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New york City TIKI
Scamboogah
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 04, 2002
Posts: 62
From: Oakland, CA
Posted: 2003-03-08 2:14 pm   Permalink

So what's up in the world of NYC Tiki? Steve, how's Otto's doin? Haven't been there in a couple of months, but I'm supporting you fully in spirit.
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tastysp
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 07, 2002
Posts: 192
Posted: 2003-03-10 12:35 pm   Permalink

Aloha! from Otto's
Things are pretty good here considering we're trapped in the never-ending winter of 2003. We've still got the Moonlighters and Fisherman playing here as well as some punk and rock on the weekends. We just had a tribute to the Buzzcocks on friday and next month we're having one for the Cramps. I went to Miami about a 2 weeks ago and drove to the Mai-Kai in Ft. Lauderdale for the first time. Man waht a wonderful experience. It was stepping back in time. I ate outside in the tiki garden and saw the show afterwards. It was a truly great old-school Tiki experience. Let me know when you're around next.

steve


 
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donhonyc
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2003-03-31 11:08 pm   Permalink

Greetings Tiki sisters and brothers, and a special greeting to all of you who live in or who will be visiting Gotham soon. Just wanted to check in on this thread and fill you in on my recent visit to the much talked about JADE ISLAND on New York City's own Island of Misfit Toys, Staten Island. First let me just say that if you don't own a vehicle or have a convenient means of transportation...do not go!! Not because Jade Island isn't cool and fun (it is), but because Jade Island isn't cool and fun ENOUGH to put in that kind of commuting effort into it.

Jade Island is alot like Chans Dragon Inn in Ridgefield, NJ but maybe a notch or two lower on the vintage vibe. From the looks of some of the newspaper clippings they had hanging on the wall in the lobby next to a counter where they sell Lotto tickets (yeah..they really sell lotto there!!), they have been there since at least 1972. And, unlike the free standing building that Chan's is located in, Jade is located in a K-Mart shopping plaza (eesh) not far from the Staten Island Mall (eesh), and a bit of a hike by cab from the S.I. ferry terminal. It had all the cool trappings of a Tiki/Polynesian joint i.e., cool fountains, tikis everywhere, transparent beach scenes hanging on the walls, pufferfish and tiki lamps and a pretty decent tiki bar/cocktail lounge adjacent to the actual dining room. All waiters were dressed in Hawaiian shirts. My girlfriend and I went on a Friday night, and the place was packed (!), and then some, with people waiting for tables. First stop-the lounge. After instantly noticing Trader Vic products behind the bar I ordered a couple of Mai-Tais. Tasty...BUT...made with GRENADINE. Uh-oh. Shortly after that we sat down in one of the tiki-hut booths. Pretty cool. Even cooler was the drink menu which had real photographs of the drinks. After I was done with my Mai-Tai, I ordered a 'Pinapple Paradise' which was a frothy Pina Colada type drink served in a real pineapple shell and garnished with cherry/pineapple chunk on an umbrella. Pretty damn good! My girlfriend ordered the 'Jade Island Special' which was served in a really cool looking hula-girl tiki mug (see picture) that they let us buy for $6.50! Also pretty cool. Also noticed Navy Grog and another drink served in an actual Tiki mug who's name I forgot (shoulda wrote down those damn drink names). Another drink was served in a ceramic coconut shell mug called the 'Coconut Kiss' and of course they had Zombies as well a few other cool looking drinks. Aside from all the regular kind of Chinese food they had the same 'Hawaii 4-0' dish that Chan's had as well as the very cleverly named 'Hawaii 3-0' that I don't think Chan's had (hey they gotta corner the market somehow). After eating some Sesame Shrimp I ordered one of those damn Zombies which was actually very good!! Shortly after that, for some reason I started to get really sleepy, musta been the commute or all that sesame shrimp and shrimp toast appetizers.

