||Waikiki Wally's New York, NY, New York, NY (restaurant)
Joined: Aug 18, 2004
From: The Tropical Isle of Manhattan
|Posted: 2004-08-26 2:05 pm  Permalink|
Name:Waikiki Wally's New York, NY
Street:101 E. 2nd St.
Waikiki Wally's is not the best tiki bar that I've ever been to, but it's a welcome island escape in the Big Apple. The decor is very cool, and it even has a working waterfall. The food is pretty good, but the drinks are only okay. They have a couple of good dancers from Hawaii that perform there, and the Tiny Bubble Band on Monday nights.
Bottom line- good tiki atmosphere and the drinks are enjoyable, but could be better. Worth a trip if you're in Manhattan.
Here's their website: http://www.waikikiwallys.com/
Joined: Jul 24, 2003
From: McKinney, TX
|Posted: 2004-10-07 1:32 pm  Permalink|
I was in NYC last weekend visiting family and dragged everyone out to Waikiki Wally's. My family wasn't too eager to go until I offered to pay...then they were excited.
Waikiki Wally's is located near the intersection of 2nd St. and 1st. Ave. (I think, check your map before you go). You can spot it easily from the lighted palm tree and the two moais out front. We got there around 7:00 so the place wasn't really jumping yet. Music sounded mostly Carribean, but switched to Hawaiian when the hula dancers came out around 9:00.
Most of the trditional drinks come in a tiki mug, volcano bowl or scorpion bowl. I had a mai tai, which was kind of fruity and not very strong, then had a couple of Zombie's which I thought were real good. You have the option of buying your mug for an extra $6.00. The waitress was kind enough to bring me all of their different mugs to see which I liked the best...I bought all of them. They're all Tiki Farm; 2 Mr. G's, a Shell Head, a Smiley, a bamboo mug and a handled coconut mug. Unfortunately, I did not take a close look at these until I returned to TX. The coconut mug and the bamboo mug both were very used and very chipped. The bamboo mug looks like it was tossed down a flight of stairs and is completely unusable. The other tiki mugs were all in new condition.
All of us enjoyed our meal. I had the tuna which was skewered with sugar cane and was very tasty. I can't remember what everyone else had but there were no complaints.
The decor was very tropical...lots of palm and of course the waterfall. The bar was cool...not over tikified but there was a real nice carving I took a picture of.
I thought this place was a nice escape from fast paced NYC. This is only the 2nd "real" tiki establishment I've ever been to and would definitely go back. Some of my family members are only in NYC temporarily so there probably won't be a return trip anytime soon.
My apologies for not alerting the TC members in NYC of my visiting (like I said I would). We only decided to definitely go a few hours before we went. I wouldn't want to tell anyone that I would be there at a certain day and time and then not show up.
Anyway, thought this place was great. Enjoy the pics:
Tiki behind the bar
Here we are about to chow down. L to R: Juno, Juno's sister, Juno Sr.'s wife and Juno Sr. (looking very confused)
The mugs I bought:
Joined: Aug 18, 2004
From: The Tropical Isle of Manhattan
|Posted: 2004-10-11 12:59 pm  Permalink|
Great pictures- thanks for sharing. I hope to get to meet you next time you're in The City.
Joined: Feb 17, 2003
|Posted: 2004-10-13 1:31 pm  Permalink|
[ This Message was edited by: Pacific Andy on 2004-10-13 13:34 ]
Joined: Mar 24, 2002
From: 1st website dedicated to Tiki Gardens
|Posted: 2005-06-05 9:31 pm  Permalink|
Here are some pics I took during a hectic two day blast through the old hometown. I didn't get to do much more than step in and take a pic. And a few as I breezed past on my way to see friends I hadn't seen in four years.
I think it was all the free booze and Indian Food that made me feel this way. Whoever she was, she was cute in a weird sorta way...
I did notice that there was decidedly un Tiki music playing. C'mon New York Dj's! Get it together!!! Get the tunes spinnin in here! I'd do it, but I don't think they'll reimburse me for the airfare.
Joined: Jun 20, 2003
From: Island Oasis Backyard (So Cal)
|Posted: 2006-01-04 1:44 pm  Permalink|
Went to Wally's last week while visiting NYC and had a blast. Mid-week and the weather was bad so we pretty much owned the place. Nice decor - the waterfall is very cool (there's a tiki head in the waterfall!!) and it even has its own live bird (Wally??) Great staff, good local crowd. Strong drinks ... with flames!! Good food (we had the multi-tiered, also on fire, puu-puu platter). Very enjoyable..can't wait to go back!
