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Q: L.A.-area Tiki Hunt

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I'm planning an L.A. tiki architecture photo safari. However, my "pre-flight research" turned up leads on some places that may or may not still exist.

I'm not asking anyone to do research here -- I'm just hoping someone might know the current status (demolished? de-tikified?) of some of these places. (Addresses or cross-streets would be helpful too.)...

Tahitian Village Apts, Canoga Park
Tiki Apts, Claremont
Colby Kai Apts, Claremont or Covina
Covina Apts
Tiki Apts, Arrow Rte, Upland
Golden Tiki Apts, Arcadia
Royal Tahitian Restaurant, Whispering Lakes Golf Course, 2525 E Riverside Dr, Ontario
Kahlua Apts, Rosemead
Kona Kai Apts, Rosemead
Outrigger Apts, Rosemead
Don the Beachcomber sign, 1727 N. McCadden Pl., Hollywood

Thanks for any light you can shed!



P.S. - Does anyone have photos from the "Goodbye Kona Lanes" shin-dig from last year?

[ Edited by: SpaceAgeCity on 2003-04-10 15:22 ]

SpaceAgeCity wrote:
P.S. - Does anyone have photos from the "Goodbye Kona Lanes" shin-dig from last year?


Check out this link for the pictures. My last picture on my post should pretty much tell the whole story as to how Kona Lanes has been (mis)treated while waiting for its demise.


Kahlua apartments still exist and have
2 wonderful tikis out front which are in good condition. The apartment is an excellent example of tiki style architecture.

I will check on the street address and hopefully get back to you soon.

Thanks for the tip, Chris. Do you know what street the Kahlua is on? (Or general area?) I don't find a listings for it online.

I understand that the Kapu Tiki, Samoa, Aloha Arms and Paradise Island Apts are all on the 5400 block of Rosemead Blvd. Is the Kahlua nearby?

Thanks for the link to the Kona Lanes photos, SadCadDad! Don't know how I missed those the first time.



The Kahlua apts are also located on Rosmead, which is quite the street for tiki style architecture.

You may also wish to add Bahooka's to your list, located at 4501 N. Rosemead.

Yes, the Bahooka is already on my list for Rosemead. I've heard of it for so many years, and I'm looking forward to actually checking it out myself.

My "Places to See" list (covering all of L.A. County) is about 9 pages long. The locations I listed above are the few places I couldn't verify.

Now I'm figuring out how to break the list down into multiple day-long photo safaris by area. The whole project will probably be spread over many months.


Your photo safari list of tiki style architecture appears to be extremely well-researched and very thorough.

I would love to see it so as to conduct my own drive-by tiki cruise.

I am also heartened by the existence of so many tiki treasures in this town where developers have run amok.

Actually, my tour plans encompass much more than tiki. It includes everything I always wanted to see in L.A., but never got around to before. I've got movie studios, historic sites, Googie architecture, and all kinds of other stuff in the mix.

I'll try to boil out the tiki stuff for y'all. Here's what I have, minus OA and a sites already mentioned in this thread...

·Exotic Isle Apts., 109 S Almansor St.

·Trader Vic’s (1955) Beverly Hilton, 9876 Wilshire Blvd.

·Kona Kai Mobile Home Village, 8800 Eton Ave.

·Islander Motel, 1460 Colorado Blvd.

·Royal Hawaiian Motel, 1632 S. La Brea.

·Java Lanes (1958, Pat B. DeRosa) 3800 E. PCH.

·Tiki Apts, 1111 S. Highland Ave.

·Fry's Electronics, 3600 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
·Pacific Lanai Apts., 777 Manhattan Beach Blvd.

·The Tikis, 1001 N. Potrero Grande Dr. (Anything left?)

·Tahitian Terrace, 16001 Pacific Coast Hwy.

·The Tahitian, 137 S. Lake Ave. (Still standing?)

·Samoan Sea Apts, 661 N. Harbor Blvd.

·The Tahitian, 12010 Ventura Blvd. (Still standing?)

·Eli Kai Apts., near 226th & Hawthorne Blvd.
·Kona-Kai Apartments, 22413 Ocean Ave.
·Gable House Bowl (1960) 22501 Hawthorne Blvd.
·Tropic Isle Apts., 3344 Redondo Beach Blvd.

·Mauna Loa Garden Apts, 2000 W. Pacific Ave.
·Maui Apts, 217 N Sunset Ave.
·Pacific Isle Apts, 1829 E Workman Ave.

·Aku Aku Motor Inn, 21830 Ventura Blvd.

I can't vouch for the existance or tiki-ness of all these places, which is why I'm going to check them out. Again, if you know which of these have been turned into Walgreens, that would make my job that much easier. :-/

BTW, does anyone have any tips on places in L.A. to stay FAR away from? (Other than the corner of Florance and Normanie, where I understand Reyn Spooner shirts are underappreciated.)



