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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Don The Beachcomber, Kona, HI (restaurant)
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Don The Beachcomber, Kona, HI (restaurant)
Alii Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 156
From: Kona, Hawaii & Palm Springs, California
Posted: 2008-07-27 6:26 pm   Permalink

As of last night.

Tikiwinebear was in town and we got a small group together for cocktails and dinner.
We even managed to get Doug (KonaCat) to hang out for a brief while.
Brad we tried to get you down there with us, no luck. Maybe soon.

[ This Message was edited by: Alii Tiki 2008-07-27 18:29 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Alii Tiki 2008-07-27 18:31 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Alii Tiki 2008-07-27 18:32 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 30, 2004
Posts: 582
From: Santa Rosa, CA (Sonoma - wine country)
Posted: 2008-07-28 11:10 am   Permalink

Yep, Don the Beachcomber is still there! I started my Don experience at lunchtime that day before I met up with the Big Island group. Since the restaurant wasn't open at that time, I ate outside overlooking the ocean/bay in the bar's lounge area. They were offering their new "Tiki Taster" which consisted of 4 different "Mai Tais". The Taster featured the original Mai Tai (which is still my favorite), one they called Pele's Volcanic Mai Tai (my second favorite of the tasters), another called the Topless Mai Tai, and the 4th named the Green Flash Mai Tai. The Pele drink had lots of fruit juices (pineapple and orange juice) but also had a splash of 151 rum. The Topless was made with clear rums, no dark float, one of the rums being a coconut rum. (coconut in a mai tai???) And lastly, the Green Flash started with a layer of Midori in the bottom layer. It was fun to sample them, but I will definitely stay with the Original Mai Tai recipe!

Mahalo to all the Big Island ohana who came out for some drinks and dinner!! Sorry to see KonaCat leave before dinner, but he didn't really miss anything special. We had a total of 8 persons for dinner, each selecting an entree. The general opinion around the table that the prices were a bit high, and the food was good, but not what we had expected for a Don the Beachcomber restaurant. The flavors centered around Island flavors and not glorified Asian dishes. We all had a great time talking story and I am happy to finally meet more of the ohana face to face, and their families. Thomas' and Jason's wives (real sisters) are a hoot and I really enjoyed talking with them. Mahalo everyone!!

Tent flyer on table about Donn Beach and history of Don the Beachcomber, with Zombie recipe

Full batch of Mai Tai Tasters - smaller glasses were used so you got about 1.5 real Mai Tais in one sampler set.

And as they say in the islands, the tasters are pau!


edited for the corrected names of the Tasters

[ This Message was edited by: tikiwinebear 2008-07-28 11:14 ]

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Tiki Shark Art
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 3893
Posted: 2008-08-03 10:43 pm   Permalink


On 2008-07-14 11:29, HinaHinawahine wrote:
That gentleman's name is Lenny and I am trying to remember his last name. Great musician in Hawai'i for many years. He recently passed away. A great loss in the music world.

Wait a second... another Rumor Alert!
That ol' fella, Lenny I guess, has not passed away. Or if he did, his animated corpse is still knocking out some exotica tunes on the vibes!

I took this photo tonight - Aug 3 2008

He was in great form at sunset, to the delight of visitors and locals alike.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2722
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2008-08-03 11:51 pm   Permalink

Awesome !

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Limbo Lizard
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 779
From: Aboard the 'Leaky Tiki', Dallas
Posted: 2008-08-04 11:51 am   Permalink

Quoting from the table flyer:
"Donn's Original Mai Tai $8.25
Donn has many claims to fame but none as bold as this fine cocktail. Bacardi & Orange Curacao, Whaler's Dark rum, fresh lime and a few smuggler's secrets make this 1933 classic a must."

Oh, so that's why no one could figure out the secret ingredients in his original recipes, back then. He traveled into the future and brought back rums that weren't made until the 80's or 90's.

What is the recipe for the "Original Zombie", on the flyer? Can't quite make it all out, but there's 14 ingredients!

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Tiki Shark Art
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 3893
Posted: 2008-08-19 6:30 pm   Permalink

(still banging on da thing)

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2006
Posts: 1434
From: San Diego
Posted: 2008-08-20 09:29 am   Permalink


On 2008-08-04 11:51, Limbo Lizard wrote:

What is the recipe for the "Original Zombie", on the flyer? Can't quite make it all out, but there's 14 ingredients!

