by Mar Yvette - 482 Reviews - 150 List
Want something to tiki your fancy? Well, you're in luck. Los Angeles is a welcome haven for Polynesian chic and kitsch thanks to the steady flow of tiki-themed bars and restaurants. Whether you're in the mood for a potent Mai Tai, exotic pupu platter or just a little South Seas scenery, look no further. Consider this your Los Angeles tikipedia.
Updated: July 01, 2009
An old-time landmark left over from the heyday of Polynesian-themed bars and restaurants back in the late 1950s, this Glendale classic is still going strong with its potent (and cheap) Mai Tais and meaty menu that's served morning, noon and night.
This tiny Eastside tiki shack was a cool-kid magnet before Silver Lake was even on the hipper-than-thou map, and plenty of old-timer regulars keep it real. It might be cash only, but cheer up, butthead--smoking is allowed. Come super early on weekends if you even dream of getting a seat.
Want to check out L.A.'s oldest running tiki bar? Then you gotta come by this divine NoHo dive where the tiki gods rule, outrigger canoe and waterfall are considered real decor and cheap drinks, happy hour specials and cocktails like the Voodoo Juice and Betty Page martini flow all night long. (And the jukebox rocking surf, rockabilly and classic lounge ain't so bad either.)
This fun Polynesian bar inside downtown's Wilshire Grand Hotel offers a tiger-print harem lounge, museum-worthy tiki memorabilia and tasty concoctions like the Virgin Sacrifice martini. Daily happy hours, free pool and 120" HDTV action are what keep downtown after-workers coming back for more.
Edgy Long Beach locals love posing at this smashtastic tiki spot that updates classic tiki recipes with modern mixology. Surrounded by glowing pufferfish, Tahitian art, and a jukebox that spans Velvet Underground to Johnny Cash (until the late-night DJ arrives) this is as close as you'll get to the South Seas by way of the LB.
If you've had enough of tiki-seeking "hipsters," this out-of-the-way find is your fantasy island. Expect kitschy Polynesian treasures, 100 aquariums, giant tikis, blowfish lamps and a giant tropical drink menu with price tags from $7 to $8. Sure, it's a long drive to Rosemead, but think of it this way: What you'll save on drinks you can use on gas getting there.
Branching off from its posh poolside Beverly Hills digs, this sportier space at the new L.A. Live complex still keeps the Polynesian chic factor alive with grass-colored leather banquettes, teak furniture and wicker accents. Expect the same monster cocktails and towering shrimp skewers as well as mounted TV screens for the big game. (After all, this <i>is </i> Staples Center territory).