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Name:Purple Orchid
Type:bar
Street:221 Richmond Street
City:El Segundo
State:CA
Zip:90245
country:USA
Phone:(310) 322-5829
Status:operational

Regarding the location of the Purple Orchid Exotic Tiki Lounge. When you are anywhere near LAX or the South Bay beach cities look for the plume of smoke coming from the Scattergood electrical generation plant. Follow the smoke as it almost always flows inland even when the wind is against it. When you see the Chevron oil refinery stay to the north and when you can smell the Hyperion water treatment plant go in that direction. Then ask anyone on the street "where is the Purple Orchid?" They will send you to a semi-secret location on Main Street in front of the police station. Use your social skills to attract their attention, ask one of the police officers "where is the Purple Orchid?" After making bail, walk to the corner of the street south of the door they tossed you out of, turn right, go to the next street, turn left and you can see the oil refinery again. Walk straight as best you can and we are on the right hand side of the street.

If this does not work call (310) 322-5829 and ask for directions. We have a limited bail budget so don't make the cops mad.

For those of you with a map we are at 221 Richmond Sreet, El Segundo, CA.

From the 405 take El Segundo Blvd. west, pass Sepulveda, pass Main Street, and turn right on Richmond Sreet.

From the 105 west, keep going until you see Main Street and turn left. Go to Grand Ave and turn right. Turn left on Richmond Street.

Some tourist maps call the city Mayberry By the Sea. I think it is a mistranslation of the Swedish phrase for "drink there because the bail is low relative to the quality of the Mai Tai."

[ Edited by: Wersmo Derinc on 2003-11-07 08:48 ]

In my opinion, the Purple Orchid is the all-around best tiki bar in Southern California.

First and foremost, the bar abounds with tikis: glowing neon tikis, tall tikis, Soloman Island\PNG tikis on the ceilings, even tikis on the outside.

Drinks are served in tikis. Purple Orchid even has its own purple, Purple Orchid tiki mug.

The drinks that aren't served in tikis are served in volcano Scorpion Bowls, with firery lighted 151 erupting in the middle (even Trader Vic's dosen't have those!)

The decor is beautiful. The walls are covered with split bamboo (done by the owners). Hawaiiana abounds.

The $8.50 price of drinks are most reasonable, including the cost of martinis, of which they have numerous tiki inspired selections. In a world where the price of a martini approaches $10.00, the $8.50 price is very welcome.

The purple cloth of the 2 pool tables are very dramatic, just like Gotham City in SaMo.

Lastly, the owners are two of the nicest people you ever want to meet (and well traveled in the South Pacific too).

...and I might ad that the the restrooms are wallpapered with pages from the Book of Tiki, a unique concept that continues the old tradition of special restroom treatments in theme bars.
Apparently the women complained that only the men's room had gotten the wallpaper and now the girls have their walls plastered too.

The men though still have the singular experience of standing to relieve themselves from the tropical concoctions and being able to read from the book while doing so.

Now that the book is even cheaper in paperback, the wallpaper concept should spread like wildfire!

Once you have a Purple Orchid Mai Tai, you won't need another if you catch my drift! Yummy!!

Was just there for the first time on Thursday. I must concur, this is possibly the best tiki bar in all of LA. Correct me if I'm wromg, but isn't this one of only two tiki bars in California that have signature mugs? All tiki bars should have tiki mugs, if they can.

On a side note, my dad actually found out about this bar before I did by--get this--WALKING in LA! When he took me to this place, we drove around for about a half hour before we finally found it. And I don't mean the bar, I mean El Segundo! I was beginning to doubt there ever was a Purple Orchid, or an El Segundo for that matter.

About their Mai Tais, they ARE very strong. I found that out when I tried to say "Post-Colonial Cinema Seminar." (Please don't ask why I was trying to say that. It's actually very hard to say sober)

K

Does the Purple Orchid sell their purple orchid tiki mug? If so how can I get two.

Yes they do.

