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The Tiki Bar & Kitsch Inn
January 30, 2015, 11:26 AM
The food in the restaurant upstairs is AMAZING thai food (as good or better than anything in San Francisco). The service upstairs was fabulous as well. The Tiki bar downstairs looked pretty darned great, but loud, terrible reggae was blasting from the speakers and the bartender was rude and even refused to make some drinks on the menu because he didn't like them.
January 27, 2015, 10:07 PM
The second location I mentioned above closed October 2014. It was in the Paseo Nuevo mall in downtown Santa Barbara. The original Goleta location is still open as far as I know.
January 27, 2015, 2:33 PM
Mahalo, Careless Navigator! I've tweaked the description.
January 27, 2015, 2:23 PM
Just a slight correction, the Island Village is more a Tiki Bar where you can order food. They stopped doing food on the premises ages ago and now they get it from an Asian restaurant a few doors down. It's good food but a bit pricey.
, Fort Lauderdale
January 27, 2015, 2:13 PM
The Wreck Bar is worth a visit.
The Tiki Hideaway
January 27, 2015, 2:00 PM
Great Place. An excellent job of creating the sights, sounds, food and of course beverages of Tiki
January 26, 2015, 11:17 AM
Was just there on Jan 23, 2015 and it looks like they now serve more than just beer.
January 25, 2015, 6:23 PM
So I made it to King Yum this past weekend. I went for the Friday Karaoke night, which was an interesting mix of Queens and Long Island locals. I could see some of the original tiki decor in the cool bar thatched roof, tikis, waterfall and bamboo seating areas and chairs. I wish they had kept more of the original tiki charm. But the drinks page did not disappoint. they had all the tradition favorites up front and each was served in a unique tiki glass. I had the Coco Loco and their King Yum special, both fun tiki drinks. I sang my fair share of Karaoke and then went off into the night. I would say if you are a tiki fanatic, then definitely worth coming to see King Yum. There are better, more original Tiki joints in New Jersey, but for an NYC spot with Karaoke, this still is on the list. I will give it 5 out of 10.
January 25, 2015, 11:00 AM
Nice place, good service and a lot of attention to details. Tiki tOny did many of the carvings and other details. Parking wasn't too bad when I was there. Food and drinks were well above average.
, Fort Lauderdale
January 24, 2015, 7:46 PM
Quit reading this blog and book your trip to Ft Lauderdale and the Mai Kai. Dave, the present owner, is working on upgrading the rums in his drinks but many of the old rums from the 60s are harder and harder to find. As a sailor, I appreciate the authenticity of the bar, you'll think you are in an old square rigged ship even before your first drink.
Purple Orchid Exotic Tiki Lounge
, El Segundo
January 24, 2015, 3:57 PM
Great ambiance, strong drinks and all round great place to meet! Love it.
Tiki's Grill & Bar
January 22, 2015, 10:09 PM
Tikis is great, and right in the heart of Waikiki. Excellent view from the tables close to the street and live music!
La Mariana Sailing Club
January 22, 2015, 10:02 PM
Last of the true tiki bars on Oahu. Great location, amazing decor, a funky well worn gem in the tiki bar. world. I always bring the malahini here when we have company. Go here before she is gone forever, you won't regret it.
South Shore Tiki Lounge
January 22, 2015, 9:58 PM
My must go spot when I'm in Kihei. Love South Shore!
January 22, 2015, 9:53 PM
Made the trip out to visit LeiLow when I was in Houston for an event and I loved it!! Great drinks, they truly do their very best to provide an amazing cocktail to their customers. I loved everything about the place, and the owners enthusiasm for tiki was definitely apparent. I had a great time and will always make LeiLow a stop when I'm in Houston. Great job guys!
January 20, 2015, 2:35 PM
I was told that Sam Mercado owned the Aloha. If anyone is in Rochester, maybe you could look in the archives and see the business license for the Aloha. His children are Son Marvin, daughter Susan Mercado Clark and Margarita "Tina" Mercado Reed. I met them in California in 1971. I would like to say-hehello.
