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Name:Kahuna Tiki
Type:restaurant
Street:Magnolia Boulevard
City:North Hollywood
State:CA
Zip:91601
country:USA
Phone:
Status:unknown

Description:
Kahuna Tiki is a Tiki Bar and Sushi Restaurant opening in June or July this year. I will update this post when I have more information.

We were down in North Hollywood about a month ago shopping at a nearby retro lighting store when we saw the doors to what should have been a cool little lunch spot. This was the Rainforest Cafe, and it had been closed for about two years, and the new owners were inside discussing the place with their contractors. I spoke briefly to the new owner, and they plan to open the place in June or July as a Tiki Bar and Sushi Restaurant. I took some before pictures of what was left of the cafe.

The front door is just a facade, as the interior is open under the sky. Trees are planted and flourishing throughout the cafe.

Right by the entrance is a large fountain installation with a footbridge, and a Tiki was left behind. I wonder if either will remain in the new place?


Tables, trees, and another view of the fountain.




I'll hope for the best for this. Always nice to have another place to go in the area.

D

Any status updates on this? I noticed the sign KAHUNA TIKI on my way home tonight. Not sure how I've never noticed before since I live right near by. Got totes excited, googled and of course the only place mentioning it online was tiki central.

On 2014-06-05 21:17, danitiki wrote:
Any status updates on this? I noticed the sign KAHUNA TIKI on my way home tonight. Not sure how I've never noticed before since I live right near by. Got totes excited, googled and of course the only place mentioning it online was tiki central.

Posted by Poly Hai on FB:

DATELINE JUNE 2nd, 2014: A NEW TIKI BAR IN NORTH HOLLYWOOD?
There is an older bar/restaurant space in North Hollywood, California, which once had a life as a tropical restaurant and, more recently, as a hookah bar. What made it unique was that it contained man-made "rivers" running throughout its multi-level outdoor dining and entertaining space, giving it an exotic vibe. (Although the last time we were inside this establishment, it was clear those water features had been dry for years.) It also had indoor dining and drinking space. All these things made it a unique layout and a place we always thought would make a perfect Tiki bar. Apparently we are not alone. "Kahuna Tiki" has its Grand Opening scheduled for July 1st. One of the owners told us they plan on having luaus and dancers, sushi, cocktails, Hawaiian food and Tiki. Please do not judge yet on the photos we've posted. This is just a hint of the "before" They are just starting on the construction and have not yet decorated or anything. We plan to update you as things develop. Special mahalos go to Robert Spina (an ace cub reporter for Poly Hai's "The Jungle Drum" school paper) for bringing us this breaking news.

A

Wow. So that makes three tiki bars in North Hollywood? Lucky bastards.

S

I was driving down Magnolia today and saw this place. I snapped a drive by cell phone pic

The address on the building was 11026 Magnolia Blvd

[ Edited by: SBJiminyC 2014-06-06 15:46 ]

O

Whoops, and that's what I get for not reading the whole thread lol.


...funny, I don't feel evil.

[ Edited by: Onyx_Noir 2014-06-06 15:58 ]

P

That would put it not terribly far from Tiki No. Anyone want to speculate on which one will make better drinks?

D

fingers crossed for great cocktails! Hope that July 1 date is legit.

Facebook page has popped up https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kahuna-Tiki/254162371454203?ref=br_tf

H

[ Edited by: Heitiki 2014-08-31 08:01 ]

On 2014-06-07 10:55, danitiki wrote:
fingers crossed for great cocktails!

Don't hold your breath as their pending liquor license is type 41 for beer and wine only:

http://www.abc.ca.gov/datport/LQSData.asp?ID=79857491

D

On 2014-07-03 17:22, Atomic Cocktail wrote:
Don't hold your breath as their pending liquor license is type 41 for beer and wine only:
http://www.abc.ca.gov/datport/LQSData.asp?ID=79857491

Well that's a total bummer since it was reported a few posts ago

they plan on having luaus and dancers, sushi, cocktails, Hawaiian food and Tiki.

Tiki with no Tiki Cocktails?? I'm soooo sad. Can they upgrade license type later I wonder? Are there too many "bars" too close together on Magnolia already? hmmmmm

(In my book) No cocktails... no Tiki.

