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Name:Tiki -Ti
Type:bar
Street:4427 Sunset Boulevard
City:Hollywood
State:CA
Zip:90027
country:USA
Phone:323-669-9381
Status:operational

Description:
This is a small and exquisite bar. Tiki-Ti (pronounced Tee-Kee Tee and not "The" Tiki-Ti) is a must for any adventurer on the tiki trail. The room is quite small and can feel full with only a couple dozen happy tipplers inside. For this reason, arriving early is a good idea in order to get a table or bar seat. The hours of operation are Wednesday through Saturday 6pm-1am and cash is the currency accepted here. Smoking is allowed. There is no food service, but the snack mix is A-#1 with perfect pretzel to Cheezit ratio. The music selection is wide and varied. On a rare occasion, exotica or Hawaiian music can be heard, but it's more likely that classic rock will be filling the place. Now that the warnings are out of the way, let's get to the good stuff. Any tiki lover will appreciate its dark mood lighting and vast amount of tiki memorabilia and any cocktail connoisseur will thrill to the superb quality and taste of the drinks.

I'll let a real historian comment on the importance and past of this legend, but I'll certainly speak of where my expertise lies and that's in judging drink quality. The cocktails at Tiki-Ti are closely guarded family secrets known only to Mike and Mike Jr. Buhen, son and grandson of founder Ray Buhen. There are close to a hundred drinks on the menu and I've tried just about all of them. Each is prepared without use of recipe with careful ease and with amazing consistency. These cocktail artisans create wonderfully balanced, layered and delicious drinks. Not one have I ever found to be sickly sweet or one dimensional or lacking the proper oomph. For a little raucous entertainment order a Blood and Sand or an Ooga Booga. The former is mixed and then topped with tequila as the whole bar joins in shouts of "Toro, toro!" while the latter is mixed with a chant of "Ooga booga, ooga booga!"

Another plus is the friendliness of the natives. Pleasant and genuine conversation can be struck up with just about anyone in Tiki-Ti and if you happen to be seated at the bar, Mike and Mike always seen glad to share stories of the place and meet new folks.
They can be found on the web at http://www.tiki-ti.com

Much enjoyment to be had here.

-Weird Uncle Tiki

Thanks for the tip WeirdUncleTiki! I'm heading down to L.A. in a couple of weeks and I'll be sure to check it out.

Cruzin Tiki, check the schedule on their website first, they are closed for about a month starting yesterday. They do have the best drinks that I have ever had. I only wish that I lived closer, driving back to Goleta after having a "Ray's Mistake" and a "151 Swizzle" is probaly illegal.

Cheers,

KT

Thats "the tiki-ti, a two wheeler production".Only Jeff Barry and Sven have drank more of their hooch than I.God I hope the 20th of august comes quickly!(when they re-open).Easily the best tasting drinks in so-cal.

G

My husband and I had the pleasure of quenching our thirst at Tiki-Ti during a recent road trip to LA. We lucked into barside seats and got to watch the mighty mixmasters at work...a colorful and intoxicating display, indeed. Loved the tiki regalia teeming from every crevice, and the soothing background sounds of the "lava fountain" (resplendent with day-glo paint) -- though you do have to listen closely to hear it under the classic rock. Even the cocktail napkins are hip. Most definitely worth the wait in line.

Tiki Ti is justifiably the most beloved tiki bar in Los Angeles, although not the best.

Tiki-Ti has a great vibe based on it's customers spirit & intoxicated chants of "toro, toro, etc." Hawiiaiana abounds and it has a wide selection of excellent tiki cocktails.

The tiki quality is also apparent on its wonderful tiki facade, which is often a consulation prize because the bar does not keep the most dependable hours (I have learned the hard way to always check the website). Possibly this is one of the unfortunate drawbacks to its charm of being a family owned & operated establishment.

Tiki-Ti is also only one of 2 tiki bars in the City of Los Angeles (the other being the Tonga Room) and it is located (somewhat) in Hollywood, so it has a special socio-historical place in the city.

Nevertheless, Tiki-Ti, in my opinion, is overrated in relation to the constant ink it receives (references in Los Angeles magazine and the LA Times in the last 6 months).

It is tiny, like a South Pacific tiki hut, so one often spends the first half of the evening there waiting outside. The cocktails are expensive (although the rest of the city is quickly catching up).

The interior decor is not as attractive, or as tiki, as other local tiki bars - the actual tiki TIPSY factor is far too low. Not surprisingly, the BOT chose to photograph only the exterior of Tiki-Ti.

