Bahooka Ribs & Grog

Bar & Restaurant
4501 N. Rosemead Blvd
Rosemead, California, United States
Website
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Opened in 1976
Closed in 2013
Defunct tiki not included,
distances are as the crow flies.
Kahlua Apartments, San Gabriel 0.6 mi
1.0 km
Kona Kai Apartments, San Gabriel 2.4 mi
3.9 km
Kapu Tiki Apartments, Pico Rivera 6.3 mi
10.2 km
Paradise Island Apartments, Pico Rivera 6.4 mi
10.3 km
Aloha Arms, Pico Rivera 6.4 mi
10.3 km
The bar at Bahooka Ribs & Grog in Rosemead
March 2010, photo by carlosrossi
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Humuhumu’s description:

This was the second Bahooka location, and the one that lasted into the new millenium. The original location in West Covina operated from 1967 until 1980. Bahooka was lit quite dimly, which contributed to its labyrinthine feel. Aquariums were everywhere -- over 100. The decor could perhaps be described as more nautical than truly tiki, with many items salvaged from a Navy scrap yard in Long Beach, but tikis could be found throughout Bahooka. They would make any drink a flaming drink -- even non-alcoholic ones. Near the entrance was an aquarium holding a rather large, decades-old fish, a Pacu named Rufus, who ate carrot sticks. Bahooka was featured briefly in the film Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas.

At the beginning of 2013, it was announced that the owners of the building had sold it to a group intending to gut it of all decor and turn it into a Chinese buffet. The decorations were sold. The current whereabouts of Rufus are unknown, despite a massive fundraising to rehome him. The new owners of the building, and thus Rufus, have been unwilling to produce him.

There are 14 comments.
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May 2, 2009, 6:33 PM
Oh what I would give to have this place in the Bay Area! We just visited (our 2nd time) in April. We love that we can bring our kids here, enjoy some decent tiki drinks and be so entertained with the decor. I always think I'll get lost wandering through this place, aquariums and tikis and ocean decor everywhere. The food at lunch time is pretty basic, no complaints but nothing to brag about. None of the drinks have stood out to me, but all area tasty enough to keep us coming back.
Tiki Kim has visited Bahooka Ribs & Grog.

May 17, 2009, 6:13 PM
Bahooka has been on my list to visit for years. Went for lunch today, the food was good, Polynesian Combo, sandwich with beef, pastrami ham or BBQ beef, pork short ribs, fries, slaw or salad and a huge slice of pineapple, for $13. I'm a big eater and could not finish it. We brought home the huge slice of chocolate cake that we ordered up front. Went with Raspberry Iced tea, save the umbrella drinks for the evenings. The service was excellent, we lacked nothing, our waitress left the pitcher of iced tea when she saw we were thirsty and was very attentive, the lunch crowd was very light so that may change when it's busier. The decor is aged, could use some refreshing, the bathroom was a 3 on a scale of 10 but over all a fun lunch. I will put this down as a "Been there, done that" but should be done at least once.

September 14, 2009, 7:46 AM
Bahooka is a great destination...very thick w decor and vibe...food ain't so great, stick to the ribs....drinks were fun and the service is great
Builtiki has visited Bahooka Ribs & Grog.

March 7, 2010, 7:17 PM
I felt a bit overwhelmed as I walked into this fish tank saturated oasis. With a galley maze feeling to the what seemed like endless restaurant I had a tough time finding my way back to the entrance. I love that this place truly makes you feel as though you are somewhere else, hell somewhere else in time. The food as " basic" as most people have said felt just right and I wouldn't have expected more or less. The drinks served in mixing bowl proportions set the hazy tropical feel that we all love. But this story is truly about CHICO. Chico was our server and host for the evening. He is famous with our friends and it was quick to see why. His quick humor and quirky answers brought the sense of whimsy that lacks in most tiki experiences. He truly made this restuarant feel like a tiki twin peaks.
carlosrossi was a semi-regular at Bahooka Ribs & Grog.

