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Oh, the tikis I've seen!

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I just took a moment to catalog the tiki places I visited in 2003. The results surprised even me -- I visited 47 tiki places last year. It's not really comprehensive, I'm not counting the stores (made an exception for Oceanic Arts) or apartment buildings, or special sites (like the remains of Tiki Bob in SF, or the Aku Aku at Sunset Park in Las Vegas). I visited 17 of these places more than once this year.

Disclaimer -- Please don't take this as a Tikier-Than-Thou assertion! After all, I've never carved a tiki, my Mai Tai is undrinkable, and I can't play my ukulele worth a damn. We all have exploring still to do.

Public Establishments:
Enchanted Tiki Room, Disneyland
Luau, Seattle
Lava Lounge, Seattle
'Ohana, Seattle
Kon Tiki, Tucson
Zombie Hut, Brooklyn
Waikiki Wally's, Manhattan
Otto's Shrunken Head, Manhattan
Mai Kai, Ft. Lauderdale
Trad'r Sam, San Francisco
Tonga Room, San Francisco
Bamboo Hut, San Francisco
Jasmine Tree, Portland
The Alibi, Portland
Trader Vic's, Emeryville
Royal Hawaiian, Laguna Beach
Tiki-Ti, Hollywood
Oceanic Arts, Whittier
Bahooka, Rosemead
Caliente Tropics, Palm Springs
Sam's Seafood, Huntington Beach
Trader Vic's, Chicago
Kona Kai, Chicago
Hala Kahiki, River Grove
Rock-A-Tiki, Chicago
The Islander, Seattle
Tiki Joe's Wet Bar, Kirkland
Purple Orchid, El Segundo
Trader Vic's, Beverly Hills
Taboo Cove, Las Vegas
Humphrey's Half Moon Inn, San Diego
Bali Hai, San Diego
Trader Mort's, San Diego
The Islands, San Diego
Hale Hawaii, Torrance

Home Bars:
Humuhumu Room, Seattle (me!)
Ink Pad, Manhattan (Inky Louise)
Foggy Grotto, San Francisco (Martiki)
Mr. Tiki Bar's, Portland (mrtikibar)
TikiMama & Melintur's, Petaluma (TikiMama & Melintur, duh!)
Bong's Tiki Hut, Huntington Beach (Tiki Bong)
Castaway Cove, Portland (TikiMaxton)
Aku Hall, Chicago (tikibars)
Spectacular East Indies Room, Long Beach (Trader Pup)
Castaway Lounge, Redondo Beach (Doctor Z)
Backyard Bali Hai, Seattle (Selector Lopaka & puamana)
The Lagoon Room, Oceanside (Alnshely)

My wish list for 2004 includes New England, Georgia & Florida. I'll have business trips that'll take me to Washington, D.C. and Tennessee this year, too. And maybe I'll finally make my trip to Mexico City!

Swanky posted on Mon, Jan 5, 2004 5:33 PM

Tennessee is a very long state, but from Nashville east is my stretch of the woods. Nashville yields Omni Hut, over here we have my humble lounge and two hours further is The Kontiki Paradise Room... You're always welcome!



What is the best Tiki resteraunt/Bar in the OC area?

I don't want to sound like a Tiki novice, but most Tiki Bar's I find in OC seem to be Tiki only in name...like the "tiki bar" in Costa Mesa....they should name it "the nu-metal, skate-punk bar"....

I was born about 30 years too late, I think..Anyone else share the same sentiment?


Swanky, thanks so much for the offer! My business will be in Knoxville (this is where you are, yes?), but I don't have a trip scheduled yet -- it'll probably be sometime in the next couple of months though. I'll have to do some work schmoozing (which is still fun, these guys love their whiskey & bourbon like we love our rum). I was already planning on making the drive to the Omni Hut, but I had no idea the Kon Tiki Paradise Room was so close! I'll definitely make sure my trip has a couple of extra days in it. I'm looking forward to seeing the Smokies, too, they sound beautiful. I also want to go to Dollywood (hey, stop laughing). This is going to be a good trip.

Tiki Mick -- the Spectacular East Indies Room. Public places? Sam's Seafood is the nearly-official Hoiti Toiti clubhouse, of course, though I need to go back -- I've only been once, and I didn't try the drinks that time. As mentioned on the "underrated" thread, I also like Royal Hawaiian quite a bit. But, why limit yourself to OC? I don't get this invisible barrier between LA & Orange County... when I was living in Seattle, I drove 3 hours (each way!) just to go to a party at the Castaway Cove. Y'all are spoiled. :)

That's amazing! I think I visited three but I never left Florida last year and Florida is nothing like California. It must be nice to have so many tiki places in one state.

Swanky posted on Mon, Jan 5, 2004 7:36 PM

Just let me know and I'll help all I can. I can likely get you in Dollywood free, my sister in in Nashville, so we can crash at her place and I can show the best Honky Tonkin' too. We can go visit BK and enjoy his incredible hosting skills. I can help you with the best places to booze it up in town too. just let me knwo the sort of place you are looking for. There used to be a place downtown that had a Scotch, Bourbon and Cigar room that was all top shelf and seperated and ventilated well. Too bad that's moved along. Nashville is 2 1/2 hours away, as is BK. Not bad. Atlanta is just 3 hours away... It'll be good to see you again and have guests to entertain.


Thanks so much Swanky! I'll give you a holler as soon as I have some dates.

