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Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » Trader Vic's Downtown Los Angeles!, Los Angeles, CA (restaurant)
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Trader Vic's Downtown Los Angeles!, Los Angeles, CA (restaurant)
SandraDee
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 11, 2011
Posts: 929
Posted: 2014-03-19 09:03 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-03-19 08:53, arriano wrote:
It's a shame, but I have no faith in the Trader Vic's company at all. Overall, their restaurants are often poorly located and poorly executed. Their food is overpriced. Their bottled drinks mixes are bad. Their web site is a joke. Vic Bergeron must be rolling in his grave.




You need to go to Trader Vic's Emeryville.

The food -- while a tad pricey--is delicious and they just brought back their extensive vintage cocktail menu which is amazing.

Plus the location is right on the water and its so picturesque to dine there.

Also they have started using "vintage" TV imagery on coasters and on their menus. Plus every drink that is supposed to come with a decoration i.e a parrot, menehuene, etc now does.

Plus anytime you go to TV Emeryville the place is packed.

So even though MANY of the Trader Vic's are failing and screwing up the classic Emeryville is thriving.

[ This Message was edited by: SandraDee 2014-03-19 09:04 ]


 
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tikilongbeach
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 05, 2011
Posts: 1355
From: Long Beach, CA via Dallas, TX
Posted: 2014-03-19 09:07 am   Permalink

Aloha Trader Vic's Los Angeles.

www.shoptradervics.com no longer seems to be their online page. This seems to be the page to order online from now http://tradervics.com/trading-post/
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 999
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2014-03-19 09:47 am   Permalink

Their web site no longer shows Los Angeles. Just three locations in the US.

By the way, my last visit was to the Portland TV's. The food and the drinks were great, the location and the décor was memorable, and the place was packed. My group had a very memorable dining experience.

TV's has been, unfortunately, very hit-or-miss in the US. Emeryville, Portland and Atlanta are the only remaining locations.
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Ragbag Comics
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 24, 2009
Posts: 133
From: Chicago
Posted: 2014-03-19 09:47 am   Permalink

[/quote]

So even though MANY of the Trader Vic's are failing and screwing up the classic Emeryville is thriving.

[/quote]

Amen! Our trip to TV's Emeryville several years ago was phenomenal. I can't wait to go back!

Similarly, the Trader Vic's in Atlanta is a fantastic, classic Tiki experience with excellent food and drinks (or at least it was two years ago when we were there.) I would put that on the "must visit" list.

It seems where TV's is failing miserably is in their more "modern," new location concepts... see, oh, every Trader Vic's that's opened in the US in the last 10+ years that have all gone to the big Luau in the sky.

We definitely saw that with the revamped TV's here in Chicago... the original Palmer House location was incredible and historical. The Rush St. revamp was horribly inconsistent, for the most part, and never really felt quite right (though we went there a good amount, due primarily to a lack of any other actual Tiki establishment within Chicago city limits...)

We went to the LA Vic's a couple years back, and it felt fairly "meh" to me... the giant projection screen TV's blasting basketball and general sports crowd were a major turn-off for me. I understand they needed to appeal to the people coming to that part of town for games, but maybe... just don't open in that part of town.

Our feeling was, in a town with as many phenomenal places to get your Tiki fix as LA has, I didn't really know why anyone would go to that Trader Vic's. Personally, if I lived in LA, I know I would be a regular at the Tonga Hut.

Trader Vic's, as a company, has an amazing history... they really need to embrace that for what it is and be proud of the legacy there and stop trying to make it "hip" and "modern." Make it "classic" and everything else will fall into place. That's certainly what Emeryville has done (and in a different way, Atlanta.)

--Pete


 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 999
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2014-03-19 09:51 am   Permalink

Very good, Pete. I think that if you can't do it right everywhere, then scale back and do it right in a few places. Maybe they will learn and then grow again in the future. You're right, choice of locations makes a big difference. It seems that whole sports bar crowd is relatively easier to please than the demographic which makes the "good" TV's so successful. It is a shame to see a company with such a rich history fall into such decline.
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SandraDee
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 11, 2011
Posts: 929
Posted: 2014-03-19 10:01 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-03-19 09:47, Ragbag Comics wrote:
Our feeling was, in a town with as many phenomenal places to get your Tiki fix as LA has, I didn't really know why anyone would go to that Trader Vic's. Personally, if I lived in LA, I know I would be a regular at the Tonga Hut.

--Pete



Exactly


 
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tikilongbeach
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 05, 2011
Posts: 1355
From: Long Beach, CA via Dallas, TX
Posted: 2014-03-19 10:39 am   Permalink


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nui 'umi 'umi
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 21, 2011
Posts: 1114
From: La Mirada Atoll
Posted: 2014-03-19 11:04 am   Permalink

On 2014-03-19 09:47, Ragbag Comics wrote:
Our feeling was, in a town with as many phenomenal places to get your Tiki fix as LA has, I didn't really know why anyone would go to that Trader Vic's. Personally, if I lived in LA, I know I would be a regular at the Tonga Hut.

