Clifton's Pacific Seas

Los Angeles, CA
Bar
42
pictures
Articles in Critiki News
I want to go!
Plan your visit:
Save
Get there
Share
I have been!
Report back to Critiki:
Visited?
Rate
Comment
Add Pics
648 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA
Opened in November 2016
Wed 6pm-midnight
Thu-Sat 6pm-2am
(213) 627-1673

Critiki ratings

Clifton's Pacific Seas

8.2

Overall

by 72 people

1

10

Detail
Everyone You
Decor 9.7
Drink Quality 7.3
Drink Selection 7.4
Mood 8.8
Music 7.8
Service 7.7
Tikiness 8.7
Tilt 8.2
Vibe 8

Upcoming Visits

Regulars & Visitors

View all 158 Clifton's Pacific Seas regulars & visitors

Humuhumu’s description

Pacific Seas is a bar inside of the Clifton's complex in downtown Los Angeles. It opened in November 2016, and pays tribute to the original Clifton's Pacific Seas
history
Clifton's Pacific Seas
Los Angeles, CA
Bar & Restaurant
9
, which was located a few blocks away on Olive Street and operated from 1939-1960. This Clifton's location on Broadway opened in 1935 and remained in operation until it closed for extensive remodeling in 2011 by new owner Andrew Meieran, finally reopening in 2015.
In addition to the nod to Clifton's own Polynesian Pop history, Pacific Seas incorporates elements from the later heyday of 1960s tiki, thanks in particular to decor purchased from Bahooka
history
Bahooka Ribs & Grog
Rosemead, CA
Bar & Restaurant
9.5
after it closed in early 2013. Pacific Seas was built by Bamboo Ben
history
Bamboo Ben's Showroom
Huntington Beach, CA
Store
, grandson of the famous early Tiki decorator and builder Eli Hedley
classic
Eli Hedley's Home
San Pedro, CA
Park
.
Reservations are recommended, and there is a dress code (basically: don't wear shorts and a t-shirt, put a little effort in and you'll be fine, wear some nice vintage aloha and you're golden).

Comments

PineappleWhip
PineappleWhip has visited Clifton's Pacific Seas.
May 15, 2018, 6:21 PM
I finally went to Clifton's Pacific Seas. I read some very mixed reviews before going, but, wanted to see for myself. I got right in at opening, so there was no line, and it was an unusual day in that all of Clifton's opened at 6, so many of us were able to walk right to Pacific Seas....no doubloon required.

Above all, I have to say that the décor is amazing. The space is very well done and Bamboo Ben did an amazing job as always. I fell it is worthwhile going if for no other reason than to see the décor.

The drinks I thought were good, the bartenders service was nice, and accommodating, although it got very busy quickly and they only had a few bartenders, so the line for another drink got long quickly.

As others have mentioned, the music started getting louder as more people arrived, and was a bit overwhelming, but, it seemed that most people enjoyed it.

Overall, it was very enjoyable for me, and I will definitely be back.
April 14, 2018, 12:25 PM
Disappointing. A bar for "clubbers" not tiki-lovers. Tiki is all about the ohana vibe and great drinks, and Pacific Seas was lacking in both in our opinion.

Nine of us, with high hopes and the warmest tiki wishes, visited Pacific Seas last night. We had all read the reviews, which without exception have been sparklingly positive. Well, what I'm going to write about Pacific Seas is not supportive of that idea.

All of us had been to Clifton's before, and without fail we loved the food and drinks. So, we all thought Pacific Seas was going to be a similar or better experience. Pacific Seas certainly leads you to believe it's going to be something special. After all, they've got a serious dress code. They only take reservations for 10 or more. They impose a $300 minimum on that reservation as well. They also say that they limit the number of people, without reservations, getting in. The entrance is hidden behind a mirrored panel and the attendant insists on collecting your gold admission tokens, before allowing you to proceed. Well, all of us slightly inebriated boozy tiki-philes found this just great and we were completely amped as we were led through the map room to our table.
The music seemed a little loud, but it was right in the exotica and tiki groove. The DJ, situated at the cut-down motor boat was pumping out The Tiki Tones, The Hula Girls, and a bit of Martin Denny. The decor is Phenomenal. Really Really great. However, things went quickly downhill from there.

1. The music got progressively louder necessitating yelling attempted conversation amongst our group...and we were well away from the speakers

2. The server, which we got since we reserved a large group, knew nothing about the drinks they served beyond what was written on the menu. Not the rums, not the flavors. A great thing about most tiki places is discussing these things with the bar staff...after all Tiki is at least 50% about the drinks. Shouting over the music just to hear that he doesn't know and have to ask...ugh.

3. The drinks. A small selection (10?) of classics and uninspired slightly altered classics. Only two (2!) mocktails...alcohol-free versions of the Pina Colada and Painkiller. (Come on guys! It's the same freaking drink!). Our group had every drink on the menu, some twice and three times (because of the $300 minimum). None were anywhere near the quality or taste of the cocktails you'd get at other LA tiki bars (e.g. Tonga Hut, Tiki Ti, Tiki No, or Lono's). They weren't even as good as the drinks you'd get at the other bars in Cliffton's itself!

4. The drink garnishes. There weren't any. A single forlorn cherry or small wilted orchid blossom is not a garnish. This tells me lots about a tiki bar. It says we deal in FAST VOLUME and don't really care about the barcraft.

5. The crowd. It was already crowded at 9pm, when we started. At 10pm though the "clubbing" crowd started to arrive en-mass. Where was the supposed intimate pacific Seas setting now? The music changed from the prior exotica to 80% clubbish dance music. As such, The great hula / island singer-dancer floor show was jammed incongruously into the crowd and bookended by the poor music.

I will not be going back to Pacific Seas. Cliffton's certainly. It's other bars and food really are nice. But Pacific Seas is not a tiki destination. It's a pretentious downtown bar for people who like pretty South Seas decor. 4/10
February 25, 2018, 3:18 PM
Awesome spot well worth the visit, but if anyone knows the owners/mangers PLEASE ask them to change the music, Clifton's has 5/6 other bars in the same building to fit the mood. The music was club loud, not bar loud, and the music although I liked it KILLED the escapism of all the visual aesthetic. Will definitely go back again; and hopefully things will be even better!
View all 18 comments

Articles in Critiki News

Upcoming Visits
Regulars & Visitors
  • BaliHaiBrad
  • tiki_anna
  • SarntLee
  • Mo'o Nui
  • Demerara24
  • Trader Tom
  • 151
  • Critikied
  • californialife
  • Tiki Thomas
  • Tiki 'Alopeke
  • kevincrothers
  • TikiBri
  • ModernTikiLounge
  • Kungaloosh
  • elliepritts
View all 158 Clifton's Pacific Seas regulars & visitors