Tonga Hut

12808 Victory Blvd
North Hollywood, California, United States
Ph: (818) 769-0708 - Website
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Daily 4pm-2am
Opened in 1958
Defunct tiki not included,
distances are as the crow flies.
Kahuna Tiki, North Hollywood 2.8 mi
4.4 km
Tiki No, North Hollywood 3.3 mi
5.2 km
Trader Vic's Lounge, Beverly Hills 8.3 mi
13.4 km
Rock-a-Hula, Los Angeles 7.8 mi
12.6 km
Cacao Coffee House, Los Angeles 10.1 mi
16.3 km
The bar at Tonga Hut in North Hollywood
June 2011, photo by Humuhumu
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Humuhumu’s description:
Small bar in the middle of the San Fernando Valley with some absolutely fantastic tiki decor, with a bamboo-ridged drop ceiling, lovely green booths and some great carvings but currently overcoming many years of decline as a generic dive bar (and not the cool kind), with blinking electronic dart boards and a large glowing jukebox filled with terrible music.

Ownership of Tonga Hut changed in February 2004, with no noticeable changes. The Tonga Hut changed hands again in November of 2005, and now things are looking quite a bit tiki-er, with the removal of beer signs, and vintage fountains running again after many years of dryness.

The new owners are dedicated to continuing improvements, and turning it back into the classic tiki bar it can be. In 2013, the owners opened a second location in Palm Springs.

There are 10 comments.
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November 25, 2008, 1:06 PM
This a great little Tiki joint. I have donned it's doorstep on many a festive occasion, particularly when there was a Tiki Art night put on by Atomikitty. And because it's local, I have had many group gatherings - especially on holidays like Thanksgiving and Xmas. I heard the stories about the place before Jeremy took over, but I'm glad I took a chance 'cause now it's one of my faves.

Many happy memories were made there, and many more are sure to come.

Oh and the jukebox could use a LITTLE sprucing up, but DEFINATELY doesn't suck(like someone previously commented).

July 8, 2009, 4:36 PM
I started going here back in the mid-90's; a young & new transplant to LA. It was pretty dive-y back then, but still kinda fun. (Although, when I'd visit, I was pretty sure that I was the only person in the bar with an interest in tiki.)

I've been back & again throughout its few changes & handful of owners -- and, now, it's the best it's ever been.

I can only imagine that the low scores in the Critiki rating (as of this writing) are from reviewers that visited the Tonga Hut before its current incarnation. For, there are reasons a'plenty to love this place.

The Tonga Hut is a great example of a working, neighborhood bar that embodies the best of tiki culture: great drinks, friendly service, bartenders that care about the quality of the drinks they pour & a laid-back atmosphere that makes the place a pleasure to visit.

Plus, out of all of LA's tiki destinations, the Tonga Hut seems to play host to more events than any other (great art shows, holiday fetes and the CD/DVD release parties of the likes of the Tikiyaki Orchestra & Tiki Bar TV).

While it will never have the lineage of a Tiki Ti or the interior design budget of a Trader Vic's, the Tonga Hut holds its own as a great tiki destination. It's a gem of a bar & fine place to do your drinking.

It's also worth mentioning that the Tonga Hut is the oldest (currently running) tiki bar in LA!
Capt. R.H. Falernum is a regular at Tonga Hut.

September 15, 2009, 7:48 AM
Being the OLDEST tiki bar in Los Angeles makes this a MUST stop on any tiki trek. The vintage fountains are beautiful and unique. The bar is a great vintage shape and design.

The jukebox has a great selection of tiki and oldschool rock that kept the people dancing. The crowd was a mix of locals for a Monday nigh, great energy and sexy girls filled the space.

Builtiki has visited Tonga Hut.

June 11, 2010, 12:26 PM
Ok, I went to the Tonga Hut once, and it was clearly a bad time. I was there EARLY so that already is a no-no, I attempted to check it out around 6pm and sadly the entire bar was full of beer drinkers. I tried their Mai Tai, and their Zombie Juice, and I was pleasantly happy with the drinks. The overall vibe was just not there since it was early. I'll need to do this again on a proper EVENING.
carlosrossi has visited Tonga Hut.

May 17, 2012, 3:31 PM
This place has come a long way in just a few short years. After my first time, I saw no reason to ever return. Now, I'm happy to visit as often as I can! The decor and upkeep of the place is improving each time I visit, as are the drinks. The addition of the Grog Log drinks and Order of the Drooling Bastard very welcome and exciting additions. While the jukebox ranges from early Van Halen to Herb Alpert, it can be hit-or-miss, but there is good tiki and tiki-appropriate music on there. Well worth another try!
wayne-tiki-tiki is a regular at Tonga Hut.

January 20, 2013, 5:50 PM
My experience here was great! The decor is more than I expected and the bartender, cute and attentive. I only wish that they played exclusive tiki music. My problem with most tiki bars in SoCal is that there are more beer and vodka drinkers than tiki drink fans, including DTB, Tonga, and Trader Vic's. The TikiTi is the only spot where folks come for the drinks but smoking is allowed. = \ I still love these spots.

KavikaTiki is a regular at Tonga Hut, and is usually there Friday after 6pm, when working in the valley..

February 20, 2013, 9:49 PM
My first visit here was great. I just loved that I was walking into Tiki history. Drinks, music, ambience, and decor are all great. Mid-century Tiki beckons at this establishment. For it is one of the original and oldest Tiki bars in CA.
forgotten tikiman has visited Tonga Hut.

March 14, 2013, 10:00 PM
My wife and I visited here on our vacation in mid-December 2012 and it was the perfect end to our day. The bartendress was friendly and attentive, we met her mom who was there to pick her up after her shift and had a blast getting to know her too. We've been to most of the tiki places in the LA area, and this is our new favorite.
AZTikiPhiles has visited Tonga Hut.

February 23, 2015, 5:14 PM
Made it here from Vegas with one hour left on my birthday, and what an hour it was. Great service and great tasting drinks (reccomend Voodoo Juice and Mojave Punch). They even have mugs now, including a rum barrel.If you are in the area, stop in have a few and take a selfie next to the "drooling bastard" fountain!
PackmanWSU01 has visited Tonga Hut.

March 1, 2015, 6:09 PM
I have to say that I was a bit disappointed in this bar after all I've heard about it.

The decor was fantastic. Dark, moody, exotic. I loves the little booth huts. The bartender, Ian, seemed pretty knowledgeable about rums and tiki culture so that was nice. However, the crowd was a little more rockabilly than true tiki.

The biggest problem was the jukebox playing classic rock too loudly. That really ruins what could otherwise be a truly encompasssing tiki experience and just made me want to down my drink and get out of there as soon as possible.

Rating: 4.9

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