child star who starred in 26 feature films between the years of 1939 and 1959, as well as making numerous radio, television, stage, and nightclub appearances. The actress was dropped from the Hollywood scene at the age of 21 when movie executives lost interest in her as she grew older.

Photograph caption dated December 5, 1960 reads, "Despite new success, Gloria Jean holds a restaurant job. Arranging menus is one of her tasks." Miss Jean was recently rediscovered by actor Jerry Lewis and will have a bit part in one of his feature films.


Nice find Lori!

'Arranging menus"…what a Hollywood story. And not much luck after:

"Jerry Lewis found her working as a restaurant hostess and gave her a part in his movie "The Ladies' Man", which was meant to re-launch her career. Unfortunately, her scenes were cut from the final release."


"...Gloria was reintroduced to a limelight of sorts by the magic of Ebay, where her movies (many of which are in the public domain) were being sold. Through the help of her sister Bonnie (who handled the computer end of things: Gloria didn't do "Windows"), Gloria got onto Ebay herself, selling copies of the movies she appeared in, as well as signed photographs (old publicity shots) of herself. Spurred by the popularity of these, Gloria published her autobiography "Gloria Jean: A Little Bit of Heaven" in 2005.
After her sister Bonnie's death in 2007, Gloria moved to Hawaii, where she now lives with her son and his family." :)


anyone know what the drinkware/mugs were like here?

On 2016-07-24 19:27, nomeus wrote:
anyone know what the drinkware/mugs were like here?

They had a few custom mugs, including

The Fog Cutter style mug (cleverly named the Smog Cutter!) that shows the Tahitian name and their logo hut.

The second is a Rum Barrel with the Tahitian name.

Also dug up another photo and story on the A-frame exterior and new entrance sign.


Mahalo Dusty!


On 2018-01-05 14:17, Dustycajun wrote:

On 2016-07-24 19:27, nomeus wrote:
anyone know what the drinkware/mugs were like here?

They had a few custom mugs, including

The Fog Cutter style mug (cleverly named the Smog Cutter!) that shows the Tahitian name and their logo hut.

The second is a Rum Barrel with the Tahitian name.

Photos of both of these mugs are in the Crypto-mugs thread.

A mile or two away from me. If only it was still there. Now a Fidelity Investments bank (in a different building), but that street still has some good restaurants.

Pages: 1 30 replies