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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » JOHN-O's Las Vegas (& Honolulu pg 8) Thread
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JOHN-O's Las Vegas (& Honolulu pg 8) Thread
lucas vigor
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Joined: May 12, 2004
Posts: 3985
From: SOCAL
Posted: 2010-11-24 11:24 am   Permalink

Again with the Mahus?



 
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JOHN-O
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Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2694
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2010-11-24 12:11 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-11-24 11:09, Luckydesigns wrote:

...The other great maitais in waikiki are at the Royal Hawaiian outdoor bar and the Halekulani...


I'm gettin' there Spike (and then some). That's my next chapter.

And dude, there's no way 90% of those girls were guys !! I can't believe that.


 
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Luckydesigns
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Joined: Sep 15, 2002
Posts: 2201
From: Costa Mesa
Posted: 2010-11-24 1:57 pm   Permalink

Yes, Lucas, again with the Mahus.... I know what you're saying John-O, but I saw a special on HBO about it... so let me reiterate... YIKES!

Can't wait for the next installment!
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msteeln
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Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 283
From: Ka'a'awa, HI
Posted: 2010-11-26 11:17 am   Permalink

[quote]
On 2010-11-24 12:11, JOHN-O wrote:
Quote:
And dude, there's no way 90% of those girls were guys !! I can't believe that.

Flip that % and it's more correct.
And unless hookers are totally your thing... there is NO need to pay for a willing babe in Hawaii when they are everywhere and come in all flavors.


 
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Luckydesigns
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Joined: Sep 15, 2002
Posts: 2201
From: Costa Mesa
Posted: 2010-11-26 11:36 am   Permalink

Uh, no, hookers are not 'totally my thing'. Just reporting what I saw on HBO and what I saw walking the streets of Waikiki, when I was there.

Back to the reporting, John-O!!
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JOHN-O
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Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2694
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2010-11-26 8:54 pm   Permalink

Thanks Spike. Also thanks msteeln for your local's perspective on my posts.

To add some Tiki significance to the shenanigans I saw in Da Big Kahuna, prostitution is not without historical precedence in the Tiki bar. Didn't Stephen Crane used to run high-priced hookers out of his Luau restaurant in Beverly Hills ??

OK, let's proceed on to...

"Honolulu Confidential" Part 6 of 10

This next post is well covered ground here, so let me try to give it a unique spin...

You know, it's easy to bash Waikiki these days, with all of the on-going over-development and destruction of its past history. Also many poo-poo Oahu overall, and search out their true Hawaii experience on places like Kauai and the Big Island. Now I'm a BIG fan of the outer islands but I can also appreciate Honolulu for its unique qualities. For one thing, it's the most remote metropolis on the entire planet. Also in addition to Miami, I consider it one of the most exotic cities in the United States.

So by now, most will assume my definitive Hawaii experience is to get drunk in some dirty old bar off the beaten path. Well it's not. My definitive Hawaii experience is to enjoy fine cocktails in one of Waikiki's historic hotels along the beach, just like visitors have done since the 1930's. The sound of rolling waves, the warm trade winds blowing, and the timeless view of Diamond Head haven't changed since that time.



And there's (almost) no better place to experience that than the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Its fake (to Hawaii) Spanish Moor architecture is now classic and old-school. And its Mai Tai Bar is the birthplace of that classic drink (yes I'm joking but that's what 90% of the tourists think).





I remember drinking at the Mai Tai Bar back in the early 90's. Those Tropical drinks could rival those of Tiki Ti in terms of potency, but then something happened along the way. As recently as 5 years ago those drinks seemed to have gone downhill. I'm happy to report from this recent trip, that a new bar manager has brought high-end mixology back to the Pink Palace. Check out a sample of the new menu...



I started out with the classic "scratch" Mai Tai.



It was tasty but since I'm spoiled by the super strong Hawaiian Mai Tai at Santa Monica's Galley, I wasn't blown away.

My bartender asked "How do you like it?". I replied "It's good but I prefer it without the pineapple juice". He then offered to switch it out for a Trader Vic's recipe one. (!!) As I enjoyed that 2nd cocktail, I told him I was impressed he knew the difference. He replied "Even though it's not on the menu, we're trained for it. Also if you want the Don the Beachcomber recipe, we do that off the menu as well using homemade falernum." (!!!) He also offered an original Mai Tai recipe of theirs that won a local award where they burn one of the ingredients first. (???) Wow, you could probably spend a majority of your drinking vacation just at this bar. But FYI, the cocktails ain't cheap.


The other classic place for cocktails at the beach is the House Without a Key at the Halekulani.



It's almost become a cliche that they have the best Mai Tai in Hawaii. Let me cut to the chase here...

IT'S TRUE !!



As my friends sipped the cocktail for the first time, you could see the same look of astonishment on their faces. "Whoa, that's good !!" was the universal response. FYI, if the House Without a Key outdoor lounge is not open, you can get the same cocktail in the upscale Lewers Lounge inside the hotel.



A couple from Long Beach sitting next to us acknowledged our enjoyment of the Mai Tais. The gentleman added "If you like that Mai Tai, I know of another good one in Waikiki." When I asked where, he said "At the Jimmy Buffett restaurant next to the International Market Place". I was incredulous but I did take it down as a mental note.