Just belly up to the tikibar and ask when you ask for your for mai tai in the purple Purple Orchid mug, ask to purchase the mug as well.

If you go on a Monday, you may be able to get a manicure, too.

Trader Rick:

There are at least two other California tiki bars that offer their signature mugs:

Bali Hai - the Mr. Bali Hai mug (Shelter Island, San Diego) and

Trader Vics - the Menehune coconut mug (at least in Beverly Hills, LA).

Does Chucks or Kahuna Grill also offer their own mugs?

Happy Thanksgiving.

Trader Rick:

There are at least two other California tiki bars that offer their signature mugs:

Bali Hai - the Mr. Bali Hai mug (Shelter Island, San Diego) and

Trader Vics - the Menehune coconut mug (at least in Beverly Hills, LA).

Does Chucks or Kahuna Grill also offer their own mugs?

Happy Thanksgiving.

Trader Rick:

There are at least two other California tiki bars that offer their signature mugs:

Bali Hai - the Mr. Bali Hai mug (Shelter Island, San Diego) and

Trader Vics - the Menehune coconut mug (at least in Beverly Hills, LA).

Does Chucks or Kahuna Grill also offer their own mugs?

Happy Thanksgiving.

Trader Rick:

There are at least two other California tiki bars that offer their signature mugs:

Bali Hai - the Mr. Bali Hai mug (Shelter Island, San Diego) and

Trader Vics - the Menehune coconut mug (at least in Beverly Hills, LA).

Does Chucks or Kahuna Grill also offer their own mugs?

Happy Thanksgiving.

K

kind of hard to belly up from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Maybe I should give them a call and find out.

No, Kahuna Grill does not offer any mugs. This is most likely due to the fact that they are not a bar, just a surfers' burger joint. Cool place, though, and much needed since our other tiki burger place closed 12 years ago.

As for Chuck's, I don't know why people consider it a tiki bar. I don't recall seeing a single tiki in the place. It is a nice restaurant, however. I don't recall any collectable mugs or glassware from Chuck's, but then I was only there once.

But back to the topic at hand, Purple Orchid has three mugs to choose from, all by Tiki Farm. One is their signature mug (tiki sticking out it's tongue). The other is a Moai, and the last is either a Marquesan or Cook Island style mug (I can't tell the difference, but I'm sure someone will clear this up for me) The last two appear to be the mugs Tiki Farm sells in their tiki mug four pack, only a little nicer and with Purple Orchid written on the back.

Anyway, I hope future editions of Tiki Road Trip are a little kinder to this place as I found it one of the better tiki bars in LA. The music was appropriate, featuring lounge, some exotica, the soundtrack to "Blue Hawaii," some reggae, along with what you would expect at any bar jukebox. There was even Jimmy Buffett's greatest hits, which I assume was in there as a joke. And the owners have really gone all out decorating this place.

I also like the corrugated tin bar shade. Reminds me of being in a true remote South Pacific locale. (How many times did I hit submit?)

The Purple Orchid is our new favorite tiki bar in the Los Angeles area. It is just simply the most perfect Tiki experience we have yet to encounter. This fabulous El Segundo location, located very near, but not on the beach is owned by Rebecca and Dave who have obviously taken great care to create and re-create this tiki bar. It combines vintage tiki elements with fresh neo-tiki ideas. This is especially evident in their amazing and eclectic drink menu which offers updated classics such as the Mai Tai as well as new libations such as “ The Funky Monkey” (one of our favorites and a must try). Bartenders serve up beautiful drinks never containing less than a huge pineapple slice, several umbrellas, tiny monkeys and tasty cherries. And of course all served in gorgeous Tiki Farm mugs…the bar’s own “Purple Orchid” mug can be bought for a reasonable 8 dollars. While we are on the subject of dollars, the drinks are extremely well priced. (tiki martinis 6 dollars, tiki drinks 8 dollars) And for all you couples or you tiki folks who may need a slightly bigger kick, you can get them served up in a flaming volcano bowl. Ask for Diane, who relishes in giving the Tikiphile the perfect concoction and the largest amount of garnish with a smile.

