||Some old posts from the Yahoo Tiki Central
Grand Member (first year)
Joined: Mar 25, 2002
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
|Posted: 2006-08-18 6:29 pm  Permalink|
I save a bunch of posts back in the Yahoo Tiki Central group. Here's a few interesting and/or informative ones. I won't post any that might be embarrassing to anyone though.
On 6/15/01 Bigbrotiki wrote:
Ahh, the places, the cocktails....Since Madame Woo's in Santa Monica closed and one can not enjoy the incredible talent of Ex-Don the Beachcomber mixologist Tony Ramos anymore, the place to imbibe authentic Polynesian potions is definitely the
1.) The great White!
..like a Polynesian cocktail should be: A multi-layered taste sensation, so addictive you order another one, which is your downfall!
2.) The Navy Grog
3.) The Rum Barrel---also at:
Burt Hixson's THE WAREHOUSE in Marina Del Rey.
When coming in at LAX I always stop by and have one of their Rum Barrels (you still can take the barrel mug home) on the deck overlooking the Yacht Harbour, feel like a Marina Swinger and know I am back in L.A.
THE ROYAL HAWAIIAN Laguna Beach is one of the oldest authentic Tiki temples, unfortunately it's so far away that I never go there to taste their excellent Mai Tai.
BAHOOKA'S is a splendid Beachcomber environment.
Their ribs and Yams are great, unfortunately their cocktails are (in my opinion) what Beachbum Berry calls "Spiked Coolaid".
TRADER VIC'S Beverly Hills offers his whole menu of fine concoctions, but is just too much of a posh restaurant and not enough of a Tiki Lounge to be comfortable.
On 6/27/01 Bigbrotiki wrote:
Now for a REAL historic Pol. pop Tiki, go to 2601 E. Sunset Rd, Las Vegas, and on the island in the Sunset Park duck pond you will find the Moai that was carved by Ely Hedley (see photo in the Book of Tiki Beachcomber chapter) for the Stardust's AKU AKU (see opening of Thor Heyerdahl chapter). I've only seen a photo, but I swear it's the original.
PAPYRUS (renamed after they realized it was odd to have a Polynesian joint in an Egyptian theme Hotel) at the LUXOR was outfitted by Oceanic Arts, and has some fine Tikis and the biggest blowfish lamps anywhere.
Note: Bamboo Ben later wrote "it's Eli, not Ely!"
On 9/19/01 Coneyfreak wrote:
The Polynesian Village and Big Bamboo are not actually in Orlando proper, but in Kissimmee. Sounds like nitpicking, but we are actually talking about 30 minutes of highway driving to get to either of them, and when you are looking for a relaxing night of drinks, the LAST thing you want to do is get on I-4 afterwards and deal with all the tourists and old drivers who can't see!
The drinks at the Polynesian are pricy but okay, and the decor makes up for the hefty price tag. The Volcano Pool is done, but really looks more like a waterslide ride than an "authentic" part of the Polynesian Village, if that makes any sense! I haven't been to the luau, but the food at O'Hana's was good (if you're not a vegetarian), and it is a great place to go with a large group of friends, since Disney seems to excel at serving big groups where other places fail miserably. If the rooms weren't so damn expensive ($350+/night) then it would be a GREAT way to spend the weekend. As it is now, go for dinner, arrive early and have a drink at the bar, and walk off dinner by exploring the place at night. Time it right and you can see the fireworks show from either the restaraunt or the lagoon area.
Big Bamboo, which is East of Disney (and across the street from the dilapidated Xanadu, Home of the Future, a true must see!) is still there. The Tikis are gone, unfortunately, or perhaps covered up in the bras that many women have seen fit to hang on the walls, lamps, decor. The place is a true dive, filthy as all get out, but there is a certain disgusting charm to it. There are some things on the walls that are cocooned by YEARS of cobwebs! They don't make Mai Tais or any similar drinks but they do serve something called a "Big Bamboo," which is some kind of red fruit punch and rum. Way too sweet for my tastes, one was definitely enough.
I often take visiting friends there (the Xanadu/Big Bamboo 1-2 punch is too good to pass up), but I wouldn't go there on my own for an evening of cocktails.
