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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki New Luau in Beverly Hills?
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New Luau in Beverly Hills?
Sparkle Mark
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 05, 2004
Posts: 301
From: Porter Ranch, CA
Posted: 2008-10-27 10:45 am   Permalink

The word "Panache" is akin to "Classy".
An over used cliche that instantly denotes the opposite.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11126
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-10-27 1:26 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-10-27 07:45, Rum Balls wrote:
LA Times story from yesterday: http://www.latimes.com/features/lifestyle/la-ig-tiki26-2008oct26,0,288708.story

Be sure to also click on the "Photos: Tiki goes high end". Be warned, the 4th image may cause cause permanent eye damage! http://www.latimes.com/features/lifestyle/la-ig-1026-tiki26-pg,0,7355092.photogallery

[ This Message was edited by: Rum Balls 2008-10-27 07:45 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Rum Balls 2008-10-27 07:49 ]



That link was previously posted here on page 9, days before the article got published in the paper, --but then it got deleted, I have no idea why...after I posted my opinion of the article, on page 10, here it is again (that is where I got that picture from in the first place!):

Quote:

On 2008-10-24 09:49, bigbrotiki wrote:
Here we go, now THIS is being talked about and already accepted as an example of the NEW form of Tiki style:



...even as the owner disavows the title "Tiki", but calls it "Polynesian panache". Polynesian in name, "The Luau", but where else? It is these mixed messages that the place is sending out that make me classify it as a MISSED OPPORTUNITY.

After years of reading articles about the new Tiki wave just being around the corner, I am kind of pragmatic about articles such as this. So pragmatic (and ambivalent about the Luau) in fact, that I wasn't mentioned in the article, probably because in my phone interview with the writer I expressed doubts that did not fit in with his agenda of high end Tiki (I am surprised he didn't mention the Mahiki as a prime example of that theory--while I believe it actually might have been one of the main impulses for the Luau's Beverly Hills set).

This is not to say that this is not a well-written and balanced article, I think the writer does an admirable job at describing the place accurately and objectively, noting its lack of actual Tikis, and giving the Tiki traditionalists and Tiki Central their voice without being condescending, kudos for that.

And after all, as they saying goes, there is no such thing as bad press (meaning anything that is printed about a subject is good as it creates more public awareness).



I am really ready to put this to rest now, please. I said my piece, I am glad that there are so many elements that popped up in the place that make it less Cost Plus import store and more Tiki, but I will also continue to voice my opinion on what I believe to be a good NEW interpretation of Tiki style and what not. This is certainly better than the Vegas Vic's, but maybe not as good as it could have been considering it took its name from the place that was one of the initiators of that Tiki style --as I said above, a missed opportunity. Amen and out.


 
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Swangulo Tikis
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 24, 2008
Posts: 50
From: Redondo Beach, CA
Posted: 2008-10-27 2:57 pm   Permalink

From the photos that I've seen, I think the place looks cool - except of course the Buddha hands which seem very out of place next to Tiki Ray's tiki and in the whole restaurant for that matter! Really weird. Whatever, I still want to check it out. Thanks to those who have posted pics and reviews... Tobunga I, for one, would like to hear the details of the vegetarian menu - decent stuff?

Terra
Swangulo Tikis by Big Mike
swangulo@verizon.net

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tikiyaki
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2706
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2008-10-27 3:32 pm   Permalink

Not for nothin' but I saw this in Marshalls the other day, and decided to take a photo with my iPhone.

Buddha Hand. Dangerously Similar.





[ This Message was edited by: tikiyaki 2008-10-27 15:33 ]


 
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OceaOtica
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 29, 2003
Posts: 909
From: near Atlanta, Georgia
Posted: 2008-10-27 3:42 pm   Permalink

check out Jeff Berry's recent blog on his site, gives some more info about his collaboration with them.
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RevBambooBen
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 12, 2002
Posts: 7445
From: Huntikington Beach
Posted: 2008-10-27 6:11 pm   Permalink



 
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gonegoannas
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 28, 2008
Posts: 53
From: Long Beach, CA
Posted: 2008-10-27 7:06 pm   Permalink

Not to ruffle any ones tail feathers, but perhaps one should visit the place before giving their opinion on it. Just a thought.