For all of it's short-commings, I, too, love Tiki-Ti and consider Tiki-Ti part of my tiki upbringing, as that I spent a considerable amount of time there in my mid-20s.

simply, there ain't none better.
(i say thie because my description would be a disertation ten pages long)

Went to the Tiki Ti for the first (but not the last) time last weekend. The Mai Tai's are a bit pricey ($9) but you only need one. I could have swore I was drinking straight rum (151 perhaps?)

Uggg! Moved to the right thread!

[ Edited by: DawnTiki on 2003-10-24 13:24 ]

BB

I eagerly await my first visit to Tiki Ti scheduled Saturday January 3, 2004.

H

Tiki-Ti is the tiki bar nearest to my heart. Here's its page in Critiki:

Tiki-Ti in Critiki

Tikiphiles tend to gather there on Wednesdays, when the bar is less crowded. There's a thread in Tiki Events to discuss Wednesday get-togethers:

Wednesday Night at Tiki-Ti

Here are a few pictures I took at Tiki-Ti last night (with my new camera!):

The drink masters, Mike Buhen and Mike Buhen:

Blurs of mixing activity:





The must-have drink, Ray's Mistake:

Stuff behind and on top of the bar:









See that last one at full-size to catch all the detail: http://images7.fotki.com/v113/filePDG6/38f30/1/117859/1396410/IMG_0222.jpg

Regulars at the bar:

No tiki bar is quite complete without pufferfish:

And Tiki-Ti wouldn't be complete without its snack mix!:

If you can't pick a drink, the drink wheel can help:


Critiki - Hundreds of tiki bars, Polynesian restaurants, and other sites of interest to the tiki traveller, collector or urban archaeologist

[ Edited by: Humuhumu on 2004-10-07 16:30 ]

great pics, got to experience the ti first hand last summer, so overwhelming for such a small place, amazing clutter i could look at for hours, and drinks that sent me to another world.....

a cozy vintage tiki bar. the best drinks you'll ever have! a must visit if you are ever in the LA area!

hint: go early if you want to sit at the bar!

Great pictures! A place that cluttered only gets that way after years and years of good memories. I would love to have a place like that.

On 2004-11-10 09:35, finkdaddy wrote:
Great pictures! A place that cluttered only gets that way after years and years of good memories. I would love to have a place like that.

It's a shame that so much of the clutter a decoration is permanently discolored by tar and nicotine. My one complaint about Tiki Ti is their smoking policy. It's such a small place that you can't spend 5 minutes in there without your clothes smelling like an old ashtray. (Formerly) beautiful vintage tapa paper is nearly unrecognizable under 40 years of cigarette residue.

One of the many reasons we like to travel back to our home state is its enlightened attitude towards smoking (Oregon only banned smoking in restaurants a few years ago, and you'd be hard pressed to find more than a couple of smoke-free bars in Portland), and Tiki Ti loses many charm points in my book because it doesn't share that attitude.

That is a good point. There are a few areas in and around Milwaukee that are starting to see non-smoking places. But there is no ordinance against it yet, although I believe a few communities are talking about it.

K

On 2004-11-10 10:42, TikiMaxton wrote:

It's a shame that so much of the clutter a decoration is permanently discolored by tar and nicotine.

Yeah, I agree. :/

One of the many reasons we like to travel back to our home state is its enlightened attitude towards smoking (Oregon only banned smoking in restaurants a few years ago, and you'd be hard pressed to find more than a couple of smoke-free bars in Portland), and Tiki Ti loses many charm points in my book because it doesn't share that attitude.

In California, smoking is banned in all restaurants and bars, but there is apparently a loophole I didn't realise existed which allows the Tiki-Ti to allow smoking there.

I voted for the law's passage back in 95 or 96 when it was up for consideration as a Proposition. The rollout for bars was staggered by a year or two, but a complete ban on smoking in bars took effect Jan 1, 1998.

As a generally non-interventionist "Libertarian" sort, I am aware of the fine line between tolerating differences and setting a standard which hurts the least number of people. I'm also well aware of the relationship one addictive substance has on another, especially in the grand tradition of bars whose images are burned into our collective consciousness.

But still, the reek of smoke so lingers in my clothes, that I end up having to put them straight into the washer since even putting them in the hamper causes a bad smell to seep out into the hallway.

Yuck.

Given a place the size of Tiki-Ti, and the relatively casual environment where there'd be no problem with people ducking out for a suck on their cancerstick-du-choix, but then that would make it hard for Mike (the elder) to take a ciggie-break behind the bar, I guess.