There is quite a bit of tiki in Daytona Beach, including Julien's Restaraunt, which has a great bar in the center with an organist who plays lounge hits. They have lit fiberglass tiki faces all over the walls (outside and in), and the building is an A-Frame design. worth the 1-hour drive out there on a weekend. There are some other Polynesian hotels with bars in the area (Daytona) but I haven't been to 'em yet.
On 9/24/01 Bigbrotiki wrote:
I recommend Damons because it is simply one of the few fully decked out Polynesian places left intact in L.A. and it is great to be in a floor to ceiling bamboo environment. Damons is not quite Tiki, because unfortunately it has NO Tikis in it’s decor (well, the little one at the register that floratina mentioned), yet everything else is in place: The bamboo and rattan, the shell/resin-mosaic lamps, the outrigger canoe on the ceiling (with monkeys in it!?) the hut booths, and best of all the beautiful murals. It also has a (very faded) Leeteg in the back of the hostess booth.
Two of the murals are actually copies from the Matson menus that maxton mentions in his recent Tiki Finds posting. The backroom provides a nice effect because you can glimpse the island landscape mural through bamboo stick shades, which gives it depth. There is also a big fish tank with tropical fish, even a pufferfish in it, although it is kind of sad to see him imprisoned.
Damon’s is a popular place with the Glendale locals, pretty packed for dinner and weekends. It was a steak house since the 40s, but turned Polynesian relatively late, in the 70s. The food is still simple steakhouse fare, the menu small, so I go there only when I feel the urge to eat a steak. The Mai Tais are good and strong, too. The only alternative is a Chi Chi, there is no tropical cocktail menu. The cocktail napkins are cool (with monkeys!). Park in the rear, it's easier than on Brand Blvd.
On 9/26/01 I wrote:
I visited Tiki Tom's in Walnut Creek with some friends on Monday night. Here's my review:
1535 Olympic between Main and California (downtown)
Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner
Tiki Tom's would be classified as a Type V in the Tiki Bar Review Pages system of classification (a modern restaurant/bar with a tiki theme).
The first thing I noticed on entering was a rock, plants, and water "diorama" in the entry way with a small tiki in it. The second thing I noticed was how bright the lights were (way too bright). The third thing I noticed was the HUGE TV screen showing Monday night football. The decor seemed a bit sparse with a 3' tiki here and there on the floor and a tiki mask on the wall with some masks that looked African. In addition, there was a surfboard on the wall, some puffer fish suspended from the ceiling, and a fireplace that had no fire but had a boat model inside it instead.
We seated ourselves at a table and ordered Mai Tais all around from the large drink menu. The Mai Tais were beautifully presented in large clear glass tiki mugs with a lime wedge, cherry, umbrella, and sugar crystal swizzle stick. I noticed the color of the umbrella matched the color of the sugar swizzle on each drink. We told the waitress how much we liked that and she said "people don't usually notice". The Mai Tai was not reddish in color (a good sign) and tasted pretty good but not great. I doubt there was fresh lime in them and they didn't seem very strong but they had a good flavor.
We perused the food menu and skipped the Pupu platter as it was $15 and each ordered a dinner because we were all quite hungry. While waiting we closely examined the drink menu. There were the usual drinks and some they had invented. A fairly good selection and I was pleased to see you could get a scorpion bowl ($12) for one or a large Mai Tai in a volcano bowl ($15). They also have coconut mugs and a few ceramic tiki mugs but the waitress said they already lost quite a few to thieves!
We asked the friendly waitress if they could turn down the lights a bit and they obliged. It helped but they could use some colored lights instead of all white recessed ceiling lights. There was no music playing so people could hear the game but the bathroom had reggae playing inside (reggae's about as exotic as Jimmy Buffet in my opinion).
The food came and I have to say I was disappointed in the dish I ordered (short ribs). The ribs were sliced very thin (bone and all) and were heavy on fat and gristle with a not-very-exciting marinade. It came with a pile of rice and some steamed vegetables. I thought the menu should have had some less expensive options like hamburgers and such for dinner. Most of the dinners were in the $10-20 range.
During dinner we ordered Navy Grogs all around. They were served in the glass tiki mugs with lemon slice and umbrella garnish. They were strong but not very tasty. They tasted like cheap rum and sweet and sour mix. Not like the complex taste of the true Navy Grog.
They have entertainment there on Thurs.-Sat. I saw their entertainment scedule and would like to return to check out one of the Polynesian or Hawaiian acts. The whole experience will probably be much better without the football game going and people yelling at the TV.