Bahi Hut Lounge
January 18, 2015, 7:57 PM
I am SO glad that Bahi Hut still exists in Sarasota. This place has a lot going wrong with it, but still has the old bones and vibe lurking in the background, it is just waiting one day for someone to pick it up, polish it off and restore it to it's former glory (and if the owners read this and want to sell, please contact me). It is within an old motel (independent) near the airport on a street with old cool fifties and sixties motor lodges and such. The bar is a separate building like a hut, with bamboo and a bamboo door handle when you enter. Inside it is a gem. Old wooden / bamboo tables, old tiki pictures, a window looking at a (now dilapidated) garden and a famous Mai Tai. Unfortunately they play bad music (as noted above) and allow smoking, so it smells. I think the smoking patrons keep this place alive for now, but I can definitely see it being refurbished, cleaned up, a new music track with updated cocktails and some snacks...and potentially this could be the cocktail bar it once was.....Definitely go give it a try if you are in beautiful Sarasota Florida
, Staten Island
January 18, 2015, 5:52 PM
So I finally made it to Jade Island a few weeks ago. I had seen Anthony Bourdain go there on his show, and knowing it was one of the few original tiki restaurants left in the NYC area, I rented a car on a slow day and took a drive to check it out. After paying the annoyingly high $15 toll for a bridge to take me from Brooklyn (gasp) to Staten Island (double gasp!), I arrived at Jade Island. A cool vintage look from the outside (and in a strip mall), I went inside. I was pleasantly surprised by the vintage, untouched decor and promptly took a booth, pulled the waiter aside and asked for a Pina Colada. No Hawaiian shirts here, and more annoyingly was the music they played in the background. If I wanted to listen to Nickelback, I would have bought a house in the suburbs, had kids, bought a minivan and given up. So sadly, no tiki music was playing. But the pina colada came in a nice tiki mug and we ordered a mixture of chinese food. There were no polynesian specialties on the menu. I will say I do not go to these places for the food at all, but it was not good here. I still would come back, to support them in keeping the institution open, or maybe have cocktails, but pass on much of the menu. The interior was cool, all original and you could see it once was the refuge for many work a day Staten Island families. Definitely worth 1 trip, but unlike a Michelin 3 star, do not go out of your way. I give it a 5/10.
Chan's Dragon Inn
January 18, 2015, 5:45 PM
Went to Chan's for the first time today. Pulled up and saw the original faux chinese structure with the old school sign for 'cocktails' at the front. You know you are in a vintage spot when a place like this advertises cocktails. Went in (was empty) and seated under a puffer fish light in a booth at the restaurant. They get a 7 out of 10 for decor. All original, classic polynesian tiki style. It looked all original and not changed since the place opened in 1965. The waiters were all wearing Hawaiian shirts and the music in the background was Tiki / Hawaiian as well, which scores huge points for me. I hate when I hear pop music at a place like this. The bar had a rock structure behind it and looked like it could have been in 'Goodfella's'. Had a Mai Tai, which unfortunately was not served in a tiki mug, but a glass with a dragon on it. I thought the menu was great. It had cocktails up front (all the tiki classics), Polynesian favorites (including the pupu with fire), and a sophistication to the dishes that once you could tell made it special (although that now had faded). We had dumplings and their special chicken. The food was ok, but I did not come here to rate the food. After dinner, took a look around and enjoyed the vintage posters, scenery and original tables. I am glad a place like this still is in business, serves the original style and hasn't changed at all. I would definitely come back with a large group to enjoy the cocktails and atmosphere. I give it a 6.5 out of 10, which is a high mark in the NYC area. Only other place that matches is Lee's Hawaiian Islander.
Lee's Hawaiian Islander
January 14, 2015, 10:29 AM
My family and I were there for my Birthday, my choice. We live close by and try to visit a few times a year. I love the Hawaiian and Tiki elements and am really thankful that such places still exist.
The food was great as usual, and is always a much higher quality than typical take-out Chinese. I had a Zombie (pronounced Yombee by the waiter). The drink was very strong, even by my standards, but I could tell the rum was not top shelf. I make a much better drink myself, but since it was my birthday, it was a must-have to complete the ambiance.
The service was very attentive and responsive to requests, and most importantly, did not make one feel rushed. I was going to wear a Hawaiian shirt I bought off Ebay that was a cast member shirt from Disney's Polynesian Resort, but decided against it. My colorful shirt would have put all of the waiter's shirts to shame, as these old men have shirts that have been worn from opening day. LOL. At least they are wearing them, can't find that anywhere else in the State on a cold day in January!