Now that we’ve raved about the drinks (obviously the first concern when entering a new tiki establishment), we must rave about the amazing décor. Starting with the authentic Leroy Schmaltz tiki poles greeting you at the door, it only gets better. Rebecca and Dave went so far as to modify the ceilings in this old El Segundo watering hole to create a classic A-frame. You are also immediately greeted by the Purple Orchid mascot tiki which is a whole 2 year tiki adventure story in itself, as reported by Rebecca. Great care has been taken to create a classic tiki environment without the clutter sometimes associated with older Tiki bars. Bamboo and grass on every surface along with fabulous lighting and great detail (puffer fish, floaters, tiki shrines etc) transport you to a south seas location.

We also love The Purple Orchid for it’s fabulous “event nights” such as their Tiki Halloween night and their Tiki New Years Eve Celebration. The locals who frequent the bar unfortunately don’t seem to fully realize that they have just stepped into a Tiki Fantasy. The only thing negative to say about the Purple Orchid is that there are one too many beers being consumed and not enough fabulous “Funky Monkey’s”.

[ Edited by: 2QueerTikis on 2004-01-19 17:05 ]

DZ

On 2004-01-18 23:34, 2QueerTikis wrote:
This fabulous El Segundo location, located very near, but not on the beach is owned by Rachel and Dave who have obviously taken great care to create and re-create this tiki bar.

Dave himself is a member here (Wersmo Derinc - see the first post of this thread), but his wonderful wife is Rebecca! I'm sure they both appreciate the fine words you have for what is indeed, as Christiki295 says, "the all-around best tiki bar in Southern California."

Our apologies to Rebecca for messing up on your name in our original review-- we went back and fixed it. Next time we must remember to write our reviews before we start in on those aforementioned libations of yours! Either way, it does not change our love for your fantastic bar! LONG LIVE THE PURPLE ORCHID!

[ Edited by: 2QueerTikis on 2004-01-19 17:09 ]

kbgator asked:

Does the Purple Orchid sell their purple orchid tiki mug? If so how can I get two.

I'm curious too, and just called them. A delightful woman named Erin took my email address and said the owner would get back to me on whether they mail-order them and how much that would cost. I'll let you all know if they do.

K

I wonder if holden from tiki farm can help us get some mugs.

Here is the fabulous Tiki Farm mug from the Purple Orchid!

[ Edited by: 2QUeerTikis on 2004-01-25 13:05 ]

I checked ou the Purple Orchid last week, and I bought the purple mug. I like the mug, and the decor was respectable. The drink that I had tasted like crap. It was supposedly a Mai Tai, but I tasted no fresh lime, orgeat, or mint. I may have had some orange curacao, but who could tell. It was strong and sweet. I really don't hold that against the place since most regular bars would have served the the same ?%$&. Tiki Ti, to me, is by far a better place to get a tiki drink.

Sorry to be so negative, but its late and I'm loaded.

KT

[ Edited by: Kreaky Tiki on 2004-04-04 23:20 ]

On 2004-03-24 23:13, Kreaky Tiki wrote:
I checked ou the Purple Orchid "lasy" week, and I bought the purple mug. I like the mug, and the decor was respectable. The drink that I had tasted like crap. It was supposedly a Mai Tai, but I tasted no fresh lime, orgeat, or mint. I may have had some orange curacao, but who could tell. It was strong and sweet. I rteally don't hold that against the place since most regular bars would have served the the same ?%$&. Tiki Ti, to me, is by far a better place to get a tiki drink.

Sorry to be so negative,

KT

What's "lasy" week?

M

They actually have 3 mugs. But the other 2 are standard Tiki Farm mugs just with the Purple Orchid logo on the back. The purple mug is THE mug for Purple Orchid and is only available there. For those of you who haven't been there yet, the purple mug is modeled after their large tiki on the stage in the bar.