On 10/1/01 nuttmig wrote about the new Taboo Cover Las Vegas:
Here it is, as promised! And pictures, too...
I was out there last Tuesday night. Being an off-night, and also that Vegas tourism is hurting in general, my friends and I pretty much had the place to ourselves. (Also perhaps because the word hasn't gotten out yet.)
I cannot gush about the place enough.
It is on the second floor of the Venetian. It's only been open a couple weeks; they did not have any sort of official grand opening. (At least not a public one.)
The signs outside say "Venus" in big letters and are a googie-ish treat in themselves. When you enter, you have two choices: go left, into the tiki bar; or go right, into Venus.
In the entryway, there is a large full-wall mural by our one and only Shag. It is unfortunately not an original, in the painting sense. (I've only seen one original, at the Shim Sham in New Orleans, and its vibrance was incredible.) This one is a litho, or print, or whatever. But it is an original one done for Venus; and is a neat combination of Vegasy/Loungy images, with a little tiki thrown in.
Venus is a jetsetter's dream. Fabulous 50's/60's style furniture and lamps; wall murals of the olden days of the Vegas strip; fabulous wall-hangings on other walls; and a stage with gold lame' curtains and a leopard-print floor. Of particular note is that they have one of those "egg" chairs; but they also have something I've never seen before-- the egg-chair loveseat! VERY cool. I was in awe. I'm glad the place was so empty; I imagine it would be impossible to score an egg-chair bun-warming otherwise.
The tiki lounge is, of course, the Taboo Cove. Bamboo fu. Bosko fu. Joe Bob says check it out. Seriously, I don't even know how to describe the place. Every wall is marvelously bambooed. The ceilings are marvelously bambooed and having glass fishing balls hanging. Wall decor includes a Ryden print, a number of Exotica lp's, and of course the Green Lady. Tiki carvings by Bosko are EVERYWHERE. Behind the bar is another stage; and also behind the bar are two walls of mugs that were made especially for the Taboo Cove. (Mugs designed by Bosko too, I believe.)
We were shown around by a nice fellow who seemed to be in charge; his name was Manny Navarro, and his business card (get one of these-- Shag art!) said that he was the master mixologist. I introduced myself to him and told him about us. He took a lot of time to show me around and explain to me the creation of the place-- a lot of preparation went into the drinks. Tracking down old tiki geezers and getting them to give up their secrets; using all real ingredients; etc. He was present during the design and creation of the place, and told me all sorts of neat stories! I feel like I got the "behind-the-scenes" tour.
The menu: okay in terms of food selection; fabulous in terms of drink selection; and GLORIOUS in terms of artwork. The artwork is all Shag. (A Shag-designed menu... pinch me please!) Using some font that looked SO FAMILIAR but I couldn't quite place it... anybody that recognizes it, let me know!
Pretty decent selection in the way of appetizers; could maybe have a little more, but then again, this is not why one goes to that place. The apps are actually kind of upscale (and priced accordingly)-- some south seas-ish things like spring rolls and a pu pu platter, and some super upscale things like pate and caviar.
Only a few kinds of beer (for those doorknobs who go into this place and order a brew). A fair amount of wines, including the really expensive stuff.
The true glory is the cocktail portion of the menu. They have a number of standards (e.g. martini variations) and then a few specialties. I didn't count exactly, but I think there were about two dozen tropical drinks on the menu (including non-alcoholic ones.) I had a mojito and it was so wonderful that I had another rather than try something new.
They also served us a massive huge drink in a big old (specially designed for them) bowl. This drink had the unfortunate name of "Tie Me To The Tiki Pole" (ugh, they could have done better than that) but it took care of a number of us. It would have taken care of more of us but I thought they used too much ice in it. (Then again, maybe I got shorted by my friends, who had too much of it, than the bar.) No idea how much this behemoth cost-- it wasn't on the menu, and I was afraid to look at the bill other than chipping in what others said was my share.
Drink prices: overall, a little expensive. Most were in the $8-$10 range. But that's not really far from what you pay at Trader Vic's; and often with tropical drinks, you get a lot of mileage for your money. I think time (and repeated visits by all of us) will tell whether or not you get your money's worth here. (I would hate to have this place acquire a reputation for jacking you on the drinks, so let's hope that everybody's experience will be as pleasant as mine was.) Just to be completely clear: my drinks were poured wonderfully, I'm just saying that I hope they don't ever decide to deviate from this practice.
