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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » New Luau in Beverly Hills?
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New Luau in Beverly Hills?
Hearn
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jan 30, 2008
Posts: 87
From: Washington DC
Posted: 2008-10-31 07:00 am   Permalink


Thought y'all would find this interesting

http://www.buzzfoto.com/2008/10/elton-john/elton-finds-nostalgia/

"the original Luau was a kitschy tiki room"

No respect.


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11107
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-10-31 08:13 am   Permalink

"Like its namesake, the new Luau is full of tiki gods, island themed drinks and décor. The new restaurant is more of a tribute to the old, with a chic new style and reminders of the old. (The original Luau restaurant was a kitschy tiki room.)"

But the new one is full of Tiki gods...? Obviously, they know what they are talking about.

But this is a good example. My stance on this issue is largely motivated by the prevailing cliche, perpetuated here and in the media, that mid-century Tiki bar decor was "kitschy" and "tacky", and therefore cannot be resurrected in a meaningful way in this day and age. I disagree. One, that it was kitschy and tacky, and Two, that it has to be watered down nowadays to be palatable.

Here is a good example of a new, stylish well thought out Tiki Bar that uses the classic Tiki bar concepts (Tikis, a logo Tiki mask on the menu, as mug and around the interior/exterior, AND thunder storm effects for the signature drink):

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=30316&forum=2&10

In closing, I repeat IN CLOSING, a few points made in a simple, abbreviated form so ALL (or some more) understand:

I have never, I repeat never, said the new Luau should have been a carbon copy of the old.

I have never attacked the work of the artisans and craftsman that supplied parts of the decor, rather, I commended them on their work.

If this place would have been a new translation of classic Polynesian dining style in general, I would have had much less of a problem with it. But it took the name of an influential Tiki power place and did not live up to THAT.

I agree that, in general, one should visit a location before one can form an opinion. I, however, am in the unique position of having formulated and defined the stylistic language of Tiki style in my books, which had never been made conscious before. And I did so not by blabbering on on endless pages of theoretical text, but by showing hundreds and hundreds of VISUAL examples of it. These examples in turn inspired many new Tiki bars to be opened in the new millennium. I have applauded most of them. But I will exercise my critical faculties where I see it fit. The Tiki revival was not inspired by customers going to Tiki bars and saying "I like this, let's build one", but by the imagery that and I and others put out there in the recent 8 years.

I wish the Luau much success, and I am sure I will enjoy an evening out in its halls sometime, and beg forgiveness for the fact that I am so sensitive and opinionated on my ideas of what was and IS great about Polynesian pop/panache/pastiche (whatever you wanna call it).




[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2008-10-31 08:18 ]


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Tiki Kiniki
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 23, 2007
Posts: 81
From: Here and There
Posted: 2008-11-01 1:31 pm   Permalink



[ This Message was edited by: Tiki Kiniki 2008-11-02 08:31 ]


 
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Tiki Diablo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 1904
From: socal
Posted: 2008-11-01 5:36 pm   Permalink

Tiki Kiniki. Jeez buddy let it go already. Apparently I see Sven differently than you do. Yes he is a friend first, but also a mentor. His book really helped me channel my creativity in a focused direction. His advice and help has opened doors for me as an artist in places I thought I'd never see.

I consider myself a Johnny come lately compared to the likes a tiki forefathers like Sven, Bosko , Jeff Berry.... and on. Imagine researching, investigating , compiling info and obscure pictures and ephemera that is just bizarre to most. Oh yeah and all this pre internet !
The BOT and Tiki Modern are the bibles of tiki! Period! Every job I have worked commercially has been influenced by the BOT. Either it was already there and the owner was using it for reference, or I brought one with me so this project could get a dose of the real tiki. It has helped replace some lame Part City type touches with real stuff that will stand the test of time. Does Sven know what he is talking about ? hell yeah, and it's safe to say that if it wasn't for his efforts and others like him, we would probably not be reading about tiki stuff here on a message board of this caliber.


 
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Tiki Diablo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 1904
From: socal
Posted: 2008-11-01 5:38 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-11-01 13:31, Tiki Kiniki wrote:


[ This Message was edited by: Tiki Kiniki 2008-11-01 15:55 ]



Oh yeah, let me write your response to me while I am at it.
_________________
Finely hand-crafted build-outs, artifacts, carved tiki, logo design, nautical decor, TIKI event mugs , custom bars and more.


 
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RevBambooBen
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 12, 2002
Posts: 7441
From: Huntikington Beach
Posted: 2008-11-01 8:44 pm   Permalink

Found this today at the Rastafarian Shop at Ports o Call

in San Pedro.

It's says, "The Hand Of Fate"

Tiki and Reggae CAN be mixed after all!!!




_________________


Bamboo Ben
Custom Tropical Decor
I build Tiki Rooms for you! Just ask around ;)
http://www.facebook.com/bambooben


 
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Bora Boris
Mr. Unreasonable

Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2570
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2008-11-01 8:54 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-11-01 20:44, RevBambooBen wrote:
Found this today at the Rastafarian Shop at Ports o Call

in San Pedro.

It's says, "The Hand Of Fate"

Tiki and Reggae CAN be mixed after all!!!






Or maybe that's why Port's o'Call is
DOOMED!





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RevBambooBen
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 12, 2002
Posts: 7441
From: Huntikington Beach
Posted: 2008-11-01 8:59 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-11-01 20:54, Bora Boris wrote:
Quote:

On 2008-11-01 20:44, RevBambooBen wrote:
Found this today at the Rastafarian Shop at Ports o Call

in San Pedro.

