FEATURES | MUSIC | BOOKS | DRINKS | FORUMS | GAMES | LINKS | ABOUT


advertise on Tiki Central

Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop
  [Edit Profile]  [Edit Preferences]  [Search] [Sign Up]
[Personal Messages]  [Member List]  [Help/FAQ]  [Rules]  [Login]
Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » Trader Vic's/Polinesio, Havana, Cuba (restaurant)
Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 Next Page )
Trader Vic's/Polinesio, Havana, Cuba (restaurant)
Trad'r Bill
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 14, 2008
Posts: 486
From: Hercules, CA
Posted: 2013-04-17 10:46 pm   Permalink

I was watching your trip on FB. Looks like a blast, especially for a bunch of guys who appreciate classic cars like you all do. Thanks for the clear shot of the classic Trader Vic lamp... you should make some of those. I'd buy one for sure! I've always wanted one...



[ This Message was edited by: Trad'r Bill 2013-04-17 22:47 ]


 
View Profile of Trad'r Bill Send a personal message to Trad'r Bill  Email Trad'r Bill     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11495
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-04-18 09:51 am   Permalink

Very good guys, did Notch bring the Pete Moruzzi book? I am very happy to see the trip came to such a successful fruition!

 
View Profile of bigbrotiki Send a personal message to bigbrotiki  Goto the website of bigbrotiki     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
KAHAKA
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 03, 2003
Posts: 867
From: San Jose, CA
Posted: 2013-04-18 3:03 pm   Permalink

We actually have 3 copies now amongst the 4 of us. I've read it through twice. Excellent book! We did have a copy with us which helped out in our journeys. Did you see our pics on FB, Sven?

Stephen and Bill, I think Cuba is calling you guys too. Do it!
_________________



Custom Tapa Swag Lamps and Sconces Built By Kahaka

 View Profile of KAHAKA Send a personal message to KAHAKA  Email KAHAKA Goto the website of KAHAKA     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
howlinowl
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 20, 2008
Posts: 259
From: Port Saint Lucie, FL
Posted: 2014-11-10 3:35 pm   Permalink

not much, but you can see a bit of the outside of Trader Vic's at 0:26

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USUGOaAj-VU&list=PLZgwag2MEJd1nuwP3WA1HSLtltS6itpae&index=1

howlinowl


 View Profile of howlinowl Send a personal message to howlinowl      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
tikilongbeach
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 05, 2011
Posts: 1599
From: Long Beach, CA via Dallas, TX
Posted: 2014-12-19 10:12 am   Permalink

They might see a spike in business when US travel opens up shortly.

 
View Profile of tikilongbeach Send a personal message to tikilongbeach      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11495
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2015-01-16 12:36 pm   Permalink

Indeed! :
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/16/world/americas/us-eases-decades-old-rules-on-travel-to-cuba.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=1

That sounds very good! And folks, you have your travel guide in this here book at hand!:

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=29211&forum=1

This and more from author Pete Moruzzi:

>>Touring the Mafia’s Havana Hangouts of 1950s Cuba<<

Now that restrictions have eased for U.S. travel to Cuba, the former mafia-run restaurants, nightclubs, and hotels of pre-revolution Havana await rediscovery.

There are an amazing number of sites that have survived 55 years of neglect in Havana that give the feeling of a time when mobsters like Meyer Lansky and Santo Trafficante Jr. ran the roulette wheels, crap games, and card tables in posh joints across the city. In my book “Havana Before Castro: When Cuba Was a Tropical Playground” I focus on the incredible history of the American mafia – the Mob – in Cuba.

By 1958, the Mob had finally completed their fabulous hotels and casinos that were transforming Havana into the Las Vegas of the Caribbean. Take a walk to the corner of 21st and N streets where you’ll find Santo Trafficante’s ultra-mod 1956 Hotel Capri. On the morning of the revolution, casino host George Raft stood atop a craps table and successfully held back the pitchforked mob by offering a free buffet in exchange for not torching the place. Since then the hotel’s been renovated but it continues to evoke a cool midcentury modern vibe.

Wandering down the hill to the bottom of 21st Street you’ll find the historic Hotel Nacional de Cuba that overlooks the sea. Built in 1930, the Nacional hosted Lucky Luciano’s infamous 1946 mafia summit attended by the biggest gangsters of the era, including Lansky, Trafficante, Frank Costello, Albert Anastasia, Vito Genovese, Joe Adonis, Joe and Rocco Fischetti, and Moe Dalitz. On hand to entertain was the young mob-darling Frank Sinatra. Explore the hotel and then relax on the veranda with a frosty mojito and President Kennedy’s favorite Cuban cigar, a Montecristo No. 2.