Jeff


 
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RevBambooBen
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 12, 2002
Posts: 7445
From: Huntikington Beach
Posted: 2008-10-27 7:53 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-10-27 19:06, gonegoannas wrote:
Not to ruffle any ones tail feathers, but perhaps one should visit the place before giving their opinion on it. Just a thought.

Jeff



Cheers!


 
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Murph
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jul 11, 2006
Posts: 719
From: SoCal
Posted: 2008-10-27 8:00 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-10-27 19:06, gonegoannas wrote:
Not to ruffle any ones tail feathers, but perhaps one should visit the place before giving their opinion on it. Just a thought.

Jeff



Now you've gone and done it...
You used common sense!
What were you thinking?
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Murph


WaikikiWomb

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tobunga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 12, 2008
Posts: 1038
Posted: 2008-10-27 10:33 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-10-27 14:57, Swangulo Tikis wrote:
From the photos that I've seen, I think the place looks cool - except of course the Buddha hands which seem very out of place next to Tiki Ray's tiki and in the whole restaurant for that matter! Really weird. Whatever, I still want to check it out. Thanks to those who have posted pics and reviews... Tobunga I, for one, would like to hear the details of the vegetarian menu - decent stuff?

Terra
Swangulo Tikis by Big Mike
swangulo@verizon.net



Hey Terra!

Yes, but the Buddha hand is the logo! Go figure... to me, it indicates a lack of desire to fully embrace tiki. Or maybe a misguided attempt to push the concept of tiki in another direction. Or both?

As for the veggie options... Only one appetizer, the curry lettuce cups, were meat free. I'm not a big fan of curry, but they were tasty, if tiny.

No veggie entrees, although I think the two curry dishes could have been made without meat. Dunno if that would bring their mid-20's price down, though. And again, not a fan of curry, I didn't ask if they could be prepared sans meat. Our server didn't mention them as an option, so it might not have been possible anyway.

They had quite a few meatless sides though. We had grilled corn, taro root fries, garlic naan (with a pineapple curry salsa), all pretty yummy.

There was a coconut rice side, but it had chicken juice in it. Our server said a non-meaty rice dish would be available in the future.

I don't remember the full details, but other sides include a bok choy dish, a snow pea (or some kind of pea or bean) dish, an asparagus dish, and a few others, I think.

Desserts all sounded good, but we went with a coconut covered tiramisu and Key lime pie... delish!

We may go back for dessert and coffee some time, or maybe a mai-tai at the bar.
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Swangulo Tikis
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 24, 2008
Posts: 50
From: Redondo Beach, CA
Posted: 2008-10-28 10:13 am   Permalink

Thanks for the menu details.

The whole Buddha hand thing is terribly odd (I had already forgotten about it being the logo - eesh - yes that just seems wrong), but at this point I'll take what I can get - we don't do the babysitter thing much with our daughter so we obviously can't get out to the bars. "Family Friendly" with decent food and *somewhat* tiki works for me! In any case I really love all the pufferfish - really neat effect.

I guess the only way to get the point across about true tiki style is to give feedback to the management/owners or open your own place.
We tried to speak to the mgmt at a tiki bar (with very sparse decor) near our place, but it fell on deaf ears. I just noticed a change of ownership sign there and hope that they make some positive changes rather than remodel it into yet another sports bar or something of that ilk.

Thanks again for the info!

Terra
Swangulo Tikis by Big Mike
swangulo@verizon.net

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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11126
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-10-28 12:00 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-10-27 19:06, gonegoannas wrote:
Not to ruffle any ones tail feathers, but perhaps one should visit the place before giving their opinion on it. Just a thought.
Jeff



For the average person, perhaps, but after spending over 16 years of looking and photographing authentic Tiki environments, writing two books on Tiki style, and getting to see the blueprints and hearing the interior designer did jewelry for rock stars before she got this job, I thought I had a pretty good grasp of where this one was going. And apart from a few nice surprise details, I don't think I have been proven wrong.