Let's see, what else? Okay, a few (very minor) complaints: one, they lacked some key standard drinks. This may have been on purpose, but the menu did not have a mai tai or a scorpion. And my second complaint: the Taboo Cove is almost too nice, and too open! It does not really have any nooks or alcoves to hide in, and it is so elegant that it somewhat lacks the kitschy feel of most other tiki bars that we know and love. Still, the elegance was something else, and I couldn't stop wandering around in awe.
That's about all I can think of. (And you're probably tired of reading.) So I shall sign off with a link to pictures, yay! Check out:
To see the pictures the best, use the 'view as slideshow' option. Unfortunately, the pictures didn't come out too great-- the place is so dimly lit that it's hard to get good pictures. So they are all too dark. So either turn the brightness on your monitor way up, or use your imagination. The pictures truly do not do it justice.
I'll be out there again this weekend. If anybody else might be there too, then give me a yell! My friends are performing at Venus on Thursday and Friday night...
On 10/14/01 woofmutt wrote:
Just for all you Jet City Kids I went to Mambo in Kirkland today. I'm happy to report that the shop is indeed amazing. It's a collectibles shop with collectible prices (a woman was considering a $300 vintage uke when I was there) so go when you have money or have none (which is what I did). The owner, Paul, is a friendly guy with a good eye for great stuff. There's a lot of 40's and 50's decor but the focus is definitely Polynesian pop. Dozens of aloha shirts (many eras) all sorts of vintage bark cloth stuffs, many tiki mugs (mostly common ones, but a good selection) and lots and lots of different tikis, from small to huge, plastic to high quality hand carved. Paul said he rents out the bigger pieces for luaus and weddings. He said many of the big ones were out at a wedding today. Of interest to the Tiki historian is a large room divider from Seattle's Trader Vic's (RIP). It has quality carved tiki poles with bamboo and glazed ceramic pieces. Two of the tiki poles also flank the tiki bar (from some restaurant in Califusa) that serves as the register area. There's also some large decorative panels from the TV's. The shop is literally crammed full of stuff and due to some restructuring there were boxes and boxes of more stuff all over. Wear a bib so you don't drool on things. I didn't get the hours but here's the phone number (the one sweetpea posted is some lady's cell phone!): 425 889 8787.
On 10/28/01 mrsmiley wrote:
We had three visits to the Taboo Cove last week so here is my review-As a room, the Taboo Cove is almost great! The decorations are done well, congrats to Bosko! The tiki mugs that he supplied(his designs and vintage mugs) are a beautiful touch.
Now onto the critique! The drinks run the gamut from bad to mediocre to good. They very from bartender to bartender so it is not the recipes fault for the most part. At around 10 bucks a pop for most of the tiki drinks they could have been a little stronger too.
The employees-the bartenders that we met were nice (with the exception of one snide one). The three male bartenders we saw all looked similar and I didn't catch there names. We called them;The Spinner, Ben Stiller, and the Spinner wannabe. The 'wannabe'Was the snide one. Ben Stiller was ok-we dealt with him a little. The Spinner was the nicest of the men. He made a Coconaut my friend Robin(who is a bartender in the Bay Area)did not like, so he asked her how SHE would make it and then proceeded to make on the way she does(from the Grog log recipe). He did his best but they do not use Coco-lopez so there was only so much he could do! But he earnestly tried and that is what I liked. THe spinner was often juggling bottles and mixing cups which was somewhat distracting at times. The snide wannabe spinner was always dropping bottles. Cassie was the name of the women bartender that helped us the first night and the drinks that she made ranged from good to tasty.
The music ranged from mediocre to crappy and none of it suited a tiki bar! My friend burned a cd of vintage hawaiian music and Manny put it on. After about twenty minutes the short caucasian brunette bartender gal working there came back from a break said loudly"what is this music. I can't stand it. I'm going to put something else on". She tore out the cd, put on some modern dance music and preceded to dance around behind the bar. We left at that point!
Manny the manager seems nice but he was always in and out the bar all night long. Oh, when the Hawaiian music WAS playing we said to each other"that is what this place needed!"
