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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Kon Tiki, Waikiki, HI (restaurant)
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Kon Tiki, Waikiki, HI (restaurant)
Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4350
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-11-17 3:02 pm   Permalink

Name:Kon Tiki
Type:restaurant
Street:Sheraton Hotel
City:Waikiki
State:HI
Zip:
country:USA
Phone:
Status:defunct

Description:
This is the least publicized location of the Kon Tiki restaurant chain created by Steve Crane. The restaurant was located in the Sheraton Hotel in Waikiki.

I have this postcard, which shows the interior. I have seen no other photos from the interior of this Kon Tiki.



It is a double card that also shows the Hanohano Room Restaurant.


I also have the popular Daga Tiki mug that came from here (photo courtesy of Ooga Mooga).





three swizzles,


a pic,


and a matchbook with the same Tiki logo as shown on the back of the mug.




The Kon Tiki restaurant closed in 1980's. I read that the Tikis from the Kon Tiki were purchased by Annette Nahinu and ended up at the La Mariana Sailing Club.

Finally here is an excerpt from an essay published by Karen Kasaba I found on the Internet with a great description of the Kon Tiki experience.

To introduce him to my Hawaii, we drove straight to Kon Tiki with the luggage in the trunk. Together we rode the glass and rattan elevator that ascended one flight to the restaurant, looking onto a lush atrium. During the short ride, we listened to piped-in steel guitar, watched colored light play on a lava rock waterfall, and leered back at angry tikis, two stories tall.

The ceiling of Kon Tiki is domed like a cavern, painted black as a kukui nut. From it hang dozens of colored glass floats, caught in fishnets and lit from within. Incandescent blue water cascades over the curled lips of mammoth clams. Illuminated blowfish swim suspended over a waterfall. And everywhere, tiki gods loom. Carved totems tower over diners' heads, inferring silent war chants and curses.

Before dinner, my love and I shared a Kava Bowl: a large, coconut-shaped ceramic vessel, flanked by four menehunes B mythic Hawaiian elves. Pungent gardenias floated upon a pond of vodka-tinged punch. The entire concoction oozed a mysterious, icy mist that rolled over the edge of the bowl and onto the table. Like most exotic drinks, the first draw on the two-foot straw tasted like battery acid, but every subsequent sip was pure nectar.


Cool imagery. Here is the link to the entire essay.

http://www.summersetreview.org/04summer/kontiki.htm

DC



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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4350
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-11-18 5:41 pm   Permalink

I was going through Beachbum Berry's Taboo Table book last night and noticed that the Molokai Mule drink (its got a Kick!) was invented at the Kon Tiki Sheraton Waikiki.

Here is the signature mug that it came in




(from Ooga Mooga)

And the write up from Taboo Table.




Still interested to see if there is more on this place.

DC


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11192
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-11-18 6:21 pm   Permalink

Historically interesting, but conceptually a less satisfying vessel. Even uglier than their Tiki mug, and that's hard to do.

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4350
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-11-18 6:27 pm   Permalink

Bigbro,

But the interior WAS nice! I hear you on the mug, always reminded me of the Alien in Alien.





DC


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11192
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-11-18 6:34 pm   Permalink

Aaaah! You scared me! Ok, it shall be the ALIEN Tiki henceforth.
Definitely, the place must have been nice! That description you found really sums up what a great Tiki temple should be like! But I think it opened a bit late in the game, around 1970?


 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5057
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2009-11-19 09:29 am   Permalink

I like this part of the essay. It sums up the True Poly-Pop. They are in Tahiti and real Polynesia after having fallen in love with it at Kon-Tiki:

Quote:
Spent from the pressures of paradise, we sat on the sand and drank Tahitian beer, ate hot dogs, and fantasized about being rescued. My husband said finally, "This isn't Polynesia. This is Gilligan's Island."


Our Polynesian paradise, fast becoming extinct, is a place like Kon Tiki. A place to feel nonexistent breezes, to taste gardenias and sway to the pulse of pre-recorded drums. Where ultraviolet waters fluoresce and cascade between tables, and the mood is thermostatically controlled.