Try to head out to Jersey. We've got Chan's Dragon Inn, and it rocks so much.


Excellent Dr. Seuss reference.

This post's title also reminds me of Ruttger Hauer hunched on top of the Million Dollar building in the rain, reminiscing about the beautiful sights he saw in deep space which will now be lost forever. That's the way I like to go..:
"Oh the Tikis I've seen..."

Big bro- You're obviously Nexus 6. If only I could do origami like J.E. Olmos.
Humuhumu- I feel like a slacker. Damn girl. "Oh the miles she's put on her car...". I am proud and envious. New Year's Resolution, to visit at least half as many tikis as Humu. Great job.

hey Humuhumu ~
i just saw the outside of Tiki Joe's Wet Bar in Kirkland ~ is it worth at trip inside? there's a brand new Waimea Brewing Co a few blocks away (not much tikiness viewable from the outside) ~ that i want to try out


Hi HumuHumu,
You are definately a true tiki soul.
I too, hope to get on your list one day.
You haven't seen California, until you have seen Big Sur and Carmel.
You are always welcome up here when you get the chance.


Hi dogbytes! Tiki Joe's is probably not worth the trip, but Mambo just down the street is, and as long as you're there, you might as well pop your head into Tiki Joe's.

Unga -- I have been through Big Sur -- as a matter of fact, I had a great adventure at the start of Big Sur in Gorda, CA, that I must tell you about over a Mai Tai sometime. Didn't get to stop in Carmel, though... next time, for sure.


Another year, another set of tiki adventures... this year, by my current count, I hit 57 different tiki places (again, not counting stores with the exception of Oceanic Arts). A banner year indeed. I never did make those business trips to D.C. or Tennessee (the Tennessee trip has been rescheduled more than once), but I still managed to get out and about a bit. I saw a surprising number and variety of home tiki bars this year... I suspect that I've forgotten a few and will have to amend this list. People keep asking me when I'll rebuild the Humuhumu Room... but as you can see, I hardly need to! Between Tiki-Ti and my travels, I'm up to my elbows in tiki.

Public Establishments:
Tiki-Ti, Hollywood (more times than I could possibly count)
Hawaiian Inn & the Green Turtle Restaurant, Daytona Beach
Aku Tiki Inn & Traders Restaurant, Daytona Beach
Tonga Hut, North Hollywood
Purple Orchid, El Segundo (also more times than I could possibly count)
Enchanted Tiki Room - Disneyland, Anaheim
Enchanted Tiki Room - Walt Disney World, Orlando
Polynesian Village Resort & 'Ohana Restaurant, Orlando
Trad'r Sam, San Francisco
Trader Vic's, Emeryville
Conga Lounge, Oakland
Tonga Room, San Francisco
Bamboo Hut, San Francisco
Mr. Vise Grip's Bamboo Bar, Fairfax
Club Mallard, Oakland
Hanalei Inn & Islands Restaurant, San Diego
Mr. Tiki's, San Diego
Trader Vic's, Beverly Hills
The Alibi, Portland
Jasmine Tree, Portland
Luau, Fresno
Leilani, Fresno
Whanga Rei, Turlock
Minnie's, Modesto
Tropics Motel & Tiki Lounge, Modesto
Bahooka, Rosemead
Hale Tiki, Augusta
Trader Vic's, Atlanta
Mai Kai, Ft. Lauderdale
Trader Vic's, San Francisco
Sam's Seafood, Huntington Beach
Chef Shangri-La, Chicago
Hala Kahiki, Chicago
Trader Vic's, Chicago
Oceanic Arts, Whittier
Lucky Tiki, Los Angeles
Caliente Tropics & Reef Bar, Palm Springs

Home Bars:
Castaway Lounge, Redondo Beach (Doctor Z)
Tiki Bar I Swore To Not Name, Hollywood (non-TCer)
Sven's House, Los Angeles (bigbrotiki)
Foggy Grotto, San Francisco (martiki)
Mr. Tiki Bar's, Portland (mrtikibar)
The Monkey Hut, Troutdale (Melintur & TikiMama)
Castaway Cove, Portland (TikiMaxton)
Monkey Skull Voodoo Lounge, Seattle (monkeyskull)
The Humuhumu Room, Seattle (formerly mine, now my ex-husband's)
Backyard Bali Hai, Seattle (puamana & Selector Lopaka)
Iuka Grogg's Hut, Los Angeles (iukagrogg, or is it weirduncletiki? I get them confused)
Durukuli Lounge, Los Angeles (LAWebChick & MonkeyBoy)
The Den of Sin, Las Vegas (TikiPugs)
Home Tiki Bar, Tujunga Canyon (TC lurker)
Sabu's Tiki Bar (what's its name, Sabu?), Carson (Sabu the Coconut Boy)
Tiki Office @ Pixar, Emeryville (Mr. Fishy)
Novato Grotto, Novato (martiki)
The UGH House, Oakland (mrsmiley)
Home Tiki Bar, Los Angeles (non TC-er)
Lagoon Room, Oceanside (Alnshely)

I hesitate to make a wish list right now... I have so many places I want to go, and I just can't tell yet where the year will take me... but it's sure to be great!

Special thanks to all who joined me at a restaurant, invited me out to a restaurant, gave me reason to extend an invitation, or best of all opened your home to me over the past year.

Pages: 1 14 replies