I hope the Cove is just trying to find themselves and that they become a tiki bar where you can hang out in with nice Hawwaian/exotica music to complement the illusion. The atmosphere and drink quality needs improvement. I'm sure The Jab is going to add his review to complement mine.
At this point in time,I wouldn't go out of my way to visit the Taboo cove. But if you were planning a trip to Vegas you should check it out for yourself. Hopefully your visits will be better than our overall experience.
On 11/13/01 tikifish wrote:
Old Chin Tiki will serve as a set for Eminem movie
By Wendy Case / The Detroit News
DETROIT--A curiosity to those who drive by its kitschy orange facade and a faded memory for those who used to frequent its buffet -- the Chin Tiki restaurant has been dormant since closing its doors 21 years ago.
But the unusual building at 2121 Cass soon springs back to life as a movie set. Universal Pictures has chosen the former Polynesian-themed restaurant/show bar as a set for its upcoming feature film, which stars Detroit rapper, Eminem.
While representatives at Universal were unavailable for comment on Wednesday, members of the Chin family, who own the Chin Tiki, confirmed that the studio was leasing the building with intentions to shoot in its upstairs banquet hall.
On Monday morning, crews from Detroit's Paradise Carpet Care began the task of cleaning and refurbishing the restaurant's interior, which has remained untouched since the Chin Tiki closed. On Tuesday, workers hauled enormous wooden tikies, shell-encrusted lamps and ornamental puffer fish from the building, sprayed down the carpets and cleaned and replaced furniture and decor.
"It's been a job, but we're starting to see our work turn into something," Paradise employee Steve Mabson says. "It's been 20 years. We had to sanitize, deodorize and pressure wash the place, but it's getting easier."
Kitty Chin, wife of owner Martin Chin, says that the restaurant closed in 1980 due to a slump in business downtown. The family has owned the successful Chin's, in Livonia, since 1954.
Though she isn't sure when the cameras will roll at the Chin Tiki, Chin says the experience has been interesting.
"I don't really know too much about what they're doing, but I'm excited," she says. "It's very unexpected."
On 12/3/01 I wrote:
My very biased impressions on Trader Vic's Palo Alto:
Best way to describe the decor is upscale, museum-like, fancy, with a great collection of tikis and polynesian artifacts but displayed somewhat coldly. I wouldn't be impressed much with the place if the artifacts were not there. NO colored mood lighting, puffer fish, glass floats, netting, bamboo, straw matting, etc. None. Just a lot of masks and carvings diplayed on the walls and tikis here and there on the ground, inside and outside. The ambiance that makes original tiki bars and restaurants so cozy was missing. It didn't feel tropical. It was too brightly lit. Still, I loved the photo gallery in the foyer of old Trader Vic's locations and celebrities!
The service was great, much better than the Emeryville location. There was no attitude. Our waitress was friendly and all the waitresses wore nicely fitting asian-print dresses. The waitress could not keep up very well once the place became crowded but she probably didn't expect to have to wait on so many people in the lounge/bar area! When I ordered an appetizer the buspersons brought cloth napkins for the table and half a dozen dishes of dipping sauces so there was more than enough to go around.
The drink menu was the same as the Emeryville one but I was told there were 3-5 additional drinks on it, including the "Queen's Park Swizzle" that I tasted and liked very much. I ordered a "Black Stripe" that came in a skull mug and was very good, and a Navy Grog that seemed a bit heavy on crushed ice and short in the quantity of booze, although it was tasty. My friend Jeff's tiki bowl was good but not filled more than halfway (I forgot if they usually come full but for the money you would think it would be). Overall, the drink quality was very good, as at the Emeryville location, but not excellent like the Mai Kai ot Tiki Ti. The rum selection was one of the most extensive I have ever seen. Matt from the UK Trader Vic's trained the crew and he was working on Sat. night. My compliments to him and the rest of the staff for an excellent job!
As far as the food goes, I didn't get to try anything but the tidbits appetizer, which was OK but nothing special for $18!
Those I remember that were there on Sat. were nuttmig, Mrsmiley and Enid, Otto and Baby Doe, Hanford, aquarj, and many others whose names escape me at the moment (sorry, I'm awful with names). It wasn't easy to talk to everyone who was there because of the tight quarters (we tried to cram too may people on 2 tables) and it was real loud in there. There were some real loudmouth dudes at the table next to ours.