OK, one LAST time, let me spell out where I am coming from: My main interest are the VISUALS, the ART, this is what inspired me about Tiki, and made me want to write a book about it. And people LIKED what they saw in the book, so much that it inspired a resurgence of the style. (And this was NOT because it was a book on Polynesian bamboo bars of the 30s and 40s). I don't care that much about the food, or the society clientele, that is the restaurateurs job. The drinks are what counts, and they did good here, I acknowledged that.

Stephen Crane's Luau was originally called Sugie's Tropics, which used to be a very successful PRE-Tiki style tropical bar, meaning it had LOTS of Bamboo, rattan, and Lahaula matted walls. Sugie's used classic pre-Tiki icons like monkeys and Hula girls as logos for his business.

When Crane re-opened it as the Luau 1n 1953, in its early years it retained that pre-Tiki Bamboo bar look:

This is NOT a Tiki bar, as defined in my books.

But Steve was in competition with Trader Vic and Don The Beachcomber, and needed to differentiate himself from them. So to up the ante, and because he was a show man/actor, he decided to get more theatrical, by adding more Oceanic artifacts, like the lamps, weapons, shields and TIKIS. Plus he added interior waterfalls and landscaping. He also used a Tiki as the logo for the restaurants on its menu, matchbooks, coasters, postcards, and replicated it as Salt and Pepper shakers, table lamps and as entrance doorway Tikis. Here again, is the introduction to his menu, where he specifically talks about his Tikis:



So Steve Crane was the first entrepreneur to employ Tikis as a theme (together with Tiki Bob's in San Francisco). Thus the Luau became one of the BIRTHPLACES OF TIKI STYLE. His all-out "sophisticated savage" concept was so successful that he franchised it out with his Kon-Tiki chain to several American (and Canadian) cities in 1958.
Here is an excerpt from a 1959 article "War of Exotic Restaurant Chains Comes to a Head in Portland" about Steve Crane opening a Kon Tiki restaurant where there is already a Trader Vic's (note that the writer does not mention Tikis specifically: Nobody singled them out as the figureheads back then, I had to do it in my book):



So this is what the Luau became, and what the Luau stood for:



To me, choosing the name of The Luau (and claiming to have fond childhood memories of it) carries a responsibility to its stature in Polynesian pop history that was not fulfilled, by not going all the way with what made the first Luau special. This is all that I am claiming here.

I don't have to sit there to see that. Because Tiki has nothing to do with common sense, but all with Tiki sense.





 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2008-10-28 12:17 pm   Permalink

Since we're all jumping on Sven, let me add: Sven, when are you visiting Forbidden island?

I understand Sven's points, and agree with him that it's not exactly vintage Polynesian Pop style. But does it have to be exactly like the old Luau? As much as I love the look of the old one I think Ben and others have created something that's a nice blend of old and new. However, it's hard to get the complete feel of the place from a few pictures. I would like to go there someday and see it for myself. And I can't wait to try the drinks that Jeff Berry selected for the place.

ps Forbidden Island has swizzle sticks.

[ This Message was edited by: thejab 2008-10-28 12:25 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11126
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-10-28 12:33 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-10-28 12:17, thejab wrote:
Sven, when are you visiting Forbidden island?



When it's seven minutes from my house, like the Tiki Ti.
How about opening a Forbidden Island in the middle of the Silver lake? I would build a sky lift with little Tiki shaped gondolas from my house down to it.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11126
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-10-28 12:43 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-10-28 12:17, thejab wrote:
But does it have to be exactly like the old Luau? As much as I love the look of the old one...



And, ARRRRGH!, that is NOT what I have been saying here! I am NOT a stodgy by-the-book traditionalist who demands slavish copying of mid-century Tiki style! I welcome new ideas and concepts and interpretations of Tiki style, if they are done smartly, like at Forbidden Island. Buddha hands and Balinese Import stuff is not in that mix for me, and ONE token Tiki neither. WHAT in heaven do I have to say to make my position understood !!?


 
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