Just down the seaside highway from the Nacional is Meyer Lansky’s spectacular Havana Riviera, a 21-story midcentury modern masterpiece built in 1957. It’s as over-the-top as the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach, yet as sleek and sophisticated as the Rat Pack’s Sands Hotel once was in Las Vegas. In fact, the Havana Riviera is now the best-preserved example of a swank 1950s Vegas/Miami Beach resort hotel in the world. Standing in the lobby you are transported to the height of pre-Castro glamour as it once existed in Havana. Go there before some clown remakes it into yet another sterile Hyatt or Marriott.

Visible from anywhere in the city, the towering, elegant 1958 Habana Hilton at the crest of 23rd street was renamed the Habana Libre when Castro took over on New Year’s Day. Just one year earlier, feared capo Albert Anastasia had been murdered while getting a shave at a New York hotel reportedly because he had pushed too hard in trying to take control of the Habana Hilton’s yet-to-open casino. The hotel also houses a former Trader Vic’s Polynesian bar/restaurant. Renamed the “Polinesio,” it has been in a Cinderella slumber, remaining an unaltered example of the style. While the food and drinks may have suffered, the Tiki Modern décor is astounding.

Scattered around Havana are other Mob-controlled hotels and upscale restaurants, including the hotels Deauville and St. Johns, and the Louis XIV style Monseigneur restaurant (with Meyer Lansky as part owner) located across from the Hotel Nacional. A map on page 180 of my book provides addresses for you to explore all of these mob-related sites.

There has never been a better time to immerse yourself in Havana’s mafia-related past. Go now.<<

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehUSElG3VeU

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=29210&forum=10

[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2015-01-16 12:38 ]


 View Profile of bigbrotiki Send a personal message to bigbrotiki  Goto the website of bigbrotiki     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Freeland
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Aug 19, 2013
Posts: 123
From: Austin, Tex
Posted: 2015-10-19 09:57 am   Permalink

I have no idea how I have missed this whole thread, but I am sold and planning it all out in my head before it all changes too much.
_________________


 View Profile of Freeland Send a personal message to Freeland  Email Freeland Goto the website of Freeland     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
AceExplorer
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 1700
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2015-10-19 10:00 am   Permalink

Freeland, my thoughts exactly!

 
View Profile of AceExplorer Send a personal message to AceExplorer  Email AceExplorer     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
nui 'umi 'umi
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 21, 2011
Posts: 1843
From: La Mirada Atoll
Posted: 2015-10-29 9:58 pm   Permalink

My wife CeCe and I spent a couple of evenings at Polinesio recently. I will try not to post any pix that are similar to what’s already posted. The place is so unchanged that it almost felt like being in a holy shrine.
Theres a large sign to the right of the large tikis that flank the entrance from the street. Sorry for the poor quality -seems my camera took quite a beating at Jose Marti Airport . This sign is already a victim of vandalism and/or theft.


Detail from sign in previous pic.




Barney West tiki in dining room furthest from bar.



More to follow


These were said to be Barney West tikis but I was unable to verify the claim.






 
View Profile of nui 'umi 'umi Send a personal message to nui 'umi 'umi  Email nui 'umi 'umi     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
AceExplorer
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 1700
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2015-10-30 06:24 am   Permalink

You win, I don't know what the prize is, but you win. How were the drinks, the food, and were they friendly?



 
View Profile of AceExplorer Send a personal message to AceExplorer  Email AceExplorer     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
nui 'umi 'umi
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 21, 2011
Posts: 1843
From: La Mirada Atoll
Posted: 2015-10-30 10:36 pm   Permalink