Ah well. It's a lovely place though, and Mike mixes some mean drinks. (Great White Shark - ouch.)

=Kukoae=

S

On 2005-05-13 03:30, Kukoae wrote:
On 2004-11-10 10:42, TikiMaxton wrote:

In California, smoking is banned in all restaurants and bars, but there is apparently a loophole I didn't realise existed which allows the Tiki-Ti to allow smoking there.

I voted for the law's passage back in 95 or 96 when it was up for consideration as a Proposition. The rollout for bars was staggered by a year or two, but a complete ban on smoking in bars took effect Jan 1, 1998.

As a generally non-interventionist "Libertarian" sort, I am aware of the fine line between tolerating differences and setting a standard which hurts the least number of people. I'm also well aware of the relationship one addictive substance has on another, especially in the grand tradition of bars whose images are burned into our collective consciousness.
...
=Kukoae=

Just an FYI: The ban was an OSHA ban for the protection of EMPLOYEES working in the food and beverage industry. It was not a ban for the protection of customers. That was just a bonus.

Thus, any owner-operated bar/restaurant is exempt not because of a "loophole," but because they don't need the state to protect them from themselves. This only applies to bars in which only owners of the business work there. They cannot "employ" anyone.

The Tiki Ti is very tiny and gets extremely crowded. There are no "ins & outs" when it's busy because it's all about getting in early and staying. Once you're out, you're out. There are a million other bars to go to in this town which are smoke-free. The few that aren't are nowhere near the norm.

And remember: when Tiki culture first began, EVERYONE smoked liked chimneys. To be true to tiki culture, smoking is included.

p.s. I quit smoking 5 years ago, so I'm not sticking up for the smokers. Just giving some background to the Tiki Ti policy (I live around the corner and hit there about once a week).

J

I was in LA on 10/15 and finally had a chance to check out the tiki mecca known as the Tiki Ti...

This place totally lives up to the hype. The bar area was packed so I never got a chance to chat with Mike and Mike - wanted to thank them for keeping the place alive!

I did manage to knock out three drinks courtesy of the younger Mike. Ray's Mistake to start things out - 10/10 in my book. I only wish I knew how to mix these up. Next up, Uga Booga (say Uga Booga, Uga Booga) - mmm, love that dark rum and there was plenty of it - another killer drink. Lastly a Zombie to round out the night - not as strong as I expected but very tasty.

Before I left I heard the legendary Blood and Sand chant - ahh, how I miss LA and mostly the Tiki Ti. In the words of the governator, "I'll be back".

Johnman, I'm so glad you got to experience Tiki-Ti -- it is indeed a true classic, and I've been missing it mightily. Sounds like you had a great time.

H

We were able to pop into Tiki-Ti for a short bit on Friday, and the Ray's Mistakes & 151 Swizzles are as good as ever. The soft glow in the room seemed warmer than usual, but that could have been the heat, or it could have just been that it felt like coming home. Whatever it was, the place looked great. The music was worlds better than it's been in the past, too -- Exotica all the way. Man, I miss that place.

After reading that, Humuhumu... there's a tear in my beer (Which means I'm definitely NOT at Tiki Ti). It's been way too long. Thanks for conjuring up the vibe.

-Weird Unc

O

On the eve of International Tiki day I traveled to Tiki Ti after leaving Trader Vic's. I spotted this and knew it was a good sign.

And then I was off to the Purple Orchid.

[ Edited by: Ojaitimo 2006-08-19 17:01 ]

[ Edited by: Ojaitimo 2006-08-19 17:05 ]

D

I've been to the Tiki-Ti many, many times, but I happend to drive by the other day in the afternoon and saw something I had never noticed before-- tiki torches on the top left-hand corner of the TIki-Ti building. Do they every light those anymore, do they even still work?

H

On 2008-04-01 13:22, Digitiki wrote:
I've been to the Tiki-Ti many, many times, but I happend to drive by the other day in the afternoon and saw something I had never noticed before-- tiki torches on the top left-hand corner of the TIki-Ti building. Do they every light those anymore, do they even still work?

One possible answer here:
http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=24006&forum=1&vpost=304609

BB

On 2008-04-01 13:22, Digitiki wrote:
I've been to the Tiki-Ti many, many times, but I happend to drive by the other day in the afternoon and saw something I had never noticed before-- tiki torches on the top left-hand corner of the TIki-Ti building. Do they every light those anymore, do they even still work?