These may be on your list already, but in the Torrance/Redondo Beach area, make sure you see these spots (sorry I don't have the actual street addresses for all of them):

--Hale Hawaii (3144 Pacific Coast Hwy, Torrance, between Hawthorne & Crenshaw)

--Tiki Apartments (Palos Verdes Blvd, south of PCH - BOT, page 221)

--Tony's on the Pier (beachcomber, not tiki - Redondo Beach Pier, end of Torrance Blvd)

-- the big Moai on the roof of the Pitcher House (142 Pacific Coast Hwy, corner of PCH & 2nd, Hermosa Beach)

A little further out is The Hurricane Room (on Hawthorne Blvd, north of the 405 Fwy in Lawndale), and the Islander Apts (1120 W. 155th St. Gardena)

If it weren't immediately behind the Eli Kai (a must see), I'd say skip the Gable House. Great bowling alley, but nuthin' even remotely tiki... Park in one spot and you can walk to the Eli Kai, Gable House and Kona Kai Apts; they're all within 1/2 block of each other.

When are you embarking on this "tour"? If we can work it, Sabu and I would be happy to give you a guided tour of the sights in 'our neck of the woods' (South Bay).

Wow! Thanks for the info and for offering your tour guide services, Dr. Z! That would be cool! For the record, I was also planning to visit some non-tiki mid-century buildings. Here's some other South Bay spots I was hoping to visit:

Bowl-O-Drome, 21915 S Western Ave, Torrance
Magnavox Building (1960 Risley & Gould) 2829 Maricopa St, Torrance
Palos Verdes Bowl, 24600 Crenshaw Bl, Torrance
Rolling Hills Country Club (1969 DeRosa) 27000 Palos Verdes Dr E, Rolling Hills Estates (Lounge)
Hot 'n' Tot Coffee Shop, 2347 PCH, Lomita
South Bay Bowl, 1515 Hawthorne Bl, Redondo Beach
Riviera Methodist Church (1958 Neutra & Robt. Alexander) 375 Palos Verdes Bl, Redondo Beach
Palos Verdes Intermediate School (1961 Neutra) 600 Cloyden Rd, Palos Verdes Estates
Wayfarers Chapel (1949 Lloyd Wright) 5755 Palos Verdes Dr S, Rancho Palos Verdes

Let me know what you think. If you'd rather stick to just tiki, that's fine too -- I can hit the Googie and Modern stuff on another trip.

By the way, I should have mentioned (in my earlier post) that Friendly Hills Bowl on Whittier Blvd. in Whittier has a small tropical garden that MUST have included tikis at some point. The flagstone fountains are dry now, but it's still a neat place to get South Seas landscaping ideas.


On 2003-04-18 01:35, Doctor Z wrote:
When are you embarking on this "tour"? If we can work it, Sabu and I would be happy to give you a guided tour of the sights in 'our neck of the woods' (South Bay).

I wanna go!

I've been anxious to do a South Bay Tiki Tour for quite some time now. If you all don't mind, I'd really love to tag along.

Same here, I've been working in Torrance for the last three years, and I'd like to check out some of the tiki stuff. Please let me know.


Thank you for the addresses.

I conducted my own mini tiki cruise and I would defintiely recommend the Tiki apts in Torrance and Fry's in Manhattan Beach.

However, I would skip the Pacific Lanai in Manhattan Beach and the Pacific Isle in Torrance. They are only vaguely oceanic and even then merely because they are painted light-blue.

Do you have the correct address for the Tiki apts on Highland? When I drove by I only saw a residential duplex.

I can vouch for the tiki outside of the Royal Hawaiian on La Brea, I drive by it frequently. However, it is located about 10-20 minutes south of Hollywood.

Lastly when you complete your tiki tour for the evening, let me know if you are going to make the Purple Orchid in El Segundo your last stop. I'll join you for a mai-tai.

On 2003-04-18 00:40, SpaceAgeCity wrote:
CANOGA PARK: Kona Kai Mobile Home Village, 8800 Eton Ave.
STUDIO CITY: The Tahitian, 12010 Ventura Blvd. (Still standing?)
WOODLAND HILLS: Aku Aku Motor Inn, 21830 Ventura Blvd.

As far as these places in the Valley are concerned...

Kona Kai - I don't remember anything tiki left about it other than its name - let me know if you find anything else?
The Tahitian is a parking lot :(
Aku Aku - has been a bit generic-ified...

Also, add these must see places (if not already on your list):
Horace Heidt's Magnolia Estates (1962) - 14155 Magnolia Blvd. Sherman Oaks
Tahitian Village Apartments (1964) - 7923 Reseda Blvd. (NOT Canoga Park, but Reseda and go INSIDE to see the tiki posts!!!)
Kona Pali Apartments (1962) - 10520 Balboa Blvd. (outstanding! in the BOT)
Tonga Hut (Tiki bar) - 12808 Victory, North Hollywood

Not tiki - but kitschy - you might like the remnants of Old Trapper's Lodge on the western end of the Pierce College Campus in Woodland Hills.