The general clientele was yuppies and well-to-do older folks.
Decor-uniquely simplified polynesian modern Service-excellent Drinks-very good Food-didn't try enough to tell Return?-why bother when the Emeryville location is so close to me
If you are in Palo Alto, check out Kirk's Steakburgers on California Street. They have been there since 1948 and they serve up a mean hamburger grilled to order with grilled pineapple on top (optional)! That's where I ate on Saturday and I loved it. There's even a fireplace in the joint that was real welcome on a stormy night such as last Sat.
On 1/8/02 piphiro wrote:
I came across a recipe a while back for making pimento liqueur. It calls for fresh whole pimentos, which I have never seen in California, but I was able to find whole dried pimentos (allspice). I have not tried to make it yet. Here's the recipe...
Country Style Pimento Liqueur
- 11/2 qrts ripe pimento berries
- 4 lb. of sugar
- 2 qrts. of water
- 1 qrt. of rum
- 3/4 lb. of cinnamon sticks
- 1 pt of lime juice.
Place the berries in the rum and lime for three days. Crack the cinnamon and boil in 2 quarts water. Strain and boil with 4 lb. of sugar for 10 minutes. Squeeze out the berries and add the syrup when cold. Strain through clean muslin cloth and bottle.
On 1/28/02 I wrote:
Well, I got back from Florida on Saturday and I had a blast. I went with mrsmileyus and 2 other friends who aren't on Tiki Central.
We headed straight for the Mai Kai for drinks on Saturday the 19th. after checking into our motel (the Winterset) near the beach in Fort Luaderdale. It was my 2nd. visit to the Mai Kai but my friends' first and they were definately impressed. The drinks were just as good as I remembered them being, the best I have had anywhere.
On Sunday we headed for Miami Beach, stopping at Wolfie Cohen's Rascal House for some delicious Corned Beef sandwiches and Ruebens. We walked around South Beach and then headed for Parrot Jungle, where we enjoyed the parrot show and the tropical gardens. Then we had a cocktail at Fox's Sherron Inn, a well-preserved 50's cocktail lounge and dining room. We had a dinner of the delicious home cooked food at the Miracle Mile cafeteria in Coral Gables.
On Monday we stopped in Little Havana for some hand-rolled cigars on the way to the Florida Keys. We also made stops at Monkey Jungle and Coral Castle. About halfway down to Key West we stopped for Rum Runners at the Holiday Isle tiki bar in Islamorada. I thought the drinks were not bad considering they came from a slushy machine. They were real strong anyway. There are several tikis around the bar, which is completely open to the outside but with a large thatched roof and even a second floor.
We made it to Key West after sundown and headed for the Hukilau, a tiki bar/Hawaiian restaurant w/piano bar that I visited last in 2000. Sadly, it was closed and the sign said "Closed for Remodeling". We hoped it was just closed that day so we went back the next day, Tuesday, and happened to see somebody getting mail from the mailbox. We asked about the place and it turned out he was the owner and had just sold it to somebody who plans to convert it into a sports bar! Aaargh! He said he made a go of it for the last 4-5 years but just wasn't making any money, escpecially since 9/11. Another tiki bar gone! The outside was intact so we took pictures and looked in the windows. See the jab's pics folders for my pictures from 2000, when I had a couple drinks served in tiki mugs there but, unfortunately, I didn't try the food or get to enjoy the piano bar because it wasn't happening the night I was there. Spent the rest of our visit to Key West in a somewhat gloomy mood because we kept thinking of the Hukilau while we were taunted by signs of "tiki bars" that were actually basic bars by a pool with not a tiki in sight.
The next day our spirits were picked up in Islamorada. We stopped at the Safari Bar at about sunset. It's an older bar with stuffed animal heads everywhere and a huge tiki in the middle of the bar! A fun place but it was topped by our next stop, the Green Turtle Inn, in Islamorada also. We first noticed the amazing neon sign of a turtle with moving head, tail, and flippers! We decided to check it out, so we stepped inside for a drink. Excellent martini's were poured by the friendly bartender. We looked over the menu of seafood and steaks: it looked pretty good. We heard that there was going to be live entertainment: even better. Then Tina Martin came in and stole our hearts with her friendliness, her singing and piano playing, and mostly by her prompts to "do the turtle wave" (you make your hand into a cup and wiggle it). Soon we were ordering steaks and grouper almondine and wine and doing double turtle waves, crossover turtle waves, and so on, to her repertoire of classic standards (Sinatra, etc.) What a night! Go there if you are in the area. The walls were covered with old magician posters and photos from the collection of the owner, Bastille, who we had the pleasure of meeting. He is a magician himself who performs there on Friday and Saturday and has played in Las Vegas and other cities as well.