Hey Ace, Always good to hear from you. The drinks were excellent, especially since many ingredients for tiki and vintage drinks are hard to come by at this time. Osvaldo the barkeep/manager likes to create drinks. The ‘Specials” that he made for my wife were excellent. I had Mai Tai’s and he kept apologizing cuz he did not have any orgeat. I kept drinking em cuz they were very good although I suspect that I would have liked swampwater given that I was in such a magical location wid the love of my life. Regarding the food-we only had Pupu’s.
They were okay. The staff at Polineso were awesome and amazed at our interest and knowledge of tiki (Mahalo Tiki Central). The chef and the waitress on duty came over to talk with us. They have a deep interest in the U.S.A. and had many questions. This was also true of the people of Cuba that we had contact with. I like to mingle with the locals wherever I go. Imo, Cubano’s have a huge thirst for all things American. Because of my fluent Spanish and my brown skin, the Bartenders and waiters at the Hotel National (were we stayed) kept jokingly calling me Cubano and said I had to stay.
I was told that Cuban food was bland. I found it to be very tasty even though to my surprise chile is not used in Cuba. Very little beef, lotsa pork, chicken, and fish. Dark beans(delicious) , rice, and plantains with every lunch and dinner. Best of all a bottle of Havana club 3 is set at your table in case your mojito or Cuba Libre needs fortifying. I had “Crystal” and “Bucanero” beer at various locations.They are the #1 and #2 beers in Havana right now. I preferred the #2, Bucanero. I also tried some of the Havana club 15 which was excellent however I actually liked the HC 7 yr. mo betta old which is what you get when you order rum neat at the Hotel National. One small piece of ice makes it perfecto! Went to a tobacco Farm at the west end of the island and my wife who never smoked in her life had a freshly rolled Panatella stuck in her mouth. After a few puffs she said that it was very pleasant. Everywhere we went the Cuban people were simply gracious-can’t wait to go back.

[ This Message was edited by: nui 'umi 'umi 2015-11-01 21:47 ]


 
View Profile of nui 'umi 'umi Send a personal message to nui 'umi 'umi  Email nui 'umi 'umi     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11495
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2015-11-01 10:02 am   Permalink

That sounds wonderful, N.N. - I have to caution though that it all depends on Osvaldo working there the evening you go, which is a hit or miss thing. He knows my book(s), and is very grateful for having guests who appreciate the Tiki tradition, his father worked at the hotel.

Otherwise, you can also encounter indifferent waiters and bad Mojitos. But that is, as I have stated often, not the reason why we go to such places.


 
View Profile of bigbrotiki Send a personal message to bigbrotiki  Goto the website of bigbrotiki     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
nui 'umi 'umi
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 21, 2011
Posts: 1843
From: La Mirada Atoll
Posted: 2015-11-01 9:43 pm   Permalink



[ This Message was edited by: nui 'umi 'umi 2015-11-01 21:44 ]


 
View Profile of nui 'umi 'umi Send a personal message to nui 'umi 'umi  Email nui 'umi 'umi     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
nui 'umi 'umi
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 21, 2011
Posts: 1843
From: La Mirada Atoll
Posted: 2015-11-01 9:43 pm   Permalink

Osvaldo is a gem. Sven, now I why Osvaldo has such a passion for and knowledge of Tiki. The Book of Tiki-of course! BigBro wrote earlier "I have to caution though that it all depends on Osvaldo working there the evening you go, which is a hit or miss thing. He knows my book(s), and is very grateful for having guests who appreciate the Tiki tradition, his father worked at the hotel.”

This is no ordinary shaker-it’s a pic of the shaker that Osvaldo’s father used at the then Trader Vic’s a half century ago.



 
View Profile of nui 'umi 'umi Send a personal message to nui 'umi 'umi  Email nui 'umi 'umi     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 533
From: Austin
Posted: 2015-11-12 3:57 pm   Permalink

We've been discussing taking a trip to Cuba this spring or early summer with another couple. For those who have gone recently, can you give any tips on the most hassle free way of traveling? I assume we can go under the guise of doing academic research to get permission from the government but how deep do they actually look into that? I've read you can slap together a travel blog and that's sufficient. If that's the case, how long does the process take til they give you the OK to travel? Being in Texas, we're contemplating just flying into Cancun and then Havana from there. Flights will be around $500 per person and we can bypass some of the hoops getting into the country. I've also heard that at this point Americans who are stopped or detained are basically just held for a while and left to sweat it but no real harm will be done. Seems a few people here have gone in the past couple years. What say you?


 
View Profile of mikehooker Send a personal message to mikehooker  Goto the website of mikehooker     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 Next Page )
U-Moderate:
  
v1.5

[ About Tiki Central | Contact Tiki Central | Advertise on Tiki Central ]
(c) 2000-2016 Tikiroom.com (tm), Tiki Central (tm)

Credits & copyright infomation