Call me when you are heading up to the Valley and maybe we can hook up? Or at least you could borrow my copy of the "How Modern Was My Valley" tour guide. But remember, it takes at least 2-4 days of exploring to cover all the Googie and Midcentury stuff in this book... Since so much of the Valley was developed in the Mid Century, there is lots to see up here.

Also, see my list of other places to dine and drink and stay here: http://www.lottaliving.com/valleytour/

[ Edited by: Futura Girl on 2003-04-23 04:04 ]



I hear you about the Kona Lanes. I live a few blocks from there. The last I heard (about 2 months ago) the land, leased from the Segerstrom people, was due to be leveled and cleared for construction of a Kohl's department store. However, there's a fight in the city council over that issue. I haven't heard if it's been resolved.

There are a few places where tiki lived in Costa Mesa - some apartment complex dwellings - but even though the A-frame architecture still exists (even some tiki names), the art itself is gone.

Christiki and Futura Girl: Thanks for all the good tips and info! Spending hours looking for long-since-demolished buildings makes me feel dumb. :)

Kona Pali Apts:
What city are these apts in?

Tiki Apts on Highland:
That address is from an old source, and is likely outdated. Probably bulldozed like so many others.

Costa Mesa Tiki:
Squawker -- What tiki places are there in Costa Mesa? I only know the Ala Moana on Wilson, and a few small apt bldgs off Baker (between Bear & Fairview?). I notice that the Tiki Bar on Placentia is now gone.

Kona Lanes:
Kona Lanes is headed for that big luau in the sky, as early as the end of May. Details are posted in another thread here.

Royal Hawaiian:
I pasted it under the wrong heading. My bad.

M-M & The Valley:
That would be cool. When I head up that way, I'll give you advance notice/warning. :)

San Fernando Non-Tiki (OT):
Since we're discussing what is and isn't still standing, does anyone spot any obvious on my non-tiki list for the Valley?...

Rocket Lanes, 9171 Desoto Ave, Chatsworth
National Car Wash, 5950 Laurel Canyon Bl, N Hollywood
Paty's Restaurant, 10001 Riverside Dr, N Hollywood
Mission Hills Bowl, 10430 Sepulveda Bl
Valencia Bowl, 23700 Lyons Ave, Newhall
Matador Bowl, 9118 Balboa Bl, Northridge
Biff’s, 18134 Sherman Way, Reseda. Pacific Grill now at this address. Same bldg?
Kester Avenue Elementary School, 5353 Kester, Sherman Oaks
St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church, 3646 Coldwater Canyon Bl, Studio City
Sports Center Bowl, 12655 Ventura Bl, Studio City
Paul Bunyan Muffler Man, Xpert Tune, 15237 Sherman, Van Nuys
Bowlerland Lanes, 7501 Van Nuys Bl, Van Nuys. Closed. Still standing?
Canoga Park Bowl, 20122 Van Owen, Winnetka
Woodlake Lanes, 23130 Ventura Bl, Woodland Hills

Again, I'm not looking for y'all to do any research. But if you remember something being bulldozed, it would help me to know.

Thanks again!


The Tahitian Village Apts. in Canoga Park are still there with some tikis, just look hard behind the street-walkers...


On 2003-04-18 00:40, SpaceAgeCity wrote:
·Tiki Apts, 1111 S. Highland Ave.

This one was erroneaously listed in TRT as being in LA.
The correct address is (as I blush and squirm uncomfortably):

Tiki Apartments
1111 S Highland Ave, Tacoma, WA 98465, (253) 564-7707


OMG :o

Will there be a Volume II of the TRT to allow for such modifications, as well as additions?


On 2003-04-10 15:21, SpaceAgeCity wrote:
I'm planning an L.A. tiki architecture photo safari. However, my "pre-flight research" turned up leads on some places that may or may not still exist.

I'm not asking anyone to do research here -- I'm just hoping someone might know the current status (demolished? de-tikified?) of some of these places. (Addresses or cross-streets would be helpful too.)...

Don the Beachcomber sign, 1727 N. McCadden Pl., Hollywood

Thanks for any light you can shed!



For those interested in still seeing this particular site, I'm sorry to say that the sign is now gone. The Missus and I went up to see it just yesterday. Based on the photo from Beachbum Berry's book Sippin Safari, I knew I was in the right place (I could see the planter box and the Burger King)-- but there was no sign! It's gone!
What with the final destruction of the International Marketplace in Honolulu, are there any artifacts left from Don's?

He left me his hairline.


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