The establishment has not put much money into the decor, as it does show its age. I have only two real complaints though...1) The booths are lined with white Christmas-type icicle lights, which do not look very tiki. I would prefer nothing at all or some softer lighting in hues of yellow, orange and/or red. 2) The back-lighted murals are getting faded and should be updated. One is of Honolulu harbor at night, where I would prefer a typical Hawaiian beach scene, sand, sky, palm trees.
I do love the place and hold on dearly to the nostalgia and memories, sadly of a time almost completely gone by. It seems the only restaurants around are the commercial chains with all of their forced and contrived ambiance. Lee's comes from a time where the place itself was a destination, and reflected a part of our culture where people appreciated a more defined dining experience.
January 7, 2015, 4:52 PM
This place was a trip. Sad it's gone. Feel kinda lucky I played a few games there when I was in town!
January 7, 2015, 4:51 PM
Being a 2 minute walk from the Lava Lounge you can hit 2 spots in quick succession for a quick drink at each. The Sushi bar element takes away but it's a great place. I didn't get to sit at the bar which might have detracted. Didn't eat food. Blue Hawaiian was alright!
January 7, 2015, 4:49 PM
I really liked it but it was too dark to see all the smaller details of the place.
January 4, 2015, 9:07 AM
In June of 1976, my then girlfriends high school graduation dinner was held at Tonga Lei restautant. The same year this menu was published. I have three vivid memories from that night nearly thirty eight years ago...one, an adult in our party commented that the prices were high (lol)... two, it seemed like the drive there from Thousand Oaks took forever... And three, my girlfriend and I enjoyed ourselves on the ride home (wink, wink) in the back seat of her parents car with both of her parents unaware in the front seat. Fond memories indeed.
December 29, 2014, 7:37 AM
Doug Horne recently added some art to Bikini Lounge making it even more fun. Local artist Tom Cooper's work also contributes to the tiki atmosphere . The owner is very accommodating to our local tiki group when we meet there. If you haven't visited in awhile go check it out!
Tiki Bob's Cantina
December 22, 2014, 12:53 PM
December 9, 2014, 7:01 AM
oh man this place could be so good!!! the tiki bones are all there but it is somewhat run down and tired out..the bar is comfy and has nice potential with mirrors overhead but three blaring tvs and a slightly bored bartender ruined it..the mai tai was strong and balanced served in a wide glass with dragons on it..the dining room is the better choice, some sections having tiki hut poles and thatching..it feels like the owners may have given up, with some effort this place could be a tiki palace again!! I was there in the afternoon, not much people energy, maybe that would make a difference...worth a trip for drinks and an app to get your tiki fix!!!
, San Francisco
December 8, 2014, 12:02 AM
Having seen a real, authentic, non-ironic tiki bar (I've visited La Mariana Sailing Club in Honolulu a bunch of times), I was interested to see the Tonga room. Décor reminds me of what someone might think a tiki bar should look like, not like what an authentic tiki bar actually looks like. Drinks were heavy on the fruit juices & syrup, not a lot a alcohol in mine. People were mostly visitors staying at the hotel & some hipsters; the waitress kept trying to get us to move to a different table, as "there's people waiting for a table this size". Overall, an average tiki bar experience, not much to refer.
November 16, 2014, 6:51 PM
Lei Low in Houston!!! These people know what they doing!!! I just thought I'd throw that out there for all the kool kats and kitten in Texas. You can always look me up for a drink at my backyard tiki lounge if you're ever in the area as well.
Musée du Quai Branly
November 14, 2014, 8:18 AM
The Tiki Pop exhibition will remain forever in our dreams, a mai tai-flavored memory of la vie tiki Parisienne. It was startling to immerse oneself in tiki, to get lost down the rabbit hole, then glance up through a window to see the Eiffel Tower.