Some ingredients are hard to read, but I'm guessing this is the Zombie recipe from Phoebe Beach's book.
"I am Lono!" -- Hunter S. Thompson

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Tiki Shark Art
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 3893
Posted: 2008-12-26 3:22 pm   Permalink

Hey Tiki Tribe~
I noticed some new stuff at Don the Beachcomber. Some framed artifacts - menus, photos of Don, and these ash trays.

Nice to see they are adding to the atmosphere.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 242
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2009-03-19 03:29 am   Permalink

I had assumed Don's was hoping at a different hotel... When I was in Kona, summer of '05 (my first, and so far only, visit to Hawai'i) once I discovered the Royal Kona, I spent a great deal of time hanging around there. No Don's at that time, but it had the bar, the restaurant, another funky rental room (circular) behind the restaurant, and enough tikis, tiki torches and 60s-70s decor to make me fall in love. The gigantic bouquets of exotic fresh flowers were amazing. I hope the lobby got the waterfall working better, and kept the big multi-globe capiz shell light fixture (and the smaller domed capiz shell fixtures) which really needed cleaning and fixing. The one sad thing I see in these photos are the big Easter Island heads - three, back-to-back - in the center of the curcular dining room, with flowers above. Why do I call that sad? Because when I was there, above the heads was a (no longer functional) gas firebowl! They told me they hoped to fix it in an upcoming run of repairs. Took lots of photos, but I have no way to host them. I ate in the restaurant they had then, which was very good. That and the Kona Inn were the best I found there, though Huggo's On The Rocks was pretty good too. All were pricey, but I came expecting that.

If I return to Hawai'i, I'll be returning to Kona. If I return to Kona, I'll go to Don's, camera, notepad and lots of cash in hand and a ride home secured - when I'm done there, I definately won't be able to walk back!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 23, 2006
Posts: 335
From: Houston, Texas
Posted: 2009-06-18 1:46 pm   Permalink

Holly and I visited Don's in Kona this past week. We had a GREAT time and at GREAT meal. As someone else had posted they have all sorts of weekly specials and dinners for two and such, and they seem to keep their website pretty up-to-date regarding all that. Some good deals to be had.

But having had 2 weeks of "Pacific Fusion" food, I ordered their Prime Rib and I have to say it was one of the best I've had. Holly had some sort of seafood which she liked but due to Mai Tai tasters and Mai Tais...can't recall exactly what she had.

Someone there is also doing a great job with wine pairings and knows their stuff and their wine prices are very reasonable for place like this, IMHO.

Tiki ambiance is great and waves crashing against the shore almost beneath your feet just adds to the enjoyment we had. Fire, tikis, Hawaiiana, music, food, sea...what's not to love?

We actually thought the prices were not all that bad. At least not compared to most of the other places we dined at on the Big Island. I think it was actually one of the best experiences and meals we've had so far (although Merriman's is awful hard to beat, food-wise).

After the Big Island we moved on to Maui and a couple of nights at the fabulous Hotel Hana-Maui, and have just now arrived at our final (regular) place at Napili Bay on Maui's north shore. Will drop by the pseudo-Don's at the Royal Lahaina when we get a chance later this week, to see if anything has changed there yet.

Aloha From Maui!

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Tiki Shark Art
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 3893
Posted: 2009-07-22 1:32 pm   Permalink

Aloha Tiki Tribe~

Sean Wilkinson is STILL vibraphoning at the Royal Kona Don's Mai Tai bar...as of last night. 7/21/09.
Out lived "The King of Pop"!
Who would have guessed!?

[ This Message was edited by: Tiki Shark Art 2009-07-22 13:34 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 1513
From: Houston, Texotica
Posted: 2009-12-13 12:04 am   Permalink

Capt'n Skully and I had the pleasure of hearing this fellow 2 Sundays ago; he played Quiet Village, and although he was too deaf to hear me, I contributed bird calls and monkey shrieks. The neighboring tables heard me, at least.

Does that count as performing at Donn's?

We loved almost everything about DTB-Kona. We had a WONderful [but no, not cheap] dinner there for our first night on the island, and it did not disappoint. Great service, and good enough cocktails at Happy Hour beforehand. The HH Mai Tai is $5.50 ($4.50?) and decent enough. We ended up eating several of our meals that week at the bar, as we stayed at the Royal Kona for the 1st 3 days of our trip and - well - had a hard time doing anything else but enjoying being in that beautiful hotel! That PRIMO ocean view at the bar and swimming pool was hard to beat.

