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Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » Royal Hawaiian, Laguna Beach, CA (restaurant)
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Royal Hawaiian, Laguna Beach, CA (restaurant)
WooHooWahine
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 04, 2005
Posts: 3103
From: Mission (Impossible) Viejo, Ca
Posted: 2007-11-12 6:43 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-11-11 23:41, christiki295 wrote:
Quote:

On 2007-11-04 19:35, WooHooWahine wrote:
SoccerTiki, MakeDaMug, and I were there a week ago for dinner. There is still
A Lot of work to be done.



Aloha, Woohoowahinie:

What did you think of what had occurred so far?



Nothing has occurred except all the Old Tiki Stuff has been replaced with Brick Walls. It's not a very pretty site inside


 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3813
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2007-11-13 07:35 am   Permalink

Mahalo for the update, WooHooWahine, as disappointing as it is.

 
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WooHooWahine
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 04, 2005
Posts: 3103
From: Mission (Impossible) Viejo, Ca
Posted: 2007-11-13 7:32 pm   Permalink



[ This Message was edited by: WooHooWahine 2007-11-13 20:28 ]


 
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SpaceAgeCity
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 17, 2002
Posts: 59
From: Orange County, CA
Posted: 2008-01-02 8:54 pm   Permalink

My recent visit to the Royal Hawaiian is what brought me back to this board after a long absence. I had to complain to people who might understand. Not surprisingly, quite a few of you beat me to the punch.

While the Oceanic Arts light fixtures are quite nice, almost all of the old look and feel of the RH has been destroyed. Now it looks like the sort of place where every menu item is uber-expensive and "infused" with the "essence" of something weird. What a loss.

I'm hoping I'll have a better experience when I make the pilgrimage back to Sam's in a few weeks.



 
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tikiyaki
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2706
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2008-01-02 11:50 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-01-02 20:54, SpaceAgeCity wrote:


I'm hoping I'll have a better experience when I make the pilgrimage back to Sam's in a few weeks.





Mmmm, don't count on it, Read the threads on here. $15 hamburgers, bad service and bad , overpriced drinks seems to be the unanimous rating here. We were all very hopeful too.
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OC editor
Member

Joined: Feb 12, 2008
Posts: 1
Posted: 2008-02-12 10:41 am   Permalink

So here's the bottom line as I understand it, and then I'll leave the Tiki aficionados to make the call as to whether it's a good or bad thing, or in between.

The Royal Hawaiian was in horrible shape physically, and given the realities of remodeling (access, ABC and use permit restrictions/controls, historic building issues, NIMBYism) there was no way a minor remodel could happen. The place needed a new roof, was molding and smelled horrible, etc. etc., and Laguna Beach is one of the most restrictive cities for doing about anything.

So the choices were basically close it, level it or try to play the system a little. But there was really no practical way the much-loved Hawaiian would remain as was.

So what the owner did was stall for time. He kept the bar open, while much of the remaining structure was behind drywall for a year or two, maybe more (the owner, who drinks a bit, pushed the envelope on several instances, my favorite being the discontinued body shot contests on the bar—previously from a very attractive server's belly button).

When that drywall was removed what was revealed was a modern interpretation of a tiki bar...oh hell I won't go that far. It's a new bar/restaurant with some Tiki touches. Some of the kitsch remains: the odd little glassed in terrarium-like displays, for example.

On the plus side, the exterior looks great; my understanding is the palms and original tikis that had to be removed for construction will be returned. Not sure about that, though.

He is keeping the classic feel of the menu (which was pretty horribly prepared for the last decade or so) and more importantly to many, including me, the classic Tiki drinks. It's exactly the same drink menu.

So that's the plus. The major minus is that because of the disability laws the great old bar will go. To be replaced by bathrooms, of all things—the existing ones are up stairs and inaccessible to the disabled. I really, really wish this weren't so, that some space had been taken off the new section for the facilities while retaining the old bar, even if it were an adjunct, like maybe a sushi bar or something. But I didn't put up the cash to buy the place, remodel it and fight the city every step of the way, so it wasn't my call.

So now many long-time lovers of the Hawaiian are boycotting, giving it up for dead, which is too bad..OK it drew it's fair share of skanks and n-er do wells, but also was a surfer and locals hang out. And now the crowd will likely take on the CdM/Quite Woman/Tommy Bahama vibe.