So True, SoCal, this is a non-starter, one of the key & necessary components
of a true "Tiki Bar" are cocktails.

K

I might not jump to conclusions right away. I could be wrong of course but I know that License 41 is relatively easy, whereas I think a full on liquor license is a bit harder to get through and might come later. Hopefully the owners aren't too green regarding tiki and cocktails.

Sorry but in the words of Astronaut Gordon Cooper "No Drinky, No Tiki!" :lol:

K

Welp, I guess we can just keep on driving by. This is the response I got from Facebook:

"We are asking for Beer and Wine permit only."

J

Okay everyone... I went to Kahuna Tiki for the friends and family event... heres my review.

Let me start off by saying that the owners are very nice. We met them at a Tiki event and they were TRYING to reach out to the scene, possibly even understand it a bit better. However, they should have done more research.... We do greatly appreciate the generous discount, making our meal inexpensive, but... sorry guys, here it goes...

I never visited the previous Jungle themed restaurant that was here before, but I did know it had a lagoon layout and was hopeful because of this. As we were walking up we noticed the first problem... a sushi bar, next to a PACKED sushi bar, this could be a difficult start. The exterior is simple with "Kahuna Tiki" painted on a black wall with three Tiki's and a few torches. When you walk in, two waterfalls are in view and the lagoon still stands, creating the perfect atmosphere. There is even a cave room where you can be seated and have more privacy. However, with a quick glance its easy to see the problems. There are only a few tables scattered around, and an inside sushi bar, with a few more tables. Not enough lighting ( people were using cellphones to see the menus, plus walking around was difficult in dark corners), and no heat lamps for this outdoor location, so bring a sweater! Hanging are tiki themed round lamps, glass ball floats, and some generic masks.

When we were greeted things seemed a little hectic (this was the opening for friends and family), and there was some confusion on where we should be seated. I noticed the female servers were in sarongs, and everyone else did not have much of a uniform. This made it confusing as to who was in charge. We even heard the owner say " you need to wear a Hawaiian shirt to be in character." That was a red flag to me, if this is a character and not your lifestyle, you will never truly understand.

Once the hostess figured out where to seat us, we were seated in a covered booth. Throughout the night it was never clear who actually was our server, because we had about six, with one that came back three times. This same guy awkwardly waited by us and needs to be trained on how to properly serve customers. One of the servers even took away one of our sushi orders because she thought it was hers, a few min. later a different server returned with the same roll.

For our meal, we ordered four different rolls, and edamame with iced tea. The tea took a very long time to get to us, and the glasses it came in were giant, more for a beer. They gave us no dishes for soy sauce, or an extra dish for the edamame peels. We asked twice for dishes and napkins, mostly because the edamame was COVERED in garlic. It was also served hot (which I liked), but was listed as a cold appetizer.

Speaking of, lets talk about the menu.... There are waaaaaay too many appetizers on the menu, cold and hot, (and why are they listed separately?). The items are a little odd ball for sushi, tiki, or any restaurant. And there are several misspellings.

At this time they did not have alcohol, but supposedly beer, wine, and sake will be served. I had hoped to try the Lobster Mac N Cheese, but when we ordered it the server told us they were out. Interesting because the table across from us ordered it, and they got it. Our sushi was okay but not the best, and with so much confusion, the amount of time we waited, and the overall letdown of decor... we wont be back.

And yes as many of you guessed, there were no actual tiki drinks or any talk of them being made in the future. Go down the street to Tonga Hut instead.

Friends and Family openings are, from my experience, always chaotic. I am gonna give these guys some time to figure things out, and check it out next week. I like Sushi, and I like Tiki - and I aim to be patient with folks who are new at the game :)

J

Thanks for the comprehensive review Judy Luck !!

I'll probably check it out if only to say that I've eaten a Tiki sandwich. :)

K

On 2014-08-10 15:10, JOHN-O wrote:
I'll probably check it out if only to say that I've eaten a Tiki sandwich. :)

Hahaha, yeah I was about to say the same - tiki sandwich, eh? I asked on their facebook (prior to my posts above) if they were going to do cocktails and the response was "We are going have tropical drinks and Sochi tiki drinks so not to worry!" which I have NO idea what that means. There was plenty of friend-tagging from others with the general response of "boo forget it."