November 12, 2014, 10:20 PM
Hula Hut is a restaurant and bar but not a Tiki Bar. The decor is Tropicalia, and not Tiki even though there are lots of Tiki's there. Someone else said that there aren't many Tikis here, but maybe they got more since then. I love the decor, it is fabulous. Lots of Tiki decor mixed with other things that are tropical but not Tiki. The decor is reminiscent of the Mexican Caribbean with oilcloth tablecloths, palm trees, tropical flowers, grass umbrellas, thatched roofs, with nice hula girl figurines and Tikis. The deck is fabulous because it's on Lake Austin. The food is OK, but the Fried Avocado Tacos on Tuesdays, are divine. The menu has Mexican dishes, American food, and dishes with a tropical flair, like Coconut Shrimp and Mango and Cream Cheese Quesadillas. The prices are very reasonable. When I am there, I feel like I am on a tropical island, so I love the place. The bar has a few Tiki drinks on the menu but the rum is run of the mill and they don't know what Falernum is. Not a Tiki bar, but a decent restaurant and bar, with fantastic atmosphere.
November 12, 2014, 10:13 PM
Hula Hut is a restaurant and bar but not a Tiki Bar. The decor is Tropicalia, and not Tiki even though there are lots of Tiki's there. Maybe they got more since the last person reviewed this place. I love the decor, it is fabulous. Lots of Tiki decor here mixed with other things that are tropical but not Tiki. The decor is reminiscent of the Mexican Caribbean with oilcloth tablecloths, palm trees, tropical flowers, then add hula girls and Tikis. The deck is fabulous because it's on Lake Austin. The food is OK, but the Fried Avocado Tacos on Tuesdays, are divine. The menu has Mexican dishes, American food, and some dishes with a tropical flair, like Coconut Shrimp and Mango and Cream Cheese Quesadillas. The prices are very reasonable. When I am there, I feel like I am on a tropical island, so I love the place. The bar has a few Tiki drinks on the menu but the rum is run of the mill and they don't know what Falernum is. Not a Tiki bar, but a decent restaurant and bar, with fantastic atmosphere.
October 29, 2014, 4:55 PM
This is more a college mating ground than a tiki bar, but it does have some nice touches.
, Fort Lauderdale
October 20, 2014, 5:30 PM
We finally had the chance to visit, and it was everything we had hoped for. The décor is outstanding, with a great deal of variety between the Molokai Bar (which resembles the captain's quarters on an old whaling ship), the dining rooms (with traditional Polynesian touches and a large aquarium) and the lovely garden (with waterfalls, tropical plants and plenty of tikis). The drinks are good, traditional and strong, but not quite on a level with craft cocktail places like Frankie's Tiki Room and Three Dots and a Dash. The food is decent but pricey and nothing special. One comes to Mai-Kai for the atmosphere and the show; the food is just there to help soak up the rum.
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!!!
Hapa Haole Hideaway
October 2, 2014, 2:12 PM
Swanky is the host with the most! What a place! The decor is amazing and mostly authentic vintage stuff and some one-of-a-kind collectibles. Drink quality was exceptional as was the service and aloha! The A/C was also much appreciated on a sweltering early fall day in the south. I even got to sign the lampshade! Mahalo for a fine visit, Swanky!
Frankie's Tiki Room
, Las Vegas
September 22, 2014, 2:40 PM
Had to stop in on our tiki roadtrip, this is a great place! Pretty good drinks, nice local feel to it.
The Enchanted Tiki Room
September 21, 2014, 9:32 AM
This is a must see! Just has the right feel!
September 20, 2014, 10:11 PM
September 19, 2014, 7:29 AM
Drove by here a thousand times before I ever decided to eat here. I convinced myself that if the experience inside was even half as good as the exterior suggested I would be satisfied.
Verdict: It's a adequate-but-just-barely suburban Chinese restaurant. Bland interior. Sauces heavy on food coloring and corn starch. It's a restaurant made for takeout, not eating in.
September 19, 2014, 7:17 AM
My stop at City Bev yesterday was brief, a side excursion on a bigger trip to Raleigh. First impressions were great; though the decor was more spaceage bachelor pad than tiki, tiki interests were serviced, and it's clear the management takes care to keep everything in good condition.
My only drink order was a Missionary's Downfall, which dropped my assessment of the total experience just a bit. The menu touts it's DtBc's recipe, although my copy of BEACHBUM REMIXED indicates peach brandy, not peach liqueur, but what's it matter because all I could taste in the thing was a bit of pineapple juice through overpowering candy peach flavor. (To eat I had the fish tacos, which were pretty good.)
