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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)
bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11171
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-02-13 09:21 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-02-13 08:36, Digitiki wrote:
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 vibe.



I know. I had to sit outside and swallow my frustration before I could go back to my friends' table and order my customary Chicken Mole. While sitting out on Sunset Boulevard, I philosophized a little about WHY it is always so upsetting to me to loose an authentic vintage place...all the while it seems to be the order of the day that these places disappear.

Thinking of my friends, we all had in common our passion for mid-century modernism and the feeling of loss when a place went down, and we all had in common that we were born during that period, and grew up in it. But we also shared a common history of having separated from our parents and family by choice, either by geography (me) or by consciousness (some of my gay friends) to the degree that we really did not have a family in our daily lives. I concluded that these vintage places were a kind of a substitute for our family, a refuge which we wanted to continue to exist as something we could depend on, something with history and memory, our home away from home.

Let's not get into the denial of our own mortality, and how each dissappearence of a vintage location is a little death, I don't wanna get too depressing now.

But there still is the very real sense of the loss of quality, care, style and class that these old places contained, and that is lacking most of the time (with exceptions) in today's new places that replace them. I mean all psychoanalysis aside, that is a fact...isn't it?

[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2008-02-13 09:24 ]


 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5051
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2008-02-13 10:20 am   Permalink

Character.

That is what these places have and what is oft lacking today. And it cannot be recreated. I've been to plenty of places that had the faux diner thing going. Ick. And the chain places with old stuff on the walls that has no context. A sad attempt at character. These old places have character and that's why we love them. Some new places have it too. I don't think it has a thing to do with age, though a lot of great places are old(er).


 
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tikiyaki
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2708
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2008-02-13 11:11 am   Permalink

With Mid Century Modern places, it's definitely the exciting architecture. Those places just evoke a certain something....they're just so COOL.
The walls of windows, the expansive angular lines, the materials used...Lava and Flagstone walls, juxtaposed with mosiac tiles, abstract shapes and wall hangings...combine that with tiki and it's magical....hell, Sven wrote an entire book about it.

The positive, forward movement of the architecture, that makes you feel like you're "going places"...That's what is so great about Mid Century Modern, but sadly, other than the enthusiasts, no one seems to really embrace it.

So, they tear it out and put bland, unimaginitive decor, fixtures, and signage (let's not forget about how boring signage has become---oy vay) and America is getting more homogenized every day.
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icebaer69
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 03, 2007
Posts: 194
Posted: 2008-02-13 12:01 pm   Permalink

so true:
Quote:

On 2008-02-12 23:59, bigbrotiki wrote:
... 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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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3522
From: HELL
Posted: 2008-02-13 1:13 pm   Permalink

the problem with character, is that it takes time for it to build in order for it to be genuine....places that try to create a faux atmosphere always ultimately come off as feeling fakey and staged like a hollywood movie set....sadly, you just can't recreate character overnight...

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11171
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-02-13 2:13 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-02-13 13:13, Tipsy McStagger wrote:
....places that try to create a faux atmosphere always ultimately come off as feeling fakey and staged like a hollywood movie set...



You mean like Tiki Bars?

Sorry, Dave, that set up was just too good to resist!
I know what you mean, that's why I take an original, dingy, run-down Tiki joint any day before a new shiny retro Tiki bar...
(With exceptions like a certain bay area hideaway, of course.)


 
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Unga Bunga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5820
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2008-02-13 4:08 pm   Permalink

Well,
The one thing they can't take away, are the great memories.




 
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rugbymatt
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Jun 03, 2005
Posts: 1203
From: Sacramento
Posted: 2008-02-13 4:54 pm   Permalink

These modern cookie-cutter places are a bit Orwellian.

 
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Luckydesigns
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 15, 2002
Posts: 2187
From: Costa Mesa
Posted: 2008-02-14 11:30 am   Permalink

Oh........and those tikis that they put up after all the others were stolen were horrible. See above picture. It's like attack of the tree people or something......
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Unga Bunga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5820
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2008-02-14 2:04 pm   Permalink

This happened before they closed?
The picture was taken about 5 months before closure.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11171
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-02-15 11:22 am   Permalink

Yes, just two years (+/-) before they closed, Junior Cabang decided to replace the stolen Bumatay Tikis out front. Unfortunately, he chose these Tolkien Tikis carved by some forest woodcarver up North.

The original Tikis were stolen one by one during the 90s, first there were four, I got to photograph them when there were three, then two than one.
They were a GREAT example of midcentury modern Tiki stylization ! :





 
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Unga Bunga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5820
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2008-02-15 1:02 pm   Permalink

How could I forget those?
Oh I know why, Lapu Lapus.

Thanks for rejuvenating my memory Sven.


 
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tikipedia
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 25, 2004
Posts: 490
From: San Diego
Posted: 2008-02-15 8:55 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-02-12 10:41, OC editor wrote:
[T]here was no way a minor remodel could happen...

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 now many long-time lovers of the Hawaiian are boycotting, giving it up for dead, which is too bad.

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



This reminds me of the theory of Plato's boat (or is it Aristotle's boat?), which postulates that if you construct something original and then replace most of the parts over time, is the thing still the original entity or is it something completely new?

This seems to be the same in the case of the Royal Hawaiian. If they removed just about everything, replaced it with new stuff, but kept the name and (updated) theme, then is it still the Royal Hawaiian?

And at the risk of digressing, what is wrong with NIMBYism? If, for example, some toll road company wanted to run a 6 lane concrete freeway behind what was once pristine wilderness behind your home, is it bad that you are a NIMBY? I'm not bashing you OC, but I don't see NIMBYism as being a bad thing.
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Basil
Member

Joined: Feb 17, 2008
Posts: 1
From: OC and LA, California
Posted: 2008-02-17 9:33 pm   Permalink

Good, bad, or ugly...the Royal Hawaiian just doesn't feel like a tiki bar anymore. The kitsch factor is gone. Its true that the place had seen better days before the renovations - it was dank and had a peculiar smell that I wouldn't exactly call "pleasant." Still - the pufferfish lamps over the bar and the drinks made it worth while.

It bums me out, because it was one of my favorite places for drink when I lived in Laguna Beach. Every visiting friend from LA, NorCal, or the E. Coast had to come to the Royal Hawaiian for a Lapu Lapu, because it felt like an authentic bit of old SoCal. Unfortunately, that's just not the case anymore. Oh, well - at least I can say I remember it as it was.


 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3818
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2008-02-24 4:01 pm   Permalink

Are there any Tiki's remaining?

 
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