Food & Drink

Every Tiki Bar in LA

Published On 08/05/2015 Published On 08/05/2015
Anne Fishbein/Courtesy of Damon's (edited)
Flickr/Sam Howzit
Flickr/Leslie Kalohi
Flickr/Sam Howzit
Flickr/Chris
Anne Fishbein/Courtesy of Damon's
Tiki No
Flickr/Chris
Flickr/Bruce Evans
Caña Rum Bar
Courtesy of The Beverly Hilton
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1. Tonga Hut 12808 Victory Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91606 (Hollywood)

It's hard to think of tiki bars as a bygone fad when North Hollywood's Tonga Hut has been turning up the tiki since 1958. We're not talking just a plastic umbrella in your fruity drink or a few totem glasses (though you will see both): the cocktail bar looks like something between a retro knick-knack-littered living room and an Easter Island shipwreck. Just because the cocktails are kitsch doesn't mean they're an after-thought: the Hawaiian Eye mixes two rums with passion fruit puree, while the Coconaut Re-Entry is ignited with fire. This is the kind of corny that attracts patrons both young and old.

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2. Tiki-Ti 4427 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027 (Los Feliz)

True to its name, Tiki-Ti churns out notoriously tasty (and dangerously sweet) island-inspired libations. As is the custom with all great tiki spots, drinks topped with fresh skewered pineapple, passion fruit juice, and various island rums are served in coconut shells and thematic tiki-faced jugs -- the bar tenders at this joint are big believers in the fact that no one should feel guilty about craving a sugary, pink, paper-umbrella-topped cocktail. The space itself is equally festive, displaying a museum-like array of Polynesian statues, masks, and keepsakes, almost as diverse and extensive as the drink menu itself. And along with the pop-artifact collection, the island charm aesthetic at this tropical drink haven is complete with a steady soundtrack of easy-listening, beat-heavy music.

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3. Purple Orchid 221 Richmond St, El Segundo, CA 90245

The multi-bottle strong tropical pours, loads of salty locals, and attitude all just chant "dive bar" (ooga booga). The inexplicable Barbie dolls in the mouths of Tiki masks only add to the charm.

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4. Thomway Hale Hawaii Lounge 3144 Pacific Coast Hwy, Torrance, CA 90505 (Long Beach)

This Tiki bar is a total dive and hardly ever open - BUT it's from an actual Hawaiian and if you happen to be able to get in you're going to need to order a for-two-people Scorpion Bowl -- it’s one of the best Tiki drinks in the city.

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5. Don Beachcomber 16278 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach, CA 92649

Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt is often cited as the founding father of tiki. In fact, his original Don the Beachcomber bar in Hollywood became so successful that he legally changed his name to Donn Beach.

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6. Damon's 317 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203 (Glendale)

This classic steakhouse has fantastic Polynesian decor and a stand-alone bar-- and Mondays are "Mai Tai Mondays" (because, duh), so make sure to order their trademark Chi Chi cocktail.

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7. Tiki No 4657 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91602 (Hollywood)

This North Hollywood spot certainly has the tiki theme down, with colorful (and tasty) cocktails, bamboo & straw decorations, and a friendly and festive atmosphere with live music.

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8. Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar 1150 W Magic Way, Anaheim, CA 92802

Thunder and mist fall from the ceiling. A nearby volcano spews magma into the bay outside the window. Though it's a Disneyland resort bar, Trader Sams is fully enchanted and full of island creations. Don’t freak out when the animatronic seats move!

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9. Old Tony's on the Pier 210 Fishermans Wharf, Redondo Beach, CA 90277 (Redondo Beach)

Old Tony’s tows the line between nautical theme and Tiki theme, and there's nothing quite like sipping a Mai Tai on its upstairs deck at sunset. Promise.

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10. Kahuna Tiki 11026 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601 (Hollywood)

This Polynesian dinner spot offers Hawaiian eats, sushi, a huge patio, and a cave. Yes, a cave. Come by for fresh fish, Tiki drinks and some Aloha vibes.

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11. Caña Rum Bar at the Doheny 714 W Olympic, Los Angeles, CA 90013 (Downtown)

Formerly an ultra-exclusive, members-only mixology center, the Doheny's been transformed into an egalitarian rum bar, with a $20 annual membership fee, a re-designed, more-colorfully decorated white & blue interior w/ antique bird cages as lighting fixtures.

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12. Luau Larry's 509 Crescent Ave, Avalon, CA 90704

This Catalina Island institution since they've been offering terrific drinks and a menu loaded with tasty favorites like their burgers, seafood, and island specialties.

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13. Trader Vic's 714 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015 (Downtown)

The new, patioed Downtown outpost's a near-replica of the sadly-shuttered Beverly Hills original, with a party-friendly tiki interior rocking carved-wood doors and tribal fabrics from Tonga. Drinks follow the theme with Mai Tais, which were supposedly invented at Trader Vic's.