It's says, "The Hand Of Fate"

Tiki and Reggae CAN be mixed after all!!!






Or maybe that's why Port's o'Call is DOOMED!







Maybe they'll add some Polynesian Panache !!??
_________________


Bamboo Ben
Custom Tropical Decor
I build Tiki Rooms for you! Just ask around ;)
http://www.facebook.com/bambooben


 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3811
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2008-11-03 11:47 pm   Permalink

Has anyone sampled the cuisine?
Is the bar big enough to hang, or is it just to wait for your table to be ready?
Is there a happy hour?


 
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PiPhiRho
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 1013
From: Redondo Beach
Posted: 2008-11-05 10:58 am   Permalink

I met some friends at the Luau on Sunday night. I found parking around there to be a bit of a problem. Most of the nearby parking structures were closed and metered parking on the street was mostly full, although I did eventually find a parking space about a block away. Valet parking is available.

The place looks great from the outside with a few outdoor tables on the patio. Bamboo and thatch give it that kind of generic southseas look. Inside the decor is very elegant and upscale. While the name "Luau" suggests Hawaii, the theme is much more indo-chinese than Hawaiian. The TiPsY factor is quite low. I saw only two tikis in the entire place, and one of those was a painting of a tiki.

But what they lack in tikis, they make up for in puffer fish.



Mahalos to Bamboo Ben, Tiki Ray and Jeff Berry for their great contributions.

The bar is integrated right into the lobby. There are no tables there. In fact, there is only ONE CHAIR in the bar, over by the window. Clearly, this is not a bar that is intended for hanging out and drinking in the bar and other than that it is standing room only. This clearly is intended to be a restaurant and not a bar. If you go there you need to get a table and have some pupus with your drinks.

The drinks are excellent. I had a Pearl Diver and it tasted just like the one in Sippin Safari. Better in fact, because I used too many substitutions in the one I made from the book recipe and it didn't come out all that well. The Pearl Diver at Luau was well made, well balanced and tasted wonderful. The Mai Tais are Trader Vic's style, and since they don't have the Vic's Mix they are made from scratch. They are potent and tasty, but certainly not any cheaper than the one you would get down the street at Vic's. I also had a Bahia, which came in a pineapple.



Also excellent, but pricey.

The food is also very good. We had the halibut and the chicken plus the pupu platter. It was very good, of a quality at least matching that of the Trader Vic's restaurant.




The food, like the drinks, are expensive. I dropped $100 there, but the portions are large and can be shared, so this is not a place to go to alone, nor is it a place to be going to often. I give it a big thumbs up. While it may not be the reincarnation of the old Steven Crane's Luau, it is still a great place for special occasions and a nice replacement for the loss of the BH Trader Vic's.

Ben, Ray and Jeff did an excellent job here in giving this a warm, exotic atmosphere with excellent drinks and food. Just be prepared to leave there with your wallet a lot lighter than when you entered.



[ This Message was edited by: PiPhiRho 2008-11-05 11:31 ]


 
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bigtikidude
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 8849
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2008-11-05 5:50 pm   Permalink

ouch my wallet hurts just reading that.
But I would like to go there sometime to give it a try.

Jeff(bigtikidude)



 
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RevBambooBen
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 12, 2002
Posts: 7441
From: Huntikington Beach
Posted: 2008-11-05 5:58 pm   Permalink

Nicely critiqued, PiPhiRho. I'm happy you enjoyed the well researched cocktails and superbly mastered entrees and pupus.

I have to be fair and say, from our little tiki group, it was solely Bamboo Ben who created that wonderful exterior and interior atmosphere working with the design visions of Loree Rodkin and, owner, Andy Hewitt.

Four months of Bamboo Ben's heart and soul went into this project and the outcome displays Ben's passion for his craft. It's, simply, beautiful.

Aloha,

Mrs. Bamboo


 
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TIKI-RAY
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 18, 2003
Posts: 845
From: Alta Loma, California
Posted: 2008-11-05 6:11 pm   Permalink

Mrs. Boo is right . I was there a few times during construction and I must say Ive never seen Ben do cleaner work . And many aspects was from his intervention . He had to talk them into it and tell them what they wanted . I carved a tiki. But I dont deserve the acclaim that Ben should be getting . He really outdid himself with this project . I just hope he doesnt screw up that Vegas gig ....hahahaha

 
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KuKu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 07, 2008
Posts: 436
From: Santa Cruz, CA. norcal
Posted: 2008-11-05 7:09 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-11-05 17:50, bigtikidude wrote:
ouch my wallet hurts just reading that.
But I would like to go there sometime to give it a try.

Jeff(bigtikidude)




Really?!? Even if they don't have live surf music...?
_________________
One day, there will be a cure for tiki,
That's the day I'll throw my rum away...



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bigtikidude
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 8849
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2008-11-05 8:41 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-11-05 19:09, KuKu wrote:
Quote:

On 2008-11-05 17:50, bigtikidude wrote:
ouch my wallet hurts just reading that.
But I would like to go there sometime to give it a try.

Jeff(bigtikidude)




Really?!? Even if they don't have live surf music...?



Amazingly enough,
I do go to places that don't have surf or even any bands,
though it does drive me nuts.
I would love to see real Exotica bands at tiki bars/restaurants.
and not just have cds playing in the background, but thats better than
hip hop or techno,

Jeff(bigtikidude)


 
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