On 2004-03-24 23:13, Kreaky Tiki wrote:
I checked ou the Purple Orchid last week, and I bought the purple mug. I like the mug, and the decor was respectable. . . .

The decor is merely "respectable?"

KreakyTiki, where's the tiki love?

The bamboo (on the walls and ceiling), the numerous tikis (inside and out), the Hawaiiana, the Book of Tiki in the (men's) bathroom, the Hawaiian print tables, etc., would, I hope, warrant somewhat greater approval.

I was disapponted, what can I say? Nice effort, but you bartender doesn't know what a Mai Tai is? I'm tired of the level of service that is available out there. I would pay extra for a proper drink. The Purple Orchid to me was not tiki. There was no Exotica or Hawaiian music on the juke box, what's up with that? Pool tables and television, looks more like sports bar tiki.

I'll go there again the next time Iam in the South Bay just to check again, but other than the ceramics, there was not much to appreciate.

Cheers,

KT

On 2004-04-18 22:42, Kreaky Tiki wrote:
The Purple Orchid to me was not tiki. There was no Exotica or Hawaiian music on the juke box, what's up with that? Pool tables and television, looks more like sports bar tiki.

Kreaky Tiki, I feel your pain. The only time I've ever heard music worthy of a true tiki mecca is at Tiki Ti when Cass sponsored OnaTiki's opening party and Ray stated the music reminded him of when his dad ran the bar.

As for the pool tables and the tv, it must attract a crowd on a regular basis to keep its doors open. I loved Tahiti in LA which closed after just a few years, despite a fireplace which rivaled that of Kahiki. Also, some like watching the Lakers play.

The inability of the waitress to make a good MaiTai must have been a fluke. I find their version tied with the Lava Lounge as second only to Trader Vics.

Nevertheless, the totality of the Purple Orchid experience is a phenomenal tiki experience. You may be pleased next time you are there.

PS - you may wish to play the Blue Hawaiians on the jukebox.

Mahalo.

D

Iwas at the Purple Orchid on Saturday night and it was great! Super decor,nice,informative bar folks-great volcano bowls (wanted to buy one-they don't have enough-boo),the tastiest pina colada I've ever had-all in all a terrific place.

T

Purple Orchid is a great place period! Dave and Rebecca care greatly about keeping the tiki bar alive and well in America. Give them respect.

[ Edited by: kreaky tiki on 2004-05-08 07:01 ]

I've been to the Purple Orchid a few times... most recently to see Dawn Shipley. The first couple of times were fun - I really enjoyed the drinks, and the pool tables, and making sure the jukebox was loaded with good songs. Everyone who works there is a real sweetheart and I totally admire the owners for putting together a tiki bar in El Segundo, but this past Saturday was a big let down. The satellite bartender had no idea what she was doing - I switched to straight tequila after she even blew a rum & coke. The regular bartenders usually have their act together, but the Mai Tais were off that night too - all sweet, no anything else. Maybe it was just a fluke?

could someone post some pics of this place????

R
rupe33 posted on Wed, Dec 8, 2004 7:58 AM

There are photos here at this very useful site...

http://64.81.235.211/cgi-bin/pictures.cgi?loc_id=52

Cheers,
Rupe

[ARRGGH -- it appears my photos are down as of 2006; sorry!!]

[ Edited by: rupe33 2006-08-01 13:12 ]

There are now approximately one dozen (12)tikis inside Purple Orchid, creating an extremely high tipsy factor, all the way around.

More light fixtures, too!

M

Can somepne please tell me a clean, affordable hotel/motel near the Purple Orchid that's within staggering distance?

I am capable of staggering up to one mile. Then I start crawling. Then I sleep.

M

bump?

On 2005-04-10 22:14, martiki wrote:
Can somepne please tell me a clean, affordable hotel/motel near the Purple Orchid that's within staggering distance?

I am capable of staggering up to one mile. Then I start crawling. Then I sleep.

Past thread

M

D'Oh! Thanks Unga.

