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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Travel UPDATED My Hawaii trip report

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UPDATED My Hawaii trip report
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2003
Posts: 461
From: Thrillville
Posted: 2006-06-07 7:41 pm   Permalink

I added a few more links and anecdotes for easier reference and consolidated the info


Just got back from celebrating five years of blissful marriage to the Tiki
Goddess on the swingin' island of Oahu. Here are a few pix though I took
about 350 in all:


Mahalo to our pals CAMMY (of KFRC) and JUDD (of THE MAI KAI GENTS) for their
reliable advice.

I definitely want to hang my fez there for good someday. Speaking of which, I
picked up a real collectible one, from the ALOHA Shrine, at BAILEY'S
http://www.frommers.com/destinations/oahu/S26848.html, which should be on any
island hopping Thrill seeker's itinerary. I'm sporting it one of the online
photos. I'm already trying to talk Monica into applying for grad school at U
of H. And hey, wouldn' t a WAIKIKI SPEAKEASY THEATER go over like gangbusters
there? Poi pizza, mai tais, and vintage island classics. Stay tuned...

It's pure Paradise. Despite the sunshine I'd melt into a stress-free Will the
Chill. People there actually stop to let you make a left turn from a
driveway. Cars merge one at a time on the freeway and no one goes over 50. I
know some folks bitch about the alleged "hectic" atmosphere of Waikiki,
especially during tourist season, but drive five minutes and you're wading in
a remote beach with only a few locals fishing nearby. (Even during "rush
hour" I'd take Honolulu over any other major American city any day of the
week, or year.) The North Shore is totally livable - the trade winds make the
weather perfect year round. I really love Kualoa Park off of "Chinaman's
Sheer bliss.

Just off of the main drag in Waikiki (Kalakaua) is the "gourmet ghetto" on
King St where we hit three first class restaurants - one of the "world's 10
best" CHEF MAVRO http://www.chefmavro.com/ on our actual 5th anniversary,
local fave ALAN WONG'S http://www.alanwongs.com/ and the best sushi in the
world at SASABUNE
where the "sushi nazi" holds court (an apt "Seinfeld" allusion since the head
chef is, shall we say, a tad bossy - but it's way worth it.)

Once again we stayed at our favorite hotel, THE ROYAL HAWAIIAN, AKA "The Pink
Palace," http://www.royal-hawaiian.com/. The Mai Tai Bar right on the beach,
with a perfect view of Diamond Head, serves the best Mai Tais on the island,
and I tried 'em everywhere I went. (Still, I gotta say, Alameda's own
Forbidden Island has 'em beat.)

We finally got to see DON HO live at the Waikiki Beachcomber - well, he's a
lot closer to not being live, after a radical stem cell operation in
Thailand, but his legendary aloha spirit was vibrant. This was a major
accomplishment since when we were there on our honeymoon Don was away on tour
in Chicago. He looks like an old Filipino dude now, replete with ballcap and
jogging suit, but he's still an Icon, man. We also checked out his BAR &
GRILL near the Aloha Tower http://www.donhos.net/ Suck em up, baby.

I made a pilgrimage to THE SHELL BAR as featured in the TV series HAWAIIAN
EYE in the HILTON HAWAIIAN VILLAGE (yes, it's still there - though a lot
different than the version on the WB backlot). I just missed the show's
resident songbird CONNIE STEVENS who showed up for a tribute just a couple of
months ago:

My favorite discovery was the Portugese "doughnut" known as malasadas at
LEONARD'S, an original 50s style bakery
The only metaphors I can use to describe my first bite into a hot chocolate
malasada are crudely sexual - such as, it was like plunging my face into
Raquel Welch's p***y. Sorry to offend the puritanical out there, but no other
description works quite as well. Monica was glad they don't make em here
since she doesn't want a "900 lb. husband" - but guess what, they do, at the
new L&L BBQ in the Marina Village here in Alameda, I'm headed there right
after this newsletter. Word has it Elvis loved 'em too. Once again: Suck em
up, baby.

Speaking of Elvis, we caught a really cool impersonator tribute gig, BLUE
HAWAII: THE SHOW, at the Waikiki Beachcomber, where Don Ho holds court,
http://www.bluehawaiishow.com/. Jonathan Van Brana was really good and funny,
telling the audience sincere and surprisingly intimate personal stories about
how Elvis's music touched his life, though I didn't need to hear about his
conversion to Christianity.

We caught some first rate live jazz with cocktails to match at the film
noir-ish LEWERS LOUNGE in the Hotel Halekulani
http://starbulletin.com/2005/03/25/features/barfly.html, where we met cool
cat ROCKY who also plays in the exotica group DON TIKI

The #1 highlight of this trip for me was the original old school tiki lounge
LA MARIANA http://starbulletin.com/2003/04/18/features/barfly.html, kinda
hard to find (though it's not far off the Nimitz freeway, a main drag, near
scenic but reportedly toxic Sand Island Beach) but well worth it, an
authentic 50s dive with TWO blind piano players playing standards from the
40s to the 70s. It's like an Elvis movie directed by David Lynch. Great
drinks, too.

Two other joints well worth checking out in Oahu, especially for lovers of
Polynesian Pop:

TIKI'S BAR & GRILL, drinks were okay but the food was very good and the decor
- with tiki statues by Crazy Al and others and Shag paintings galore - is
outstanding, it's right on Waikiki Beach:

Also in the Hotel Halekalani is HOUSE WITHOUT A KEY, a classy but casual
outdoor cafe with excellent cocktails and food (Mai Tais are excellent), not
too pricey, with live music and hula dancers as regular attractions:

Other spots to visit: SIDE STREET CAFE
http://www.frommers.com/destinations/oahu/D48765.html,(good cheap food in
heaping portions), famous HILO HATTIE'S (with every possible Hawaiian
souvenir you could possibly desire or imagine,
http://www.HiloHattie.com/index.cfm) and INDIGO
http://www.restauranteur.com/indigo/, a snazzy little cafe that is apparently
the Hipster's Hangout, smack in the middle of Chinatown which seems to be the
equivalent of SF's Mission District as a Center of Young Cool. Also make sure
to visit JAMESON'S on the North Shore
http://www.frommers.com/destinations/hawaii/0781020600.html, the "Best Place
for Sunset Cocktails." We know - we had cocktails there at sunset. The folks
there are extra nice, too.

The cover of the HONOLULU WEEKLY that week was perfect (for me): an EC comics
style painting with zombie tourists and the title ISLAND OF THE DEAD. I saved
and laminated it.

Yes I'm a sick bastard. I just want to be a sick bastard in Paradise. Even
sick bastards can dream, can't we?

Yours in Jack Lord, Will the Thrill

JUST ADDED: Shutterfly Photo Album: http://www.shutterfly.com/view/pictures.jsp?aid=67b0de21b3678a8a45e0

[ This Message was edited by: AquaZombie 2006-06-13 16:30 ]

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