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Haven't seen this posted anywhere yet:

The Tiki Gods Align at Lono, Hollywood’s Latest Drinking Den

It certainly is stylish, and I like the aesthetic, but calling it a tiki bar is a stretch. Looks more "tropical/colonial" to me--not quote the "Adventurer's Club" aesthetic, but not far off.

Yeah, I appreciate wanting to try something new, but I'm not entirely sure that "Colonial Governor's Mansion" is really the kind of aesthetic we want to be celebrating as a "tiki" subgenre. (points to Swanky's "kitsch problem" thread.)

I'll reserve judgement until I sample their drink menu though.

Interesting that you bring up Swanky's interesting thread. The one thing this place has going for it is that it's fairly safe from accusations of appropriation. Subjugation and oppression, amusingly enough, might be a different story, although I suspect that might be a deeper dive into history than most folks are willing to invest the effort into.

It's an odd choice for an aesthetic. I could see this as a resort or hotel bar, easily, but a stand-alone venture? Their drinks better be stellar.

Wish it was open during our last trip to L.A., Sept. 2016. We even stayed on Hollywood Blvd! "Proper" tiki or not, I SO would have gone...

Sharon
Central FL

Saw this on FaceBook, it looks nice but not Tiki. I do love the wallpaper.

C

The aesthetic I can appreciate, even if I can't give it a full-throated endorsement. What I'm more worried about is the crowd. It's being billed on some LA dining websites as a "hot" new thing, which means good luck getting anywhere near the door for at least the first few months. I live in Long Beach and have a 5-year-old, so a date night there would be a pretty serious investment for me ... especially if the big payoff is spending an evening waiting to get in (a problem I had recently at Clifton's Pacific Seas). That said, another article mentioned their policy of "dress to the nines, skip the lines." Maybe if I wear my finest aloha shirt? Ha!

C
Cammo posted on Fri, Jun 9, 2017 10:43 AM

There isn't a Tiki in there.

Looks more like a 1970's designer trying for a nautical theme, which is pretty cool.

I'm going. Hoist the mains'l, screw the lines.

I haven't checked it out yet but a few people I trust say that the drinks are good.

I worry it might get more "clubby" as time goes on as well.

Definitely not a tiki bar, only thing tiki about it is the name.

N
nimin posted on Sat, Jun 17, 2017 4:05 PM

On 2017-06-08 09:40, c-monkey wrote:
The aesthetic I can appreciate, even if I can't give it a full-throated endorsement. What I'm more worried about is the crowd. It's being billed on some LA dining websites as a "hot" new thing, which means good luck getting anywhere near the door for at least the first few months. I live in Long Beach and have a 5-year-old, so a date night there would be a pretty serious investment for me ... especially if the big payoff is spending an evening waiting to get in (a problem I had recently at Clifton's Pacific Seas). That said, another article mentioned their policy of "dress to the nines, skip the lines." Maybe if I wear my finest aloha shirt? Ha!

Hey c-monkey, just wanted to add my two cents as the operator of LONO. Just letting you know we're not crushed with lines at the door quite yet as we're trying to take a quieter approach and appeal to the neighborhood crowd, just like our other two bars Melrose Umbrella Co and Corner Door. We're not quite a Tiki bar, just a bar that really loves the culture and the drinks. Come on by and check us out. If you can get away for the evening and visit us up here, send me a message and I'll make sure we save space for you. There's a Pearl Diver waiting for you here with your name on it! My email is [email protected], just let me know when you are headed our way. See you soon!

C

Nimin, thanks for the hospitality!  I appreciate your spirit of aloha.  We'll definitely be paying you guys a visit, hopefully very soon.  I've been reading all good things about Lono so far!

On 2017-06-08 09:40, c-monkey wrote:
I live in Long Beach and have a 5-year-old, so a date night there would be a pretty serious investment for me ... especially if the big payoff is spending an evening waiting to get in (a problem I had recently at Clifton's Pacific Seas). That said, another article mentioned their policy of "dress to the nines, skip the lines." Maybe if I wear my finest aloha shirt? Ha!

Haven't had that problem at Cliftons. I did have a dress code problem there, came from a concert and was not let in. I asked what I was wearing that is not passable and the bouncer just looked me up and down. Another time I got to Cliftons right at 6 when the upstairs opened, but the bouncer at the door said that the whole place was closed for a private party on a Saturday night with no notifications on social media or websites. The LAST time I went we finally made it to the tiki bar. My brother and I both ordered drinks for $14. I was charged $16 and he was charged $15. The only thing I can gather from that is that the bartenders are stealing from the customers. Watch your wallets (not to mention the drinks and food suck).

Cliftons is just not worth going to when there are so many other great bars within a couple blocks of that area. Coles, Clacson, Las Parlas, Seven Grand, Perch, Ace Hotel... Just to name a few.

On 2017-06-20 11:06, lunavideogames wrote:

Haven't had that problem at Cliftons. I did have a dress code problem there, came from a concert and was not let in. I asked what I was wearing that is not passable and the bouncer just looked me up and down. Another time I got to Cliftons right at 6 when the upstairs opened, but the bouncer at the door said that the whole place was closed for a private party on a Saturday night with no notifications on social media or websites. The LAST time I went we finally made it to the tiki bar. My brother and I both ordered drinks for $14. I was charged $16 and he was charged $15. The only thing I can gather from that is that the bartenders are stealing from the customers. Watch your wallets (not to mention the drinks and food suck).

