classic

Tiki-Ti

Los Angeles, CA
Bar
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4427 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
Opened in 1961
Wed-Thu 4pm-1am
Fri-Sat 4pm-2am
(213) 669-9381

Critiki ratings

Tiki-Ti

9.4

Overall

by 184 people

1

10

Detail
Everyone You
Decor 9.5
Drink Quality 9.9
Drink Selection 10
Mood 9.5
Music 7.9
Service 9.4
Tikiness 9.6
Tilt 9.8
Vibe 9.4

Regulars & Visitors

View all 217 Tiki-Ti regulars & visitors

Humuhumu’s description

This famous little bar is a Los Angeles institution—opened in 1961 by Ray Buhen, it is now owned and operated by Ray's son Mike Buhen and grandson Mike Buhen, Jr.
The Tiki-Ti drink menu has over 80 drinks, but picking one can feel a little bit like picking a race horse—the menu is divided into sections for the base alcohols, but beyond that, it's just a list of colorful names. These recipes are closely guarded family secrets. There are plenty of classic cocktails on the menu, but many of the drinks are the creation of Ray or his son or grandson. One of Ray's creations, Blood & Sand, is named for the Tyrone Power bullfighting film by the same name, and as it is being mixed the bar's patrons call out "Toro, Toro!" Mike or Mike will happily take the time to ask you a few questions and guide you to a drink you're sure to like.
On Wednesdays, a tribute is made to Ray—a bell is rung five times, and the whole bar stops what they're doing to toast to Ray.
For decades, Tiki-Ti was owner-operated, with no employees, making it one of the very few places in California that could allow smoking. In June 2015, the Buhens hired their very first employee, longtime regular Greg Bansuelo, to help behind the bar. Smoking is no longer permitted at Tiki-Ti.
The Buhens close the bar when they go on vacation; be sure to check the Tiki-Ti website's calendar to make sure they are open before you stop by. Tiki-Ti is extremely small (just 12 barstools and a small handful of tables), and is incredibly popular—if you don't like crowds, be sure to get there right as it opens, preferably on a Wednesday. Be sure to bring plenty cash—they don't accept credit cards.

How to find it

7
Tiki-Ti is in a small, free-standing building on the north side of Sunset Blvd, just past where Sunset merges with Hollywood Blvd. It is between El Chavo restaurant and the former KCET studios.

Parking

There is free parking available on the street in the neighborhood. Some folks used to park in the lot directly across the street, but this is no longer advised.

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Comments
PNGMedicineMan
PNGMedicineMan is a semi-regular at Tiki-Ti.
June 5, 2016, 1:37 AM
This is the spot for drinks. Their drinks are really hard to beat. It's small , not that tiki , but you got to love the drinks. I will drive from Victorville to here everyday if I could that's how much I love their drinks. Can you tell I love their drinks ha ha ha
May 21, 2016, 7:09 PM
I went to the Tiki-Ti once twenty-something years ago and I recall it as being well, fine, but somewhat ho-hum. Since then, Bahooka and Trader Vic's have closed in the L.A. area and this once great Tiki city has become somewhat bereft of groovy Tiki joints. I saw the reviews on here and thought maybe I had missed something and so tried to go back, but the lines can be long for this place. The other day I dropped by on a Wednesday around 4:30 pm, almost every seat was taken. The drink I ordered was excellent, but the place, a lively tiny bar, is really not my idea of Polynesia or even fake Polynesia. It is a hallway-sized place, which is fun or what it is, but does not conjure up exotica in any manner.
AJM
AJM is a semi-regular at Tiki-Ti.
March 8, 2015, 1:21 AM
NYC Tiki is correct that it's not classic Tiki but I guess I have never noticed. Never noticed the music, either. I lean much more toward the positive reviews. The Mikes are great, the atmosphere is great, the drinks are... really kinda their own thing. They aren't as bright and fruity as the best tiki-style drinks I've had. Drink-wise this is more of a Frankie's in Vegas than a Three Dots and a Dash. But damn it, everyone needs to visit this bar. Bring enough spine to get past "the smoke and the music" because bars are for drinking and this bar does drinks well.
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