Beachbum Berry had recommended the Pele Mai Tai which was great, but I wasn't smitten with the Garrett's Mai Tai. Garrett himself could not make it for us, as he was on a different island on his honeymoon, compliments of the hotel - for having won, with his drink, the Mai Tai contest sponsored by the hotel and judged by Beachbum Berry! Maybe its not having been made for us by its creator was the problem? I don't know. Its twist was that it was more a martini: shaken, strained, and served in a martini glass. Perhaps it's that for me, the crushed ice is an integral part of the Mai Tai's texture and even flavor. Certainly of the temperature; my Garrett's warmed too quickly for my taste.

No. Everything was *perfect*!

Except one thing.

They did not sell DTB barrel mugs!!
There were 2 *taunting* us at the bar the whole time, but when we tried to buy some, we were told there were none - that the minimum order for them is 1000 (or was it 500?), and they didn't want to have to store all the to-be-sold ones.
Orders can't be smaller??
We were bitterly disappointed.

Not that it curbed our spending in ANY way that week...
"Zazz captivates felt."

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Tiki Shark Art
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 3893
Posted: 2010-07-01 9:11 pm   Permalink

If you are on the Big Island, you gotta check out the Royal Kona Resort, home of the local Don the Beachcombers.
The hotel is still kept in it's mid century glory.
You even walk over a bridge across a koi pond to get into the lobby. It's like stepping back 50 years ago....and they work to keep it that way.
Now, right across the lobby from the Don the Beachcombers Mai Tai bar and Restaurant, you can find the exclusive seller on the Big Island of my art!
The gift Shop now represents me on the BI. Since this establishment is the most "tiki-fied" on the whole Big Island, I've been thinking about having my art sell there for a long time. Years really. However, before, the gift shop used to be run by a company based in Florida, and it was impossible for them to OK any local product... then, the Royal Kona Resort took the gift shop over, and I was able to talk with them.
Since they are very much into Tiki, it was a great meeting. Maybe the easiest business meeting I've ever had.

the Art Prints for sale in the gift shop are not the way high-end giclee on canvas prints you will find in the Gallery that reps me on Maui.

However, the gift shop at the Royal Kona Resort has less expensive, but still way swanky giclee on paper art prints. Created by the same printer, with the same perfection.
I just figure, if you are on the Big Island you might be looking to spend about a $100, while if you are on Maui, you might be looking to spend $1,000 on art. It's just we are considered one of the "outer Islands" and we don't get the same amount of tourists as Maui or Oahu. Hey, if you travel all the way across the ocean to an active volcano, I think you deserve a break on the price of some local art!

So, now you can have a Mai Tai, at the open air Mai Tai bar, listen to some vibraphone tunes live, and flip through some tiki art prints all with in the confines of the Royal Kona
Check it out!

Royal Kona Resort
75-5852 Ali'i Drive
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740
(808) 989-7310

Brad (Tiki Shark) Parker


[ This Message was edited by: Tiki Shark Art 2010-07-02 14:46 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2006
Posts: 1434
From: San Diego
Posted: 2012-05-08 10:47 am   Permalink

I was just looking at the drink menu for Don the Beachcomber at the Royal Kona, and man-oh-man. Flavored mojitos, flavored mai tais, "'tini" drinks, a navy grog but NO zombie. They don't serve the signature drink of Don the Beachcomber!? In my opinion, this is a Don the Beachcomber in name only. Thank goodness for the Huntington Beach location.


"I am Lono!" -- Hunter S. Thompson

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Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: May 09, 2012
Posts: 1860
From: San Diego
Posted: 2012-05-09 7:26 pm   Permalink

I was there in January. A great place to go to! Sunsets and food are great! I loved the Mai Tai sampler as well.

But I was wondering about the Zombie as well. Why was it not on the menu??? We actually asked our waitress, who helped us out on multiple occasions. She came through and said that they DO serve Zombies, but they don't have them on the menu. We got them and they were all pretty and layered. There was a blue layer too. I don't know why, cause we all know there is no Blue Curaco in a Zombie! It was good and strong, but what I noticed was that their drinks were definitely made too look good. Not like the Don the Beachcomber in Huntington, where the Mai Tais are brown.

I personally don't care if my Mai Tai is brown, red, orange or rainbow, but I do care how it tastes. I have had a lot of Mai Tais, and I think the best are at Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach. In Kona they were not as good. I understand because it is in a hotel and Kona pretty much caters to the older crowds. So making super strong drinks isn't on their agenda.

I strongly recommend going to Okalemaluna, a smaller tiki bar that is only a couple blocks from Don's. It doesn't look as cool and no awesome ocean and sunset views, but it makes up for it in quality drinks. This place can really make Tiki drinks! I wish I could be there right now. Their Missionaries Downfall is the best!

And FYI - Dudes still there smacking that xylophone in 2012!!!

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