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Tiki Central / General Tiki

LA To Monterey...

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Hello, I have to take a quick trip to Monterey tomorrow. I'm driving from LA. I will be able to take my time on the way back. Are there any "must see" tiki stuff on the way back? Please let me know. Thanks!

Although some have not given "HULAS" the greatest reviews, I feel it has gotten much better from the last time I had been there(when it first opened). They have a new tiki room there now, which was closed when we got there but the manager gave us some special treatment and let us in(had the whole room to ourselves). Meanwhile the rest of the restuarant was packed and people were waiting to be seated.
I was impressed with the tiki room, did not have that many tiki's as the name "tiki room" might imply, but we were all satisfied. Also the food seemed much better then last I had been.
All in all there is not much tiki in monterey. I would invite you to come take a tour at our shop(munktiki) but we are unable to give tours at our new place.
Sorry I dont have HULAS address for you but it is on lighthouse ave. if that helps.


Lat time I was there they did not have a full liquor licence, only beer and wine, so the exotic drink were made with sake. Otherwise the place had nice food. (See my review on JT's Bar review pages)


i posted on the other board, a chinese restaurant in Carmel ~ good food, drinks served in Tiki Mugs..and they had a few for sale. i'll go search, and post the link..


the chinese restaurant in Carmel that serves polynesian cocktails in tiki cups (orchids of Hawaii style) is called the Golden Buddha. In the middle of the restaurant towering over the dining room is a giant Golden Buddha.

The Kon Tiki Inn is viewable from the 101 Freeway. It is in Pismo Beach, about halfway between L.A. and Monterey. Always a good structure to look at and snap a few pictures of.

Hulas in Monterey is a good restaurant. It is not from the Tiki Era, so don't expect too much, but the owner/manager has some nice Bosko wall tikis, and if you mention that you are a true admirer of Tiki Culture, he takes a real unique interest in you. There are some really great Duke Kahanamoku pictures as well.

Tiki is indeed sparse in Monterey, but there are some good Modernism homes to look at. For the most part, it is very Victorian, almost Gothic, and while that is not our normal appreciation, it is not bad, either.

My wife and I just spent three days in San Fran and three days in Monterey. There are still some old Hippie health food places in Monterey that are great. I know, I know, anything with the word "Hippie" sounds lame-O, but it's not that bad of a place.

The biggest problem with Monterey (and San Francisco too) is that when you tell people that you are from L.A., you very often (believe it or not) will have someone say (and I quote), "I hate L.A." Those exact words. I hear it almost every time I go up there.

That said, I think I cleaned the thrift stores out of Tikis, vintage Hawaiian travel books and vintage Surf books. Down on Cannery Row, at one of the souvenier-Steinbeck-sea-otter-exploitation shops, you can get a really BAD tiki key chain, with bright colored short boards surrounding them. I get laughed at constantly for having this key chain. But, it is tiki and it says Monterey, so fuck them. I found something.

For good NoCal Tiki, you gotta go to San Fran. The Tonga Room is top notch, in my book. And the drive back along Rt. 1, through Big Sur is beautiful. Commune with the spirits. It's still okay to do so.


For Polynesian cocktails served in tiki cups near Monterey (5 minutes away) is The Golden Buddha, a chinese restaurant in Carmel.


In NorCal you can't beat Trader Vics at sunset with a San Francisco style Mai-Tai in your hand! It is in Emerville across from San Francisco. The new Trader Vic's in Palo Alto serves the usual famous drinks, but the interior is fancy-sort of like a museum.


The Trader Vic's in Palo Alto IS very museum like (I'm more of a dive tiki bar girl, myself). Great drinks, ho-hum service, cool carvings, but -- what is up with that bathroom ??????????? :o



The next time someone says "I hate L.A." to you, look stricken, and then begin quitely weeping.

That will shut 'em up.

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