Lee's Hawaiian Islander

Bar & Restaurant
768 Stuyvesant Avenue
Lyndhurst, New Jersey, United States
Ph: (201) 939-3777
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Opened in 1974
Defunct tiki not included,
distances are as the crow flies.
Lee's Hawaiian Islander, Clifton 5.4 mi
8.7 km
Chan's Dragon Inn, Ridgefield 7.0 mi
11.2 km
American Museum of Natural History, New York 8.5 mi
13.7 km
Otto's Shrunken Head, New York 9.6 mi
15.5 km
Jade Island, Staten Island 15.8 mi
25.4 km
Dining Room at Lee's Hawaiian Islander in Lyndhurst
January 2011, photo by PAPA-OOM-Moai-Moai
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Humuhumu’s description:
Lee's Hawaiian Islander is a Chinese restaurant that opened in 1974. There are tiki masks mounted on rock-lined walls with a weeping water effect, an outrigger canoe hangs from the ceiling, and there is a special hut booth. An upper balcony holds more tables with bamboo framing. Drinks are served in mugs. Mr. Lee can be found there often, happily playing host and greeting patrons.

There is another Lee's Hawaiian Islander location in Clifton, but it is currently closed due to a fire.

There are 4 comments.
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April 4, 2011, 7:58 PM
It is Worth the visit, but don't expect service, with a smile!!
PAPA-OOM-Moai-Moai has visited Lee's Hawaiian Islander.

December 28, 2013, 10:40 AM
My partner and I brought my parents here on a Friday night after reading about it in Weird NJ magazine. My partner and i are big tiki fanatics, but even my parents agreed it was well worth the harrowing 1 hour drive from central jersey. We arrived to a mostly empty house and were cheerily seated in one of the coveted corner booths which are like private thatched huts complete with puffer fish lamps.

There was definitely a language barrier with the old Chinese waiter but the service was attentive. Food was good and the drinks were plentiful and served in a variety of tiki mugs if not completely authentic. Then flaming pupu platter seemed to be the most popular dish but we went with more traditional entrees.

The decor was pretty great. Two waterfalls, lots of primary color tiki masks, fake flowers and bamboo/thatch everywhere. Even the outside of the tangerine builng was fun and retro. The place got fairly crowded and more lively when the mostly too serious live band karaoke began. We moved to the bar with the colorful regulars where the service continued to be acceptable, but maybe a tad slow. The owner Mr. Lee was up and about checking on customers, serving food, and cleaning all night, but happily posed for a picture with us.

Visit and help keep classics like this in business!
Sneaky Tiki has visited 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.

Ohmsford is a semi-regular at Lee's Hawaiian Islander.

February 8, 2015, 10:12 AM
So I think beyond Chan's, this is one of the best old school tiki joints in New Jersey. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but the old school charm is all inside. Preserved cocktail bar with classic polynesian dishes await. Get a corner booth and grab a cocktail. Food is OK, but it was never about that. Ask for Mr. Lee, he still walks around the old joint saying hello to old school patrons.
NYC Tiki is a semi-regular at Lee's Hawaiian Islander.

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