This past Halloween and New Year's Eve they were lit.

quite the site to see,
made me very happy to see them lit.

Jeff(bigtikidude)

C
Chub posted on Wed, Apr 2, 2008 2:34 AM

New Years Eve 2008. Good times and fire.

I found this really cool old photos of the Tiki-Ti with the old door still out front and the Tiki on the roof.

Also thought I should add the matchbooks to this thread as well.

First style

Second kind.

DC

[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2009-02-15 13:58 ]

A

My girlfriend and I went to Tiki-Ti for the first time last month. Although I'd read lots about it, I was still surprised at how small it is. It's actually about the same size as our homebar that we built in our garage!

We arrived on a Saturday at 3:50 p.m. and Mike looked a bit surprised to see us waiting outside when he opened the door. "Hmmmmm, someone thirsty?" he asked. We were. I had a Ray's Mistake, Rum Barrel and a Navy Grog. The significant other had a Princess Pupuli and a Bayanihan. Great drinks, great atmosphere, a great time was had by all.

A

A message from Tiki-Ti for those who may not read the bar's web site before visiting:

WARNING!!! TO ANYONE WHO… PARKS ON SUNSET BLVD. WHILE VISITING THE TIKI-TI. THE NEW PARKING METERS ON SUNSET BLVD. ARE NO LONGER FREE PARKING AFTER 6PM.

THE STREET SIGNS CLEARLY READS 6PM, BUT THE METERS THEMSELVES READ THAT THEY ARE METERED PARKING UNTIL
8:00 PM!! YOU MUST FEED THE METER TILL 8:00 PM OR YOU WILL BE TICKETED!

WE ARE SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.

god damn it.
but thanks for the info.

Jeff(bigtikidude)

Well with both, the car parts store and the appliance store across the street being out of business, there is now PLENTY of parking. Just don't get caught jaywalking.

Nothing like a little local knowledge to solve the parking problem. I always feel like I'm playing that Froger game with my life when jaywalking that street. Seems easier going in then when coming out as well.

DC

Yeah, the one good effect of the bad economy: ample Tiki Ti parking..

A

When we were there last month, we took the Red Line subway and walked the 3 blocks from the station (about 10 minutes). Fast and easy, and no driving intoxicated.

I'm looking for hotel suggestions that are somewhat close to Tiki Ti.
Very economical is a factor and yet not a lot of one hour guests and needle
users would be preferred.

CJ

anyone going?

C
Chub posted on Mon, Nov 30, 2009 4:33 PM

Picture dated July 9th, 1985. From the Los Angeles Public Library photo archive.

Nice work Chub!

It's cool to see the torch burning and in July! The Tiki head is already missing from the roof, I'd assumed it was stolen in the 90's for some reason.

I've heard a rumor that Tiki Diablo is going to make one to replace it so hopefully someday he will.

Before New Years would be good. :lol:

CJ

isn't the 50th anniversary coming up soon? also, what's the deal with the tiki-ti tv thing i've seen them film there...

by the way some Sad News kinda related,
and I'm surprised Coco Joe didn't post it.

Coco Joe texted me that the Pioneer chicken across the street.
my favorite place to eat, before drinking at the Tiki Ti.
has closed. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

although there is one a few miles down Sunset Blvd. Near Silverlake area.
but I have been there twice and it wasn't quite as good.
sad news indeed.
:(

Jeff(btd)

CJ

the other one is actually echo park and it has close as well :(

J

Well hey, Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles is only 2.5 miles away at 1514 N Gower St, Hollywood.

They stay open late for your post Tiki-Ti drunk food needs. You don't even have to get in your car, just catch a bus going west on Sunset.

T

Well, I guess the nearby hospital emergency room will have less business now.

I wonder if they (Pioneer) went out of business because of the economy,
or if they were shut down by the health Department again?
damn no more fried Rat.
:(

wonder if the other ones are closed.
mid town LA
and off the 710 freeway,
and I still never found the one in Santa Ana

Jeff(btd)

T

This post was on the LA Times article page for Pioneer Chicken....

"I just found out my local Pioneer chicken closed down 2 days ago, due to an eviction. Off of Sunset and Fountain. I BLAME ALL THE VEGANS MOVING IN!

Posted by: Vic | November 13, 2009 at 04:59 PM"

Damn Vegans!!!

if anyone knows anything about a Pioneer Chicken in Santa Ana.
please let me know.

I can't find anything in searches on the net.

Jeff(btd)

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