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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki The Luau in Beverly Hills, CA (restaurant)
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The Luau in Beverly Hills, CA (restaurant)
Tattoo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 24, 2005
Posts: 235
From: Los Angeles
Posted: 2008-03-12 10:33 am   Permalink

Name:The Luau in Beverly Hills, CA
Type:restaurant
Street:421 North Rodeo Drive
City:Beverly Hills
State:CA
Zip:90210
country:USA
Phone:
Status:defunct

Description:
Stephen Crane (a.k.a. Steve Crane, Steven Crane) started out as bit actor in Hollywood in the 30's and became better known for being one of Lana Turner's ex-husbands than for any of his roles. Realizing his limited acting skills, Steve Crane turned his charm and energies to the restaurant business and in 1953 bought out 'The Tropics' in Beverly Hills. Taking his cue from Trader Vic's and Don the Beachcomber, Steve created his own Polynesian themed restaurant 'The Luau'. The restaurant quickly became a hit and a 'must see' Hollywood celebrity hot spot. Soon Steve Crane was approached by Sheraton to create Polynesian theme restaurants for the hotel chain to compete with Hilton and their association with Trader Vic's. His company, 'Steve Crane and Associates' soon opened up the Kon-Tiki restaurants in Montreal, Portland, Cleveland, Boston, Waikiki, and 'Ports O' Call' in Dallas.

The Luau is considered by many to be one of the great original Tiki palaces from the height of the Polynesian Pop era. Featuring an exotic tropical interior and a menu to match with over 70 tropical drinks. Florian Gabriel in association with Architect George Nakashima designed the stunning interior filled with intricate Tikis, square grown bamboo, and even featured a small waterfall. Stephen Crane's own exotic contribution was high prized hookers at the bar. The Luau is also known for having one of the most stunning lines of Tiki mugs and bowls. Attributed to Florian Gabriel, they are known for their intricate design and construction.

As the Polynesian Pop fad faded, so did the success of the Luau. After 26 years, the restaurant closed it doors for good and the site was demolished in 1979.

For more info...

Here's a great thread dedicated to Steve Crane himself:
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=25511&forum=1

An extensive thread with lots of great pictures on Steve Crane's Ports O' Call restaurant in Dallas:
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=22867&forum=2

Some great images and information on the Montreal Kon-Tiki restaurant in this Canadian Tiki thread:
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=29014&forum=5

Some information on one of Steve Crane's lesser restaurant, the Chaparral Club:
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=13618&forum=2


[ This Message was edited by: Tattoo 2009-03-31 11:22 ]


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Tattoo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 24, 2005
Posts: 235
From: Los Angeles
Posted: 2008-03-12 10:37 am   Permalink





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Tattoo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 24, 2005
Posts: 235
From: Los Angeles
Posted: 2008-03-12 1:14 pm   Permalink

From the Los Angeles Public Library photo database:



"Sharon Tate presenting Steve Crane, owner of a Beverly Hills restaurant, a special St. Patrick's polynesian lei in March 1963."
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3818
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2008-03-17 9:38 pm   Permalink

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

 
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Tattoo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 24, 2005
Posts: 235
From: Los Angeles
Posted: 2008-04-02 7:26 pm   Permalink

Some great pictures from a 1959 Movie Star magazine of Hollywood Teens whooping it up at the Luau!



"The Luau Cafe"



I presume those are Virgin drinks!




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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11265
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-04-02 8:57 pm   Permalink

Cool. Annette at the Luau...if just those pesky cheerful teens wouldn't block all the decor, what's wrong with that photographer, jeez...
PS.: Wonder if the Mouseketeers noticed any of the undercover prostitutes that Crane had hanging out at the place.

[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2008-04-02 20:59 ]


 
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Tom Slick
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 26, 2005
Posts: 1092
From: The Beaches of South Bay, SoCal
Posted: 2008-04-03 10:24 am   Permalink

wonder if Annette was one of them!

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4427
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2008-04-06 12:13 pm   Permalink

Tattoo,

Thanks for the images. That underage tiki party must have been scandalous back in those days.

Here are a couple of nice early double postcards from the Luau.






 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11265
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-04-06 1:19 pm   Permalink

Very nice, never seen Nr.2 ! What a low Tipsy factor, quite pre-Tiki. That must have been very early, directly taken over from The Tropics.

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4427
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2008-04-24 6:37 pm   Permalink

Bigbro,

You are right on that, the postcard is definitely from the first days of Steve Crane's Luau. Do you think that Crane added that big Tiki in the back of the dining room or could that have been a hold over from The Tropics?


 
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Bora Boris
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2598
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2008-05-11 10:21 pm   Permalink

From the 1962 Los Angeles Yellow pages ~



The Intrigue and Color of the Orient The Warmth and Charm of the South Seas

It's an awesome ad.


 
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bigtikidude
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 8961
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2008-05-12 12:12 am   Permalink

I dig the little rooster and piggy on the bottom there Boris.

mmmmmmmmm Hammmmm

Jeff(bigtikidude)


 
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TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2008-09-06 12:59 pm   Permalink

Saw this very early matchbook from The Luau on Ebay and thought I would put it on here as it is one that I haven't seen before.



TabooDan


 
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Tattoo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 24, 2005
Posts: 235
From: Los Angeles
Posted: 2008-09-26 3:09 pm   Permalink

Awesome matchbook TabooDan! Have never seen that one before. Here's the drink menu with the Florian Gabriel mugs in it.












[ This Message was edited by: Tattoo 2008-09-26 15:12 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Tattoo 2008-09-27 16:08 ]


 
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pappythesailor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 1564
From: Mass.
Posted: 2008-10-24 09:18 am   Permalink

Has anyone been to the NEW Luau? I would have thought there would be quite a buzz about it but I can't find any mention of same here. (?)

http://theguide.latimes.com/restaurants/luau-venue

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