When I left off it was Tuesday night. On Wednesday we did some thrifting but had rotten luck. But we had buffalo shrimp and beer at Tark's Clam Bucket in Dania followed by hot fudge sundaes at Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlor, also in Dania.
We arrived at about 6:30 in our matching blue Sandwich Isles jackets (mine was a gift from mrsmileyus) at the Mai Kai. We talked the waitress into letting us have the second drink free even though happy hour ends at early at 6:30 on Wednesday because they serve free sushi in the bar that day.
By the time we sat down at 8 for dinner I was on my 3rd. drink, a Rum Barrel. We were seated in the main room just to the right of the stage. I had the Indonesian spiced rack of lamb cooked in the Chinese oven and it was excellent as it had a slightly smoky flavor from the wood. We bought some Hawaiian rice and mashed potatoes on the side because the menu isn't really clear on what comes with the main dish but I got mashed potatoes and vegetables with my lamb. So, there was plenty of food. Before the food came we did some exploring through the restaurant and gardens (since it was Wednesday many of the other dining rooms were vacant). During dinner we ordered the Mystery Drink and I was the lucky fella who the mystery girl did her dance for as it was my birthday. I can now say "I got leid at the Mai Kai!" The show started at 9:30 and it was great. I noticed it was different than it was when I was there 2 years ago but the Samoan Fire Dance portion was the same, and very exciting when it is performed so close. Our friend Jeff was chosen to dance with one of the dancers during that part of the show as his birthday was on Friday so we were celebrating it that day. He also got leid! We finished the meal with flaming bananas Bengali and had time for another drink at the bar and another stroll through the gardens, which are a must see. They are filled with tropical plants, tikis, tiki torches, and there is water flowing everywhere with several waterfalls. What a great night we had! And it was capped off by hand-rolled cigars from Little Havana (Miami) and fine rum on our balcony at the motel.
On 2/19/02 tikifish wrote:
February 11, 2002
Trader Vic's unveils new look, menu
By Ellen Almer
Trader Vic's, the kitschy purveyor of Polynesian drinks and cuisine that has been a Chicago landmark since 1937, reopens Tuesday after a six-week facelift.
While frequent visitors will still recognize the Tiki lounge-inspired restaurant in the basement of the Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe St., they will be greeted by a more open format, brighter lighting and a new chef, said Sven Koch, vice-president of Trader Vic's American operations.
The Chicago outlet, the oldest of Trader Vic's 22 locations, is the first to get the makeover, which Mr. Koch said will help the restaurant better compete in the increasingly popular Asian fusion genre. "We're trying to create a five-star dining experience," he said. New chef Karin Aghai has updated the menu but will stick with most of the original recipes, such as the eatery's popular Mongolian barbecue and Indonesian lamb roast.
Servers will wear long, flowery dresses and the bar will have a more "clubby" feel, he said. "We made a lot of improvements, but it's not like it's a different restaurant," Mr. Koch said. He declined to say how much the renovation cost.
The restaurant will reopen for dinner only, but Trader Vic's plans to reprise the buffet lunch service that has been popular with Loop office workers, Mr. Koch said. Tuesday's opening includes a Chinese New Year's celebration, featuring a traditional lion dance, at noon and 5 p.m.
On 2/27/02 etamburine wrote:
Trader Dick’s @ John Ascuaga's Nugget, Sparks Nevada
We arrived on a Wednesday and were crushed when we saw a poster in the lobby that said Trader Dick’s was open Thursday- Sunday!! We went to go look anyway, and were thrilled they serve dinner 7 days a week! The wait was 30 minutes, time I’m sure that is meant to be spent on the slots!
The bar surrounds a giant saltwater fish tank ~ and the bartender was nice enough to show us all the available souvenir mugs (this night there were 3). The drinks were well blended, served with a pineapple chunk and maraschino cherry. And a bargain at 7.50!!