Overall it was a pretty damn cool place, but for me, not really worth trekin all that way. That kinda travel warrants a Mai-Kai-esque pot 'o gold at the end of the Tiki rainbow. The real buzz-kill was having to wait in the S.I. Ferry Terminal for 45 minutes for the boat ride back. I know, I know...we shoulda hung out at Jade a little longer so we didn't have to wait that long but we had the schedule, uh...a little wrong. Boats only left at the top of the hour, not as we/I thought every half hour. With that said, I 'll just go on to state that I've heard many places reffered to as 'the arm-pit of the world' or other more elaborate, 'colorful' descriptives, but the Staten Island Ferry Terminal (on the Staten Island side) on a Friday night at 9:30 PM is the UNDISPUTED Armpit of the World, make no mistake about it!!

So....Chan's I'll see you again soon (easier to get to), and maybe Jade again (by limo!). Next stop...Lee's Hawaiian Islander in the very exotic and tropical city of Lyndhurst, NJ. 'Til then...Mahalo kids!!!









[ This Message was edited by: donhonyc on 2003-03-31 23:37 ]


 
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Tiki Chris
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1543
From: London
Posted: 2003-04-01 01:00 am   Permalink

don't forget the lee's in clifton too!

 
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Tiki Chris
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1543
From: London
Posted: 2003-04-01 01:21 am   Permalink



 
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Tiki Chris
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1543
From: London
Posted: 2003-04-01 05:51 am   Permalink

http://www.hawaiianartistsshows.com/calendar.html

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donhonyc
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2003-04-01 07:37 am   Permalink

Tikichris-

How were these places? Were they easy to get to?


 
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Tiki Chris
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1543
From: London
Posted: 2003-04-01 08:22 am   Permalink

both lee's were pretty easy to find. however, keep in mind that i drove to them from hoboken. i don't know what taking public transport to them would be like (especially from nyc).

clifton lee's website has some directions:

http://www.njdiningguide.com/lees.html

the one in clifton is better than the one in lyndhurst but still no chan's dragon inn. both lee's are worth checking out, in my opinion. but if i could only choose one, it would but the clifton lee's by a wide margin. & i would try really really really hard to go when they had a hula show (hula show in suburban nj = rollicking good time!).

good luck/keep us posted!
tiki chris

[ This Message was edited by: Tiki Chris on 2003-04-01 08:25 ]


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donhonyc
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2003-04-01 09:56 am   Permalink

TikiChris-

So Lee's isn't as cool as Chan's?? Can we hear some detail on Lee's? Decor and vintage vibe and all that. How were the drinks??



 
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Tiki Chris
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1543
From: London
Posted: 2003-04-02 01:18 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2003-04-01 09:56, donhonyc wrote:

So Lee's isn't as cool as Chan's?? Can we hear some detail on Lee's? Decor and vintage vibe and all that. How were the drinks??




haven't been in a couple of years. here's what someone else (Sabina) wrote on tc though:

... And we visited Lee's Clifton just a few weeks ago in December as we made our trip down from New England.
http://www.njdiningguide.com/lees.html

The Lee's we visited was wonderful! Also VERY vintage, big comfy booths in little thatch roofed 'shacks', see the back of the top picture- http://www.njdiningguide.com/leespics.html_. Just out of that picture and to the right in the main dining room is a large waterfall running down a wall- very soothing, I believe there was a Tiki or two in the arrangement as well.

Lee's Food was tasty and fresh, the pupu platter comes flaming, and my drinks arrived in Tiki mugs (See the Exotic Island Drinks section- http://www.njdiningguide.com/leeswines.html, I recommend the "Tiki Tiki"!). The bar area is separated from the main dining room by a wall of bamboo and thatch, there was a small but inconspicuous TV very quietly playing the late afternoon game- easily ignored.

While Lee's didn't strike me as 'dripping with Tikis' there are some, and the atmosphere evokes true aloha spirit. The staff was just great too- friendly and laid back. It felt very much like a spot locals 'in the know' had been coming to since back in the day. Plenty of flaming rum sauces and broad smiles.