Cliftons is just not worth going to when there are so many other great bars within a couple blocks of that area. Coles, Clacson, Las Parlas, Seven Grand, Perch, Ace Hotel... Just to name a few.

I sincerely wish that I could say that your experience with Clifton's was atypical.

K

I will say, props to the owner of LONO to post here and not be on the attack. While I also don't consider it remotely anything near a tiki bar, I'm sure I'd enjoy the drinks. I'm sure its a fine bar, it's certainly well put together, just not tiki. But for the latter reason, probably won't be pushing to visit anytime soon (also, kids.) I appreciate his posting and trying to change our minds.

H

Love afternoon drinking, noticed Lono opens at 4pm, looking forward to checking it out, I actually enjoy going to Hollywood blvd and walking around looking at all the old buildings still standing. Have heard only positive comments regarding the drinks. Will post pictures when I do.

Anyone who embraces tiki and the culture, and gives it a serious nod by serving truly good tropical drinks, is helping us all out by being part of the community at large. I wrestled with this (just a tiny bit) when my fave bar started doing Tiki Tuesdays. They did an awesome job with the drinks despite not being "tiki" in any way, shape, or form. Had the drinks been bad though, I would have definitely felt differently. So if Lono "gets it" drink-wise and they don't hang tiki stuff on their walls, then I'm fine with it because they're sharing the tiki love and honoring the work of the Founders - Don and Vic. Cheers!

. .

Los Angeles Times 6/24/2017

Visited LONO yesterday afternoon.
Had a great time.
Excellent drinks, friendly & attentive staff, all in a beautiful (and expansive) space.

The King Kamehameha.

The Pearl Diver.

I'm inclined to think this is a (good) sharp joke/retort to the 'fern bar' commentary. Their one tiki is a planter at the entrance... with a fern in it. :)

FWIW, they do have some idols further back in the 'Green Room' and SHOULD they introduce more tikis, I hope that they are in the style of the rest of this space (which is to say polished, beautiful & well-aged).

I

If that restaurant were anywhere near me, I'd go there regularly. That looks like one heck of a space.

I don't get where the butthurt is coming from... how many of us would turn our noses up at the chance to visit a pre-1950s tropical restaurant? The original Don the Beachcomber? Or the old Zamboanga? Or the early Clifton's?

For those who have been to Lono, is the lighting always that bright? Or is that just for the photos?

C

Finally got a chance to stop by Lono for dinner and some drinks. We were NOT disappointed! The vibe, while not hardcore tiki, is definitely island-y, and, stepping off Hollywood Blvd into the cool, dark interior on a hot summer evening really did make us feel like we were entering a different world.

I thought the food was surprisingly good (been disappointment by the pupus at too many tiki joints), and the drinks ... top notch! We had six drinks between the three of us, so we had a good sampling of their menu. The King Kamehameha was definitely the standout, though the drinks were all terrific.

The hospitality was also terrific. I really appreciated that the manager reached out to the tiki community here on this post, and that vibe was just the same at the bar. All of the staff we interacted with were wonderful.

One other note. There are two sections to Lono. The front room is a pretty dark bar area, and the back opens up to a surrounded outdoor patio-like area. Going in the early evening, the back area was too light for our taste, but it would probably be a great place to have a drink once the sun goes down.

Finally made it LONO Hollywood and boy did we have a great time. The bar is an escape from the action of Hollywood Boulevard, and is a mix of tropical, nautical, tiki, and adventure. Drinks are tiki and the food is Asian fusion.

We visited on a Wednesday at 6 pm, and the vibe was friendly but relaxed. Music was a wonderful mix of Exotica, Hawaiian, and Lounge. Decor is not a deep tiki theme (though there are tikis outside the entrance and in the display case) but has some Safari/Adventure elements along with modern tropical and many nautical pieces. Dark but not too dark inside too. I hear this place can be more “clubby” on the weekends.

We had several drinks and they were very good to great. The Mai Tai is the 44 recipe made with Rhum JM, Appleton Signature, Smith & Cross, Coruba, and Lemon Hart 151. Very bold and an excellent Mai Tai. I also had their signature drink Curse of LONO that has a mix of rums, juices, and spices. Served flaming, this was very good.

Mrs Mai Tai had the Nui Nui and a Banana Boo Loo. Both were very good and I liked the bold flavors of the Boo Loo, but didn’t overpower with the banana.

The food menu gave off an appetizers vibe but was surprisingly larger portioned than I expected. I really liked the Musubi Bowl, with teriyaki-glazed Spam. Lots of rice and other goodies, it was really filling. Like the drinks, the food isn’t cheap here but considering the location the prices are in line considering the quality.

Overall we really enjoyed LONO.

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/BsKVaAUgtrL/


Kevin Crossman

Check out my Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/ultimatemaitai/

[ Edited by: kevincrossman 2019-01-05 08:31 ]

H
Hamo posted on Tue, Jan 8, 2019 12:38 AM

Thanks for the report, Kevin. I'll be in Hollywood in April for the TCM Classic Film Festival, and my hotel is steps away from LONO. I'm glad to hear it was an enjoyable place; now, I'm really looking forward to a visit. Were there any mugs or glassware available for purchase?

Yes Hamo, they did have a variety of mugs and glassware available for purchase (check the display case near the bar). Pricey...

Has a sort of a pre-tiki late 20s early 30s vibe with less bamboo and potted palm trees. Love the look. I must visit even though I avoid the Hollywood area.

It isn't in a terrible neighborhood. A lot better than downtown LA for Clifton's...

S

Does anyone have the scoop on this place re-opening or not?

It's closed permanently

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