The dining room is a little dark, filled with lots of silk tropical plants, uplighted with blacklights. The booths are big and comfy, illuminated by a tropical themed stained glass tiffany lamp. There was live music.. ok..it was a just a duo lounge kinda thing, not great, but amusing nonetheless. And **yes** there are tikis around!
The menu was amazing! We opted for the fixed price dinner so we’d get a sampling of everything!. The appetizer plate had the most incredible curry-shrimp eggroll, BIG tempura shrimp, juicy fried potsticker, bbq pork rib and a chicken skewer, served with three dipping sauces. Baby shrimp were piled high on a bed of baby mixed greens dressed with a sweet vinaigrette dressing and macadamia nuts. This night, the chef prepared asparagus chicken, (all white meat, the sauce light, the vegetables crisp-tender) teriyaki sirloin steak (perfectly seared and medium rare inside), sweet and sour shrimp and pork fried rice. WOW.. now, we eat out a LOT.. but this place **easily** beats out Sam Choy’s for taste and presentation.
As if we weren’t already totally delighted and stuffed beyond capacity, . it was time for dessert. BAKED ALASKA. flamed right at the table. Our very cool waiter was SUPER generous with the alcohol!! The dessert was fully engulfed in flames!! He even re-lit it so I could get a picture… He raised his hand ABOVE his head while the flame traveled upwards. wow. The dessert itself was 4 layers of ice creams on a white cake base, with a mountain of fresh meringue, toasted from all the flames.
This extravaganza was 26 dollars per person.. and we took back a serving of each of the entrees!!
I hope some of you find these posts interesting. Most of the ones I saved were about current places to visit. I think the real poparcheology started on the current Tiki Central.
Joined: Jul 09, 2004
From: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
|Posted: 2006-08-18 11:00 pm  Permalink|
Fascinating read - all 20 minutes of it! Thanks, Jab. My wife Nina & I felt similarly about the Taboo Cove. It had all the right elements but somehow missed the mark. Thanks for sharing these old posts.
"Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness."
Joined: Nov 12, 2002
From: Huntikington Beach
|Posted: 2006-08-18 11:55 pm  Permalink|
Joined: Aug 10, 2004
From: Redondo Beach, CA
|Posted: 2006-08-19 01:02 am  Permalink|
Good stuff, thanks for posting it. And like Bamboo Ben said; MORE!!!
Joined: Nov 23, 2005
From: Attica, MI
|Posted: 2006-08-19 04:06 am  Permalink|
On 2006-08-18 23:55, RevBambooBen wrote:
Yes, more. Thank you for the post. Do any of the other old-timers, err--original members, have any posts saved that you would be willing to share? Remember, it might be old boring news to you, but for us newer members old information on TC and its growth are like finding an original old menu or mug. Like it or not you guys and gals are part of Tiki History.
Joined: Mar 26, 2002
From: Seattilite Telstar
|Posted: 2006-08-19 06:58 am  Permalink|
"Do any of the other...original members, have any posts saved that you would be willing to share? Remember, it might be old boring news to you..." -JohnnyP
In case anyone should ponder lost knowledge: I would guess that most of the hard core useful information on Poly Pop has been more or less reposted one way or another here on Tiki Central. It may not be original posts verbatim, but the where-what-when type facts remains. Just no JC Penney ads.
Attribution is the sincerest form of flattery.
Joined: Jun 06, 2003
|Posted: 2008-06-11 2:59 pm  Permalink|
Joined: Nov 23, 2006
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
|Posted: 2008-06-11 7:51 pm  Permalink|
Thank goodness for the bump. What a wonderful thread...I thoroughly enjoyed it. The descriptions were so good, I felt like I was at all of those places eating and drinking and watching the shows. Thanks for bringing this one back!!!
Grand Member (first year)
Joined: Mar 25, 2002
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
|Posted: 2013-06-18 12:39 pm  Permalink|
Been re-reading some old posts here after returning from a great Hukilau a week ago, and found this one, so I'm bumping it. It was fun reading my old Florida 2002 road trip travelogue.
Joined: Mar 11, 2011
|Posted: 2013-06-18 12:52 pm  Permalink|
Such a shame to read the first few posts and realize many of those places aren't around anymore
Joined: Oct 19, 2004
|Posted: 2013-06-18 1:20 pm  Permalink|
So much is gone.