--Pete
I like TV’s L A! The food is excellent, the decor , from Danny’s tiki’s standing guard outside to the huge tapa that covers swaths of the walls, is right on. The drinks are better than most tiki establishments, the bartenders are friendly and remember your name and Frank the mgr. is always a great host.
The Big screens; Who cares? I go for the reasons mentioned above.
The “sports crowd”; I seldom see em except when I pass in front of the Yard House or ESPN. Pick your time.
Finally, It’s a business. Are there enough Tikiphiles going to our beloved Palaces ? I go every couple of weeks or so-not as often as I’d like to but as Pete mentioned my favorite TV’s is the Emeryville location.
My Favorite tiki bar is not in LA. It’s in Alameda and one of my Favorite Tiki peeps is a habitu’e there (initials are S D).
Keep in mind when dissing any establishment,some of us like chocolate ice cream-some of us like vanilla. It’s all good!
Cheers : )


[ This Message was edited by: nui 'umi 'umi 2014-03-19 16:59 ]


 
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Loki-Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 05, 2007
Posts: 286
From: Like...The Valley
Posted: 2014-03-19 11:09 am   Permalink

Quote:

It seems where TV's is failing miserably is in their more "modern," new location concepts... see, oh, every Trader Vic's that's opened in the US in the last 10+ years that have all gone to the big Luau in the sky.


I'd mention Trader Vic's Las Vegas too, but honestly, I'd just assume forget it altogether...


 
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TikiTacky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1307
Posted: 2014-03-19 12:08 pm   Permalink

I think the problem that many tiki restaurants run into is simply a fractal expansion of the bad name that "umbrella drinks" got. Initially, these drinks were made using high quality ingredients and were carefully crafted to balance everything that went into it. Over time, increased competition meant lower prices, and lower prices meant compromises in quality. In the end, a Mai Tai at most of these restaurants was a blend of "juice-like ingredients" like Sweet and Sour mix and bright colors. As a result, people started to associate themed restaurants (polynesian themed in particular, but themed in general) with poor quality; and in many cases, they were right.

What Anericans want has also changed. They want an upscale experience, but with a budget price. As any business owner knows, with quality, quantity, and value, you can pick any two. As people are more pressed for time and money (any economist will tell you that Americans in general have vastly less buying power and time than they did 50 years ago), what they want in a restaurant isn't what the Trader Vic's and Polynesian Palaces of old had on offer. True, if they find the right market they'll have an easier time of it, but Tiki simply isn't the zeitgeist that it was. Expectations of otherwise are wishful thinking. All the more reason to cherish the locations that have managed to find the right fit for their market and are thriving while still being able to have a tiki vibe: Smuggler's Cove, Hale Pele, Trader Vic's Emeryville, etc. For the other locations, we should accept that they need to make compromises and be grateful for what they can offer (or simply understand when they close that they didn't find the right market).

The very fact that so many people within the tiki community fight over what's tiki and what isn't is a good indicator that satisfying a large enough audience to be successful in this venture is a tough business!

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[ This Message was edited by: TikiTacky 2014-03-19 12:12 ]


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Rob Roy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 03, 2004
Posts: 354
From: Ventura, CA
Posted: 2014-03-19 12:35 pm   Permalink

I personally liked going in there before King's games. They have sponsored our room at the last 4 or 5 Tiki Oasis'.

[ This Message was edited by: Rob Roy 2014-03-19 12:44 ]


 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6189
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2014-03-19 3:26 pm   Permalink

A couple of peeps went by today & confirmed the doors are locked, RIP TV LA.

 
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bongofury
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 1546
From: Ventura County
Posted: 2014-03-19 8:49 pm   Permalink

I remember talking to John Valencia (owner) at Damon's before Trader Vic's opened. He asked what he should do to get TC members to frequent the place. I told him not to count on us as we would be a small percentage of his clientele. I told him to just keep the drink and food quality high and consistent and people will come no matter what the decor is. The busiest restaurants in our area and others are that way.

Unfortunately when times are tough the mistake is made to substitute that quality with cheaper ingredients. Always a mistake. Their overhead must be really high as I remember him talking on the news about how the NBA lockout of 2011 affected his business. A small blurb is here:
http://www.marketplace.org/topics/life/nba-delay-will-cause-big-economic-ripples
On the news I believe he said it cut their business by 15-20%, you do the math. Looks like they were bringing in a lot of money at that time. I will never understand how one could make such a huge investment, change things (for the worse), and expect to succeed.


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Fez Moai
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Dec 01, 2013
Posts: 271
From: Parts unknown
Posted: 2014-03-20 2:46 pm   Permalink

Bad news. RIP Trader Vic's LA. I'm going to the Kraftwerk concert tonight in downtown, I'll try to swing by for some pics. Hopefully someone will be around for some information.

 
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Fez Moai
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Dec 01, 2013
Posts: 271
From: Parts unknown
Posted: 2014-03-20 8:17 pm   Permalink

Yup, I'm standing here in front of Trader Vics right now. Some guy working next door said that their dining room was usually slow. People are walking up and are bummed out.

 
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