It seems that upon first judgements that this is the sorta thing that screams "how tiki died." Thanks for the early review Judy. I'm sure the service and all will shape up, but so far it doesn't seem to have the approach that a Tonga Hut Palm Springs had when they decided to open a restaurant.

I think this raises the question of:

1.) Is it a warning sign if a business ostensibly uses the word "Tiki" in its name?

Maybe...but then again:

2.) Must ANY business that uses the term - be it a restaurant, fast food joint, or juice bar - adhere to the strict traditions of a classic Tiki bar, as in decor, cocktails, music and know-how, to be regarded as being "Tiki"?

We got two of those already in the vicinity - why do we need a third that matches ALL those requirements?

I personally feel that they should at least offer cocktails. I am fine with beer and wine being served as well, but I have seen bars that have tiki in the title and offer no cocktails, no tikis, no decor and no music. It just doesn't work for me. I could overlook the rest, if I could have a decent Mai Tai :wink: I have been to too many bars that have tiki in the title or claim to be a tiki bar, that do not offer cocktails or shun anyone who asks about cocktails, with no decor or tikis and a blues band playing on their stage. I hope this place will not fall into that category.

I hope these guys do well! I think it can take a bit for a new place to "find its stride." The menu looks tasty, I will stop by and try it out before the end of the year.

Jeeez!…what is it with this place: WHY is everyone harping on the damn cocktails! If you would actually read the descriptions, and look at the pics, they DO have Tiki decor:

"..When you walk in, two waterfalls are in view and the lagoon still stands, creating the perfect atmosphere....tiki themed round lamps, glass ball floats, and some generic masks…"

If I'd want cocktails, I'd go to a Tiki Cocktail Bar nearby: the Tonga Hut, or even the Tiki No - their cocktails have gotten much better, and the decor is top notch. Kahuna Tiki is obviously a FOOD establishment. Does anyone here realize how difficult and lengthy it is to change over, or get a liquor license, and how long it takes?

This is obviously a non-Tiki scenester start up, they are trying, so give them a break. As long as I don't see any garish Party City Tiki stuff, and get decent food, I am gonna give them a chance. And hope they solve the low light problem. :)

G
GROG posted on Mon, Aug 11, 2014 6:32 PM

GROG second what bigbro said. It's a Tiki themed Sushi Bar/restaurant, people. There are already two Tiki Bars in North Hollywood. Go there for your Tiki drinks after you've had your sushi/sea food.

I wasn't trying to sound negative, I simply didn't want it to end up like the little "Tiki Bar" in my town. My sarcasm doesn't always come through very well over the internets.

I fully support them and what they are doing. I realize that it is a restaurant and not a tiki bar, and that the decor sounds great. I hope that they do get their liquor license, but I know how much of a hassle it can be and how much they cost.

I am excited to check it out and I hope that it will be great!

H

I agree with Grog and Sven. Personally, after having a few tiki drinks its nice to know I can go to another tiki themed restaurant and have food. Sushi goes perfectly with tiki drinks. I will give it a try.

Damn you all & your reasonable thinking
you're just a bunch of Nice-nicks all full of niceness! :lol:

K

I think its because this place is screaming 'generic' and 'mediocrity' which is getting us all disappointed.

J

I really do hope things change. It would be great to see more decor, lighting, and maybe somewhere for live music. Until then, I dont think this place is going to do well sitting right next to another sushi bar, with with the tiki "scene."

I'm going to hit up this place tonight to check it out. What the heck it's in my hood.

K

Eagerly awaiting your review!

On 2014-08-11 14:46, bigbrotiki wrote:
If you would actually read the descriptions, and look at the pics, they DO have Tiki decor:

This is obviously a non-Tiki scenester start up, they are trying, so give them a break. As long as I don't see any garish Party City Tiki stuff, and get decent food, I am gonna give them a chance. And hope they solve the low light problem. :)

Owner dropped by my booth on Sunday and bought a couple of my pieces for the restaurant. So that part just got better! He looked over all my work and told me that he was real bummed that he "..didn't know me two months ago."

