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Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

Luau, Mexico City, Mexico (restaurant)

Pages: 1 22 replies

Zeta posted on Tue, Mar 17, 2009 3:22 AM

Street:Niza 38
City:Mexico City
Phone:5525 74 74

Exotic Cantonese food and Polynesian drinks.
Since 1957

Best Mai Tai in town...

Zeta posted on Tue, Mar 17, 2009 3:24 AM

Vintage matchbook from the Luau restaurant in Mexico City.

Zeta posted on Wed, Apr 8, 2009 7:09 AM

vintage matchbook

Zeta posted on Tue, Jan 5, 2010 12:28 AM

Modern Matchbook

Zeta posted on Thu, Jan 21, 2010 7:34 PM

Present day swizzle stick from the Luau in Mexico city. Open since 1957

For trade. What does the lamp represent? What does the Chinese letters mean?

Wow, talk about Tiki transmission tradition on that matchbook:

The Tiki on the left from Trader Vic's:

The Tiki on the right from Steve Crane's The Luau (anticipating it's liberal re-use in the Tiki revival!):

...and the LUAU font from Dobb's House (almost, but not quite):

But I have no idea where the lantern comes from! :)

So this place is still open, Jose? Is it all Chinese decor now?


That's great, not one original item on the matchbook! Except for the lantern which actually matches the swizzle.

Love the transmission tradition.


[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2010-01-22 12:36 ]

Zeta posted on Fri, Jan 22, 2010 12:37 PM

Sven, the place is still open, (they did a big 50 year anniversary celebration). The place is mostly Chinese but you can see some remnants of it's Polynesian past.

Zeta posted on Fri, Jan 22, 2010 12:50 PM

The Mai Tai is served in this mysterious drinking vessel.

The question that comes to my mind, as the ceramic collector that I am is:
Where did this came from?!

Zeta posted on Fri, Jan 22, 2010 1:20 PM

On 2010-01-22 12:34, Dustycajun wrote:

That's great, not one original item on the matchbook! Except for the lantern which actually matches the swizzle.

Love the transmission tradition.


[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2010-01-22 12:36 ]

Love the transmission tradition too! One of the coolest things for an urban archaeologist is to discover the true origin of an image. In this matchbook I knew about the trader Vic's Maori tiki and I was not sure about the Steve Crane tiki but I think the typography for the LUAU logo could be a coincidence...

LUAU Bottom marking.

This is a new mug. Not vintage. Who did this? I know you are out there reading this.

Zeta posted on Fri, Jan 22, 2010 1:29 PM

Fu Manchu LUAU Mexico mug

Where is this version of the mug from? Have anyone seen anything exactly like it? Who produced it?
I can get you any of this mugs if you want to trade, send me a personal message.

Zeta posted on Sat, Jan 23, 2010 4:46 AM

What about those two Chinese guys? What does it mean? Are they common? I guess so...

Sorry, but I do not have enough photographic memory storage left for Chinese icons, it's all taken up by Tiki representations. :D

I agree about the Luau font, and have to concede that I was simplifying the facts a little. While the left Tiki is 100% Trader Vic logo Tiki, the fact that the one on the right almost looks like a photographic reproduction, and that, though my photo of it in the BOT has spawned a whole generation of take-offs in every medium possible...

...I actually have never seen a photo of the Tiki in situ at The Luau in Beverly Hills, only this menu illustration...

...which in conjunction with my Luau/Hanalei research made me realize its origin. So how did the Luau in Mexico city acquire an image of it? Well, it is possible that they actually owned that Tiki, since the carver (I have to ask Bob and Leroy for his name again) made several versions of this guy, here is one that was found up North (in Seattle?):

Looking at it now, this one looks even closer to the Luau matchbook rendition then the Steve Crane one. Damn, I have disproven myself once again! :)

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2010-01-24 08:00 ]

Zeta posted on Sat, Jan 23, 2010 11:47 PM

Mahalo Bigbro!
What do you think about this drinks? Any originals?

Trying to decipher THAT I feel like I drank them all already... :)
Well the "Canton" and "Chinatown" don't sound familiar, so they might be originals ....but that really is a Jeff Berry question.

By the way, this well-known Tiki that greets everyone that enters the Oceanic Arts warehouse (on the left in Hanford's photo) is by the same carver, you can tell by the nose and the ribbed border.

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2010-01-24 08:17 ]

Oh, and that mug you asked about is a take-off of the common Orchids "Dr. Funk" mug:

The bamboo one is originally from Orchids, also. Some Mexican Chinese restaurant supply place must have started making them after Orchids of Hawaii closed. Tiki Farm had their mugs made in Mexico for a while, too.

Zeta posted on Sun, Jan 24, 2010 11:43 AM

I think the mugs where made by Tiki Farm. I knew they produced mugs in Mexico, but where? not anymore?

We can see those cool exotic green tile ceramics... What's the story about those? I have seen them in other Asian Tiki bars...

I think their mugs are all done in China now.

And here is a whole discussion about those Chinese tiles:


[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2010-01-25 13:33 ]

Zeta posted on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 11:12 AM

A small map of "Zona Rosa" what used to be Mexico's Tiki hot spot in the 1960's with at least 3 tiki bars in walking distance.

Hey Bigbro, when you visit, the Mai Tais are on me!

Zeta posted on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 11:16 AM

Hey, I just realized... I think all the streets in "Zona Rosa" are named after cities with famous ports, and that is pretty cool for a Tiki hot spot.

Zeta posted on Thu, Feb 4, 2010 4:24 PM

I know this matchbook is not so spectacular, but I do wonder what that building is or represents.

I am going to meet with the original owner of the establishment on Saturday to talk about the Polynesian origins of this place. What would you ask him?

Zeta posted on Tue, Jul 20, 2010 10:28 PM

ethylic exploration* in progress...

*Term coined by me


Found these last week at a local antique store. It took me a while to search through some 30 "Luau" restaurant entries on TC, but once again TC comes through. The logo matches exactly. Luckily, this particular Luau logo is pretty unique, especially the accent on the last letter "U".

Pages: 1 22 replies