Here's something else I want to share about the House Without a Key. I consider that experience even more classic and timeless than the Royal Hawaiian Hotel's outdoor patio. I think it has to do with that 300-year old Kiawe (not Banyon) tree where Hawaiian musicians perform nightly. This would be the perfect spot for the Smokin' Menehunes. When I see them play in So CA, I'm transported back to this exact place !!



Coming up next... "In search of Jimmy Buffett"



[ This Message was edited by: JOHN-O 2010-11-27 15:41 ]


 
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kahalakruzer
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Joined: Jan 29, 2008
Posts: 309
From: Dana Point! California
Posted: 2010-11-26 9:56 pm   Permalink

I was in Waikiki a few weeks back, and stopped by the MaiTai bar at the Royal Hawaiian. I had a (Tropical) Itch and a few mai tais. The drinks were alright, but I was really impressed with some of the ingredients that they had on hand. I tried the Mai Tai Degeneres, strictly because of it's usage of Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur. The bartender also had no problem with subbing Appleton for Bacardi(at no charge) which I thought was cool. They mentioned at least 3 specialty off-the-menu drinks while I was there, so with the TV and Don's mai tais you mentioned, they could pretty much include an addendum to their cocktail menu. Great view, but you're right when you say the drinks ain't cheap...
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Hakalugi
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Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 3092
From: Redondo Beach, CA
Posted: 2010-11-26 10:22 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-11-26 20:54, JOHN-O wrote:

He also offered an original Mai Tai recipe of theirs that won a local award where they burn one of the ingredients first. (???)




Beachbum Berry was a judge in that particular Mai Tai competition.

From Beachbum Berry's Blog:
"the grand prize went to John Matsubara, executive chef of Azure restaurant on Waikiki. John was new to Tiki drink-making, but he understood that presentation is a big part of the genre. So he used a bong-like device to infuse his Mai Tai with hickory smoke, then took a crème brûlée torch to the sugared pineapple garnish."


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kahalakruzer
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Joined: Jan 29, 2008
Posts: 309
From: Dana Point! California
Posted: 2010-11-27 2:31 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-11-26 22:22, Hakalugi wrote:
From Beachbum Berry's Blog:
"the grand prize went to John Matsubara, executive chef of Azure restaurant on Waikiki. John was new to Tiki drink-making, but he understood that presentation is a big part of the genre. So he used a bong-like device to infuse his Mai Tai with hickory smoke, then took a crème brûlée torch to the sugared pineapple garnish."




This article, "The Mai Tai Gets a Makeover" was also in Tiki Magazine, Vol.5 #3. I just wonder how the smoke really permeates the Mai Tai with an action that I'm assuming would only take a few seconds? Or is it more of an essence, like squeezing citrus peels over cocktails? Regardless, it sounds pretty interesting. We'll see next time, I suppose.
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JOHN-O
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Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2694
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2010-11-27 3:38 pm   Permalink

Here's a mind-boggling bit of Poly-Pop history related to this thread...

102-year old Bill Tapia, "The Duke of Uke", often sits in with the Smokin' Menehunes. (Maybe we'll see him at their upcoming Bahooka show on Dec 4th).

Bill actually played at the opening of Waikiki's Royal Hawaiian Hotel in 1927 !!





 
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Bora Boris
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2594
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2010-11-27 4:02 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-11-26 20:54, JOHN-O wrote:

Wow, you could probably spend a majority of your drinking vacation just at this bar. But FYI, the cocktails ain't cheap.



When you say "the cocktails ain't cheap" in my mind I would guess more than $12.00 for an average tropical drink and when you put that drink in Hawaii it goes up to $16.00 - $18.00 which isn't cheap but isn't impossible either but are you talking in the $20.00 to $25.00 four drinks for $100.00 " Jeez! I hope someone I'm with can expense this" range?

That would definitely make a person choosy about where and what they're drinking and the hotel bars I've checked don't list the prices on their websites.

What would be an average price for an average "Just ok" hotel bar cocktail in Waikiki?


 
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JOHN-O
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Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2694
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2010-11-27 4:52 pm   Permalink

Here's the weird part. Actually the booze was cheaper in Honolulu when compared to a lot of the Santa Monica/Venice bars that I drink in. Other than the higher-end hotels, you could get mixed cocktails or straight bourbon/scotch for $5-$7 dollars in and around Waikiki. And that's the good stuff, well cocktails were around $3.50-$4.00. A lot of the tourist bars were heavily competing with each other with their expanded Happy Hours.

The higher-end Hawaii Tropical cocktails were priced about the same as their LA counterparts, about $11-$13 per drink. My comment "ain't cheap" was based more on the inexpensive drunk fests we were enjoying on Kuhio Ave and Hotel St. We got spoiled and it was too easy to say "I'll pick up the tab." That back-fired on me at the Halekulani.


 
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Bora Boris
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Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2594
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2010-11-27 5:27 pm   Permalink

Ahhh ok, thank you!

 
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msteeln
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 283
From: Ka'a'awa, HI
Posted: 2010-11-27 7:01 pm   Permalink

This unassuming waterfront stage has seen most every great Hawaiian music talent of the exceptional post WW2 era, a fact that barely touches on half the history of this iconic spot...

Quote:



 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2694
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2010-11-28 1:13 pm   Permalink

Here's some additional commentary on drinking in Waikiki...

I saw no better deal than the Hideaway's 6-7pm "Power Hour".

$1 beers and $1 well drinks !!



And I'm only posting on the good Tropical drinks here, which in Waikiki is the exception rather than the rule. You're more likely to encounter the following ...



 
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