Joined: May 17, 2006
From: New York, NY
|Posted: 2006-05-17 09:53 am  Permalink|
Waikiki Wally's has earned a permanent place on the ordure list of this longtime NYC barhopper. I went there about a month ago with 2 friends -- we're all 40ish ordinary-Joe looking guys. The place was filled with the young and beautiful (although W.W.'s could in no way be called hip) and the gay sissy bartender ostentatiously ignored us so we left after 15 minutes without having been served. We were behaving properly the whole time and did not make any sort of scene. We just figured we weren't good looking or young enough for this place at this time, in the bartender's eyes. (Now, I would argue, it is never a bartender's role to decide whether or not to serve customers depending on his perception of their social desirability. It's a grave offense to the whole ethos of bartending.)
It's possible the bartender was just a bad apple, but that's no excuse. There are plenty of other great places to drink all around town especially in the immediate neighborhood, although there is no outstanding tiki temple in NYC since Trader Vic's in the Plaza closed some years ago.
I hope somebody puts a brick or six through the window of Waikiki Frickin Wally's. I'd do it myself if I were 20 years younger.
Joined: Oct 18, 2005
|Posted: 2006-05-17 1:18 pm  Permalink|
"...I hope somebody puts a brick or six through the window of Waikiki Frickin Wally's. I'd do it myself if I were 20 years younger."
While I don't condone throwing bricks at tiki bars, I feel your pain. I stoped going there on weekends at least a year ago. Both the crowd and the music suck. Try Wally's on a weeknight (after 12 or so). The rude crowd won't be there, and they will be playing exotica more than likely. But I agree, if New York had more tiki bars, I wouldn't go at all anymore. We need a Trader Vics!
Joined: May 25, 2004
From: NYC Area
|Posted: 2006-05-17 4:58 pm  Permalink|
YEP go there for decor, drinks and Pu Pu and thats about it.
I usually hit it during the week, not all that late - the people that work there are fun (at least the New zelanders and english blokes) and one night the owner broke out the birds form the window (They are alive, parrot type / cockatoo birds) - we got pics of them on our heads and all that stuff - hilarous after a few mai tias and scorpion bowls! The bowls are strong too! Mugs vary from time to time, mostly Tiki farm but are usually 5 bucks or so.
I can see how weekends it might be a different scene, but during the week its all good. And you can cut through to Lucky Changs for some "interesting" kareoke.
PM me and I'll meet ya if I can!
Joined: Nov 08, 2006
|Posted: 2006-12-13 11:32 am  Permalink|
I checked out their website and its down. Do they still have tiny bubbles Monday nights?
Joined: Aug 10, 2006
From: Haunted Hudson Valley
|Posted: 2007-03-21 06:03 am  Permalink|
We arrived at 7:00 PM on Sunday night; the place was all but empty. The bartender greeted us enthusiastically and placed the drink menu down, then busied himself while we looked it over. We chose a Mai Tai, a Zombie and a Blue Hawaii; they were served promptly and beautifully decorated in Tiki Farm mugs, and they tasted pretty good, too.
We took plenty of time savoring our drinks, chatting and looking over the décor, which is lovely. The place will probably seem smallish to you Californians but there is another room that’s used for parties. The Tiki Hut bar area is decorated with adorable dioramas under the glass top; there are little wahines and surfers to look at, plenty of thatch and bamboo and puffer fish. The wall murals of Hawaiian scenes are nicely-executed, and the rattan furnishings are attractive and sturdy.
I know Wally’s has received some bad press here but we were treated well. The cute little chef came out with some plates of kimchee for us when we sat down to dinner, and when the floor show was about to start, he instructed us to move around the table for a better view. The Deluxe Puu Puu Platter was very good, generously-sized and there was none of the oiliness you’ve come to expect at the older places; it had babyback ribs and calamari on it, as well as these light, delicate rice paper rolls with fresh vegetables and mint in them. The bartender came over to ask about another round, and we decided to do a Volcano bowl full of Zombies; it was yummy and potent – woo hoo!
The floor show was so cool it almost had me in tears, only because I’ve never been to Hawaii and this was so much like the shows I’ve only seen on Hawaii Five O and Hawaiian Eye – and here I was in person! By pre-arrangement the dancers brought me their fresh flower leis which smelled wonderful. They danced to recorded Hawaiian music and when they weren’t on, the bartender played an interesting assortment of Polynesian exotica, reggae, oldies and spy jazz. Later a young man came out with a ukulele and guitar and played soft folky, punky tunes – not exotica but pleasant enough.
The entrees were good with fresh ingredients; they seem to enjoy switching the preparation of their entrees at will but that was OK – and I think you can order any variety of fried rice if nothing else appeals. Frankly, after that Puu Puu platter I didn’t even need an entrée.
The crowd thinned out to quiet after-dinner drinkers by the time we left at 10:15. The chef came out to give me a bag for my leis and to tell me how to take care of them as he had made them himself. He and the bartender both said goodnight to us as we left, and we’ll definitely be back soon.