I think Soccer Tiki needs to take his favorite Wahine here. What do you think???

for you other picky drinkers out there, go to the P.O. when Kelly is working ,and ask for a "kellys special", it is fu%#ing great!.

Woo Hooo! Soccer Tiki and I conquered The Purple Orchid. We can wait to go back. We are looking forward to see/buy their new tiki mug when it comes out. When you go there make sure you have them give you a mailing list slip. :)

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the PO this last february. Couldn't tell you what we drank, but we all passed our mugs around and tasted as many drinks as we could. The only drink I didn't like was the signature "Purple Orchid". The bar/hut was awesome, with a mirror behind it if I recall, giving the illusion of an entire hut standing there. The bathroom wallpaper was genius as well. The only negative thing was the XTREME!!! MOTOCROSS FREESTYLE happening on the big screen. Regardless, I bought a couple mugs and then proceeded to take my love to the airport for a sad farewell.

In conclusion, no trip to/from LAX should happen without rewarding yourself with the Purple Orchid experience.

-Joe

[ Edited by: Rum Demon on 2005-06-27 11:47 ]

Went back to PO one Sunday night with a friend a month or two ago. They have a new mug, this one a nice grren Tiki Farm Marquessan-looking guy with the PO logo stencilled on the back. But more importantly, there was a really great surf band playing for FREE! I don't know about you, but I think surf rock and tiki go together like rum and Coke. This bar definitely ranks high in my book.

I made it out to the Orchid a week ago, and was pleasantly suprised to find such a cool bar district in such an unlikely location. The place looked fantastic, I really got a kick out of the Book of Tiki bathroom walls, and the lava rock booze shelfs. The place was full of a rowdy sports-bar type crowd, mostly drinking beers, which made for a fun mix in the place. I'm just glad to see a good tiki bar making money and staying in business. I had a great MaiTai, and picked up the purple Purple Orchid mug and the newer Monkey mug. I'll be putting up pics of the mugs on my OogaMooga soon! Overall it was a great place to have a cocktail or two when you are near LAX.

Finally got my pics up of my two new Purple Orchid mugs. I love the monkey mug!


R
rupe33 posted on Fri, Aug 4, 2006 7:12 PM

Here are some photos as of July 30, 2006...

Here's their splendid neon logo:

The swanky purple pool table with coordinating purple tapa cloth lamp overhead:

This was new since I was there a few years back -- this weird spray foam lava-rock looking shelf for liquor. The lighting in it flickers orange/red/yellow to give the impression of magma seeping through. It's a neat effect!

Some Bosko carvings I presume:

Here's one for the ladies... a shot from inside the men's room, which is wallpapered from pages of the Book Of Tiki:

I'll see if I can dig up my old ones. The Purple Orchid is extremely close to LAX, and we made some time to stop there on our way out of town. It's terrific, folks are very friendly and the drinks are pretty good too -- try the Funky Monkey!

Mahalo,
Rupe

R
rupe33 posted on Fri, Aug 4, 2006 7:17 PM

Okay, here are some Purple Orchid photos from my December 2004 visit... these aren't as good a photo quality of my 2006 shots, simply 'cause my new camera is far superior in low-light situations and in pixel count. Huzzah!

A selection of lighting fixtures and a gander at the roofline:

Shot of the bar... and the bartender (whose name now escapes me) was very kind to this East Coaster, he was truly a gent:

Here's the exterior...

And the requisite glass floats:

Hope you enjoy 'em...

Cheers,
Rupe

O

Arrived at the Purple Orchid just before midnight Saturday August 12th and toasted International Tiki day with LoLo Malako who carved some of these excellent Tikis and some fellow Tiki heads including the fun loving bartenders. Great place to end my Tiki trail that night.

[ Edited by: Ojaitimo 2006-08-20 15:31 ]

Nice photos, Rupe33 and Ojaitimo.

Has anyone noticed

(a)the new, undulating, extended bar
(b) the volcano themed background
(c) the sexy new bartendress tops
(d) live music almost every Saturday?

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