If I wasn't busy back when Tiki No was being built, I'd have a NoHo Tiki Décor Trifecta now. 2 out of 3 aint bad...Looks good on my Tiki Resume!

Buzzy Out!


[ Edited by: Bay Park Buzzy 2014-08-18 16:38 ]

[ Edited by: Bay Park Buzzy 2014-08-18 16:41 ]

We went to the place last Saturday, here are my thoughts.

As far as the sushi, the items we sampled were fantastic. The specialty rolls had many creative and unique twists. The Tiki Tiki roll was sans rice and was rolled in cucumber--a Paleo dieter’s delight. The Lava roll had a sweet habanero sauce and jalapeno lime drizzle that was absolutely delicious. They also had your standard rolls. I had a spicy tuna hand roll and I must say that the quality of the tuna was wonderful.

The balance of the menu had plenty of items for everyone to enjoy. We were not turned off by the large appetizer menu. I don’t see anything wrong about having options. Often times we are not in the mood for entrees and instead like nibbling and will order few appetizers and drinks. We thought the choices were great.

With the exception of the sushi bar area, it’s basically an open patio. With large live trees dotting the interior, I can just imagine what it must look like on a clear starry night. Love the water features and the waterfall adds to the relaxing outdoor ambience.

As far as the décor, I must admit it was a little lacking. The owner is trying and as mentioned by other he's not necessarily "tiki", so I appreciate the effort. I think he was trying to create a little piece of paradise in the NOHO district. Yes, the tiki masks were generic, with a few nice pieces splattered here and there.

Personally, I would have opted for quality rather filling the walls. At this point it is rather Spartan, but I hope that some quality artwork will phase out the junk. Some thatch wall covering would have given the place a better vibe. I could do without colorful painted tikis on one side of the sushi bar. I happened to be sitting by the owner, nice guy, and he was planning on going to the Oasis on Sunday to pick-up some item. I also mentioned the International Market Place to him.

The sushi bar area was painted an upbeat aqua blue. I would have preferred to see a darker color such as a nice brown/orange, but I could see how he might have wanted to separate the two areas and keep the sushi area a bit brighter.

At this point, no alcohol yet, but I was told that tropical drinks are yet to come. If the creativity of the sushi rolls is an indication of the drink potential, I remain hopeful.

We are definitely going back once they get their alcohol license in order. We did go down to the Tonga Hut to throw back a few drinks there. If anything, if the drinks in this place don't pan out, that may just be the ticket. Eat some fantastic sushi at Kahuna Tiki and hit up the Tonga Hut.

Just my two cents....I think the place should add “Sushi Bar and Exotic Drinks” underneath the Kahuna Tiki sign. (of course, once they get their alcohol license in order).

All in all, I think it has potential.


Okole Maluna!

[ Edited by: CheekyGirl 2014-08-19 13:07 ]

On 2014-08-19 08:13, CheekyGirl wrote:

As far as the décor, I must admit it was a little lacking... I happened to be sitting by the owner, nice guy, and he was planning on going to the Oasis on Sunday to pick-up some item. I also mentioned the International Market Place to him.

One of the new pieces he got from me is the same as one you have. Looks like Home sweet home now!

Buzzy Out!

K

Eight months later, they've updated their Facebook page:

"To all of our loyal and supportive customers who have hung in their patiently with us to get our liqour license I AM PROUD TO SAY We got it in the mail TODAY!!! We are serving Beer, Wine, Sake and Sangria and Friday will be our GRAND OFFICIAL OPENING! We will serve our tropical tiki drinks at that time! Please stop on by and celebrate with us!! WooHoo!!"

F

Curious if anyone has been here yet to sample the mixology. The pics and reviews of the food online look inviting.

M
MrFab posted on Fri, Feb 22, 2019 2:52 PM

Lo these many years later, the place is still in business, they have burlesque shows and luaus, and a drink menu. i really have to go now:

http://www.kahunatiki.com/

K

I find it amazing they're still around. I've not heard anything good about their drinks however, so use caution.

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