Joined: Aug 22, 2002
From: Houston, Texotica
|Posted: 2007-04-03 1:44 pm  Permalink|
I had the BEST service anywhere/ever this past Saturday. I arrived early and explained that I would have a potentially large group (including some TC-ers) who would be floating in and out between 7:00 and 11:00 and maybe ordering dinner, maybe not.
A waiter's nightmare.
Rather than shunt me to the side, they gave me the front seats and said to add or subtract tables as needed. The manager came by and introduced himself, as did the lovely hostess (who also danced traditional, slow, beautiful Hawaiian dances), as did Omar, the burly waiter from near-Guam who danced some hip-shakin' Tahitian dances. Omar put an orchid behind my ear and gave me a kiss on the cheek, as he did to Martikibird.
The food was mostly very tasty, the Mai Tai's were wretched, the Zombies and Blue Hawaiians good.
For some 13 people at one time, including 3 large volcano bowls and various solo drinks and a number of appetizer platters: $75. They basically comped all alcohol save a volcano bowl and a couple of cocktails.
Can one be better treated?
I'm sorry for those of you who were treated poorly in the past, but I can only say that I cannot wait to return. Nobody stink-eyed us to give up our tables, but rather treated me/us like celebrities. They *love* Tiki Central. And now I love them
[ This Message was edited by: Formikahini 2007-04-04 14:11 ]
Joined: Sep 15, 2006
From: Syracuse, NY
|Posted: 2007-04-07 07:33 am  Permalink|
Formikahini, sounds like a great time. Wish I could have been there. Next time!
[ This Message was edited by: khan_tiki_mon 2007-04-07 07:33 ]
Joined: Jan 13, 2003
From: The Quiet EAST Village
|Posted: 2007-06-22 1:58 pm  Permalink|
THIS JUST IN: Waikiki Wally's has now CHANGED IT'S NAME to "WALLY'S PACIFIC CATCH".
Why they did this I'm not sure. I rode my bike past there today and saw the new awning. A blue thing with a cartoon fish on it. Kinda lame if you ask me, entirely the wrong message. Who's bright idea was that? Sounds like they're trying to compete with Red Lobster. It was in the middle of the afternoon when I went by so I looked inside to see if they changed anything and it all seems to be the same, a little confusing. The big Easter Island Tikis are still outside too. Anyway this is not my favorite place to begin with. I had dinner there once about 3 or 4 years ago, and I just remember it being over priced, okay food. Drinks were the same. An example of a revivalist Tiki joint that kinda makes up their own rules when mixing classic cocktails. Usually the results of that is making the drink the wrong way. I have no idea why the name change. The only thing I can think of is that either the mangement changed hands or the original owner had to change his tax ID/corporate name or something like that. Anyway, speaking of Red Lobster: we have one of those here in Times Square believe it or not, yet we don't have a Trader Vic's. Makes absolutely no sense. Why anybody would want to come to NY to eat at REd Lobster is beyond me. Just stay in the 'burbs. What NYC needs is for Trader Vic to come back. With all of the (lame) new development in this town in terms of eating and drinking establishments, you'd think they could find a place for a class act like TV. They should just do here what they did in L.A., open as a lounge only.
They say you can get anything in New York? I beg to differ.
Joined: Jul 24, 2003
From: McKinney, TX
|Posted: 2008-02-01 01:36 am  Permalink|
From another thread:
On 2008-01-31 09:24, leisure master wrote:
Last time I was there (about 2 months or so) it was changed to "Wally's Pacific Grill" or something like that. Also, the place was packed with kids with loud crappy music playing (like techno) and the young "cool" bartenders were sure to roll their eyes everytime you ordered something other than a beer or rum & coke.
The inside looked the same, but we were 2 drinks and gone that night. And not 2 good drinks.
What a damn shame. Glad I had the chance to enjoy it when I did. When I was there in '04 drinks & food were quite good.
Anyway, speaking of Red Lobster: we have one of those here in Times Square believe it or not, yet we don't have a Trader Vic's. Makes absolutely no sense. Why anybody would want to come to NY to eat at REd Lobster is beyond me. Just stay in the 'burbs. What NYC needs is for Trader Vic to come back. With all of the (lame) new development in this town in terms of eating and drinking establishments, you'd think they could find a place for a class act like TV. They should just do here what they did in L.A., open as a lounge only.
I guess people crave familiarity and are unwilling to try something different. Here in Generica, TX, it's all the same restaurants & retail wherever you go, just as most of the US is becoming. Too bad Waikiki Wally's had to resort to trying to be all things to all people. When restaurants make this kind of change they usually end up closing within a couple of years anyway.
Trader Vic's is looking to get back into the NYC market. It's just a matter of time and finding the right location.