But for now, the drinks are still strong and tropical, the ribs and shrimp combo rules, and at least the place isn't a Yard House or bad art gallery.

Reporting from Laguna Beach...

[ This Message was edited by: OC editor 2008-02-12 10:46 ]


 
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rugbymatt
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Jun 03, 2005
Posts: 1202
From: Sacramento
Posted: 2008-02-12 5:35 pm   Permalink

I can only hope this is true. I will stop in a verify on my next trip out there (Oasis?).
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RevBambooBen
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 12, 2002
Posts: 7445
From: Huntikington Beach
Posted: 2008-02-12 9:29 pm   Permalink

Just heard that they ordered

a few lamps

from Oceanic Arts too!




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Luckydesigns
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 15, 2002
Posts: 2176
From: Costa Mesa
Posted: 2008-02-12 10:42 pm   Permalink

Nope.
Too late for me. They wrecked it. There are ways of redesiging and rebuilding without turning it into what they have turned it into. Everything is beginning to look the same. There is this huge homoginization that is going on in our part of the country, especially southern California, where land with history is much like it is in Vegas.....just not as valuable as the property that it sits on.
Good to hear they bought some lamps from OA. At least that's kinda trying..... The bamboo from the pitures looks like its from a Sharkey's. Ugh.

They should just change the name....
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11130
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-02-12 11:59 pm   Permalink

Last week, I went to my favorite Mexican joint for whenever I drink at the Tiki Ti, called El Chavos. It is two doors down, and it was classic 60s/70s Mexican kitsch: Black-lit sombreros glued under the ceiling over the bar, rod iron work and colored glass dividers, A giant photo of Dolly Parton behind the bar...anyway, it had lots of character.

Now a while back the old owner wanted to retire, and sold it to the owner of the Edendale Grill. I asked, and was reassured that everything would stay the same. So last week the entrance to the main room was still locked, and food was only served in a small side room on the other side of the kitchen. Me and my urban archeologists friends snuck past the restrooms and found a door that was open to the old dining room. We lit it with our cell phones:

It was completely gutted! The walls were torn down to the lattice work, there was not one shred of the old place left.... There seems to be a misunderstanding that renovating a place by completely stripping it and then rebuilding it exactly like it was is the same than just leaving it in its original state. IT IS NOT!

The patina of original fixtures and the combination of furniture and design elements cannot be replicated once taken apart. The mana is gone. "Time" is not a paint hue.


 
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hiltiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 3099
From: Reseda, calif.
Posted: 2008-02-13 12:15 am   Permalink

Sven, I am so sorry to hear this. I went there many a times in the past and it was fun.

 
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Luckydesigns
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 15, 2002
Posts: 2176
From: Costa Mesa
Posted: 2008-02-13 08:18 am   Permalink

Amen Sven. Exactly what I'm getting at. Just like how they 'improved' the Peppermill in Vegas...At least that wasn't fully gutted or anything. But at the Peppermill, having plasma screen tvs in every booth is not an improvement to me.
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Digitiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 22, 2004
Posts: 754
From: L.A. baby!
Posted: 2008-02-13 08:36 am   Permalink

I'm so upset to hear about El Chavo. My wife and I crawled over there many times after one too many at the Tiki Ti and we loved its odd/fun vide.
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bigtikidude
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 8869
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2008-02-13 08:49 am   Permalink

between the RH and El Chavo news I want to put a gun in my mouth.

Jeff(bigtikidude)


 
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tikiyaki
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2706
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2008-02-13 09:00 am   Permalink

...and so it goes....remodel everything, raise the prices on the menu, make the yuppie hipsters feel like they live in a "great nighborhood".

At least there is El Cid just down the street, and the other great Mexican place in SilverLake on Hyperion (I forget the name right now) if you want the old school mexican vibe.


Has anyone else noticed how all your favorite restaurants have all raised their menu prices in the past year or so ?

It always amazes me how a pasta dish in an Italian restaurant can be $15.95 for something my mom used to say was considered "peasant food"....I mean 16 bucks for some spaghetti, broccoli, garlic and oil....C'Mon !

That's the way it's goin down around LA right now.

Sorry, a little non tiki rant...resume topic.....


 
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