July 23, 2010, 7:02 PM
I stopped at Bahooka's for dinner after visiting Oceanic Arts that same morning. Loved the dark atmosphere and the closed in aquarium booths. The drinks were super strong and pretty good. The food was horrible but that's ok, cause I wasn't there for the food. I talked to the host/manager about the Tiki Mug event coming up later that week for which I had picked up a postcard at OA that morning. He told me about it and invited me to come but since I couldn't he took me in the back and gave me a private tour of all the old memorabilia, photographs and a good history of the place. Gotta love that!! It's a must stop for me next time I'm in LA.
Eme has visited Bahooka Ribs & Grog.

September 22, 2010, 12:41 AM
Thank you Bahooka for this magical evening of rum, fish tanks, nautical accouterments, and fried food platters. Be sure to see the 35 year-old fish come to it's keeper's snapping call before loudly munching down on a carrot. Not many tikis around, but good god, if this place doesn't rank among the greatest in-situ palaces of post-war Polynesian-pop then I must be greener than I thought.
Devin has visited Bahooka Ribs & Grog.

April 3, 2012, 12:46 PM
I only live about 14 miles away, so I should stop by more often. Their house salad dressing is really good. This is a really cool looking place and there is a lot to take in. I picked up my Rufus Tiki mug already and am waiting to see when they get a new one.
King Moai was a regular at Bahooka Ribs & Grog, and was usually there twice a month.

July 8, 2012, 11:28 PM
More of a nautical theme than straight up tiki but that is quite fine, as the place is odd enough (in a good way) to deserve a visit. If I recall correctly, scenes from the film "Fear and loathing in las vegas" were shot in here, for you cinephiles out there. Also, upon entering you are greeted by a 35 yeard old fish named rufus who has spent his entire life in the restaraunt (apparently this fish had a cameo in the movie). I loved the decor, it reminded me a bit of my favorite restaraunt as a kid, the Kahiki (Columbus Ohio) since both of them are filled with fish tanks. The food is servicable, but the vibe and uniqueness of the place is why you go. They also had a long drink list and the three I had were good such as the harpoon, and scarlet sails. They also have their own mug, with "rufus" the fish on it...really cool.
PackmanWSU01 has visited Bahooka Ribs & Grog.

February 15, 2013, 4:49 PM
I just heard via Charles Phoenix that Bahooka is CLOSING ITS DOORS on March 10, 2013. Can anyone confirm? Such sad news!!
Lisa was a semi-regular at Bahooka Ribs & Grog.

February 20, 2013, 9:41 PM
Yup, Bahooka is closing down. The owner did a quick sale due to an illness in the family. The new owner will retain the building and fish, but not the name or decor. It will become a Chinese restaurant. Their last day in March 10th.
King Moai was a regular at Bahooka Ribs & Grog, and was usually there twice a month.

February 24, 2013, 9:51 AM
I made a stop here for the last time this week. When it opened, I'm sure the location was perfect. Now, it's surrounded by Chinese immigrants who, according to the bottom line, don't care for Tiki themed establishments. In fact, many establishments in the San Gabriel valley are now Chinese. Many of them don't even have an English sign in the window which exludes those of us who can't read the language... Mandarin or Cantonese. Tiki is not dead but Tiki in this area seems to be dead, for now.
KavikaTiki was a semi-regular at Bahooka Ribs & Grog.

February 27, 2013, 11:52 PM
It will be missed. A perfect kid's entry into Tiki. The Chinese locals aren't hostile. The land is worth far more for whatever the Chinese will do with it than what it was currently generating. The food was icky-sticky sweet and the tanks weren't that well maintained. However, Go-Go and her flaming drinks were worth every dime.
Otto von Abbattoir was a semi-regular at Bahooka Ribs & Grog.

March 9, 2013, 10:06 PM
Went to the Bahooka for the last time on friday to pay my respects and say farewell and Aloha to this magical Tiki Est. So many people have memories here. So I am glad to be a part of what everybody was talking about. You will be missed Bahooka and Rufus.
forgotten tikiman has visited Bahooka Ribs & Grog.

October 16, 2014, 3:39 PM
My wife, son and I were able to visit this great place in 2012 on the way back from a Thanksgiving with family. Saw Rufus, the other million fish in aquariums and the amazing tiki decor. Sorry it's gone!!!
shaftermike has visited Bahooka Ribs & Grog.

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