As for the physical building, from the outside it looks a bit like a gigantic old house, the bar area is to the left as you enter the main dining room. Off to the side there's another side room we barely peeked at, and a small area in the back off the main room with sort of a stage, which brings me to perhaps the most important point about Lee's Clifton, which is also mentioned on their webpage-

"Come join us every Saturday evening with Genuine Hula Dancers from Hawaii. Show Times: 7:30 & 9:15 pm."

Which, after a brief web search appears to be this group from New York- http://www.hawaiianartistsshows.com.

Now does this sound like a Tiki-must, or what? Need I saw more? ...

that long review is from page 2 of the JERSEY thread. click below for the full message:
http://tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=336&forum=1&start=15





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donhonyc
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2003-04-02 09:47 am   Permalink

Thanks for the tip(s) Chris. Might check out Lee's this weekend, or maybe another trip to Chan's. Damn..wish Hawaii Kai (50th & Broadway) was still around. Anybody know any history on this one??

 
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Sabina
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Apr 08, 2002
Posts: 372
From: The Lounge of the Seven Pleasures!
Posted: 2003-04-03 12:40 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2003-04-02 09:47, donhonyc wrote:
Damn..wish Hawaii Kai (50th & Broadway) was still around. Anybody know any history on this one??



That's my current obsession. We actually named our home bar "The Lounge of the Seven Pleasures" after the Hawai'i Kai's lounge of the same name! (Not that ours comes close, just that due respect to that which is now gone is important.)

Here's a postcard showing the Hawaii Kai in all its glory-



upper left-
The Waikiki Outdoor Waterfalls- overflowing with the exotic flowers of the islands

upper right-
Okole Maluna Bar with Diamond Head Diarama- Scenes from dawn to dusk in realisticly colorful settings

lower left-
The Lounge of the Seven Pleasures- featuring authentic native entertainment

lower right-
The Island Huts of Oahu- Here royal pleasures await you. Sumptous delicacies served by our native food bearers.

The World's Greatest Polynesian Restaurant
"In the heart of the theatrical world"
Broadway at 50th Street, New York City
For Reservations PL 7-0900

Drinks were served in a variety of tiki mugs, a search on e-bay will give you a feel for some of the variety they featured.

Then there is the cookbook from 1970-



Which is a treasure trove of recipes, some of which are from (to quote from the awknowledgements)-

'Manny "Blackie" Andal, a chief mixologist who, like all island bartenders, jealousy guards the secrets of his native concoctions, but nevertheless contributed them to our book.'

And yes, even a bizarre urban savage ritual or two, which if I have time, I'll share here later.

So, anyone else?





 
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Sabina
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Apr 08, 2002
Posts: 372
From: The Lounge of the Seven Pleasures!
Posted: 2003-04-03 12:50 pm   Permalink


Hmmmmmm, the postcard came out a little small, here are some larger close-ups of each of the sections;

upper left-
The Waikiki Outdoor Waterfalls- overflowing with the exotic flowers of the islands



upper right-
Okole Maluna Bar with Diamond Head Diarama- Scenes from dawn to dusk in realistically colorful settings



lower left-
The Lounge of the Seven Pleasures- featuring authentic native entertainment



lower right-
The Island Huts of Oahu- Here royal pleasures await you. Sumptous delicacies served by our native food bearers.







 
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mrsmiley
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 3172
From: Las Vegas, NV
Posted: 2003-04-03 5:53 pm   Permalink

The Lanai in San Mateo had a similar "dusk to dawn" diarama behind the bar--I always thought that idea was so cool!
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Central Poet Laureate

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2792
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2003-04-03 6:03 pm   Permalink

Sabina,

Thanks much for those enlargements! I've seen that postcard before, but didn't get near the feel for the place as with those large-screen views. That was quite a beautiful restaurant! And I like the cool modern lettering and texture of the outside wall.

Sabu


 
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