There are other tiki tips on the menu, and I'm sad there was no time to try another and give chance for a better result. But the next time I'm in the area I'm certain to drop by, hoping for a longer visit.
Marco Island Marriott Resort
, Marco Island
September 14, 2014, 11:53 AM
This location is essentially closed. The Marriott remains, but they have removed all the Tiki statues. The drinks from the bar there are what you would expect from Cocktails & Dreams.
September 7, 2014, 8:09 PM
Great original decor! I spent at least an hour just walking around looking at all the vintage items both in the bar and the lobby but also around the grounds. Drinks were ok, mugs are pretty run of the mill. Music was pop unfortunately. It's a shame this place hasn't been able to stay completely true to it's Tiki heritage but since it is a little out of the way I'm sure they have made some compromises. Worth a visit for the decor alone. I'm glad they have stayed in business as long as they have. I stayed in the motel which is clean but a little dated. It will still be a regular stop for me when I travel to the east coast.
Frankie's Tiki Room
, Las Vegas
September 7, 2014, 7:57 PM
Love this place! Great drinks,music on the juke box and decor is awesome! It was the highlight of my trip to Vegas. If it was closer to my hotel I would have been here every night. Picked up some great mugs too! No visit to Vegas is complete without a visit to Frankie's Tiki Room.
August 29, 2014, 7:03 PM
This place is closed.
Tiki Bob's Cantina
August 22, 2014, 3:37 PM
This bar has been closed for a while. With a name that mixes Polynesian with Mexican no one wonders why it closed. Apparently a quasi strip bar with tiki décor. Closest real Tiki palace is Atlanta's Trader Vic's.
Disney's Polynesian Resort
August 21, 2014, 10:22 PM
The Polynesian is where my obsession with Hawaiian music and Tiki began. Although I've never stayed as a guest, I've been regularly visiting since I was a small child and the excitement hasn't worn off yet. The music, the smell (if you've been you know what I'm talking about), the decor were fantastic up until recently. For the last few months the hotel has been undergoing some construction. There is a huge plywood box enveloping most of the lobby interior. Sadly the waterfall in the lobby won't be making it out alive this time (Disney has a long history of killing popular things all over the resort). I suspect it will look and feel totally different in there when it's done. Whether that will be a good, bad or neutral thing is yet to be seen. On the up side, Trader Sam's is coming! If the finished product is anything like the artist renderings, we're all in for a treat! Whatever becomes of the Polynesian, I'll love it just the same.
Lucky Joe's Tiki Room
August 21, 2014, 10:00 PM
Made it out to Lucky Joe's this last week while visiting Milwaukee. AWESOME! The decor wasn't as dense as some more established bars, but it was SPOT ON. A lot of stuff from Oceanic Arts and a great look overall. Definitely a tiki bar in the classic style. Drinks were fantastic. All the classics were there as well as a number of modern spins. The music was more towards the surf/rockabilly side than exotica/traditional hawaiian, but still appropriate. Got to meet the owner Lee and talked tiki for a while. This guy really knows his stuff and appreciates everything that goes into a true tiki bar (super friendly too!). I can tell he put a lot of effort into it. I liked it so much I visited twice while I was in Milwaukee!
Surf N Shack
August 19, 2014, 3:30 PM
The previous comment is incorrect. Surf N Shack is very much open. Hours are generally 10:30am to 6:30pm.
, Walnut Creek
August 15, 2014, 1:52 PM
Mitiki - since when is Walnut Creek across the estuary from Alameda? Your comments are clearly related to the Oakland version of Tiki Tom's, rather than the one in Walnut Creek that this page is about. And yes, I did actually go to both locations. And I stand by my review of the Oakland location.
As for this Walnut Creek location, I only went once and was not at all impressed by anything except the live hawaiian musicians who were playing the night I was there. The rest of it felt like a very cheap imitation sports/parrot-head (read: not real tiki) restaurant/bar.
Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29
, New Orleans
, San Francisco
Rumpus Tiki Bar
, Hong Kong
, Fort Lauderdale
The Enchanted Tiki Room
, San Francisco
The Tiki Bar & Kitsch Inn
, Fort Lauderdale
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