But, they've closed Kon Tiki. Never known for its food, the restaurant endured a brief Cantonese incarnation before becoming officially unpopular. Even in Hawaii, everybody just wants pizza.


_________________

Announcing Swank Pad and Crazy Al's Molokai Maiden!


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11192
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-11-19 11:39 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-11-19 09:29, Swanky wrote:
Our Polynesian paradise, fast becoming extinct, is a place like Kon Tiki. A place to feel nonexistent breezes, to taste gardenias and sway to the pulse of pre-recorded drums. Where ultraviolet waters fluoresce and cascade between tables, and the mood is thermostatically controlled.



Haha, yes, indeed another good quote. Reminds me of this photo I took:




Apart from the thermostat, this amateurish petroglyph interpretation says so much about Poly pop, about the need go back to the primitive. I gotta feature it somewhere else, larger, I just love it.


 
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naugatiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 836
From: Port Angeles, Wa
Posted: 2009-11-19 2:42 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-11-18 18:27, Dustycajun wrote:
Bigbro,

But the interior WAS nice! I hear you on the mug, always reminded me of the Alien in Alien.





DC




I always thought it had an abstract resemblance to the "Janus" tiki with the hands, mouth. and pointy nose. Daga meets Steven Crane.





 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4350
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-11-23 11:22 am   Permalink

Here is a menu from the Sheraton Waikiki Kon Tiki.












DC


 
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TIKIVILLE
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 22, 2008
Posts: 636
From: Edmonton Alberta Canada
Posted: 2009-11-23 12:36 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-11-18 17:41, Dustycajun wrote:
I was going through Beachbum Berry's Taboo Table book last night and noticed that the Molokai Mule drink (its got a Kick!) was invented at the Kon Tiki Sheraton Waikiki.

Here is the signature mug that it came in




(from Ooga Mooga)

And the write up from Taboo Table.



And here I figured it was one of those back shelf mugs! (those are my photos lol)
Mahalo for the information!
can ya send me a nice printable scan of that recipe?


Still interested to see if there is more on this place.

DC



 
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Mo-Eye
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 17, 2006
Posts: 626
From: Costa Mesa, CA
Posted: 2009-11-24 12:33 pm   Permalink

The funny thing about that Alien mug is that it kept getting re-produced, and every time someone re-made it, it lost even more detail and got uglier and uglier with each new casting.

A couple years ago I had some friends that were staying in Waikiki in the hotel above Mateo's and they made mateo's their last stop every night for a quick last drink. They got to know the head bartender - forgot his name - and he turned out to be the old manager of Kon Tiki. They talked about it for a while, and then next day he brought in a shoobox full of stuff from there. He had everything from his business cards, name tag, small menus, silverware, and a tiki mug that I've never seen before. He gave my friends some of the small paper stuff, and let them scan this photo of him:




A great shot of him next to the cannibal tikis with a great Kon Tiki black velvet behind him. You don't see too many black velvets with restaurant logos! And, yes, this tiki does look like the one that is at La Mariana now.

One day I decided to go back to Mateo's to pick his brain a little and see what he could share, and the sign on the door said "closed for renovation", and they have never reopened since then...
_________________
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http://stores.ebay.com/Taboo-Island
http://www.etsy.com/shop/Tabooisland


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11192
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-11-24 1:14 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-11-24 12:33, Mo-Eye wrote:
One day I decided to go back to Mateo's to pick his brain a little and see what he could share, and the sign on the door said "closed for renovation", and they have never reopened since then...



Classic, I know that kinda story well....

You're sure its a black velvet? I can make out a Queens chair and a table lamp, but they make it look more like a photo. And what is that thing on a ....plate?



 
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Mo-Eye
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 17, 2006
Posts: 626
From: Costa Mesa, CA
Posted: 2009-11-24 1:46 pm   Permalink

Now that you made me look at it more closely, I have no idea. I thought the white on the left side was from the sheen of the black velvet, but it may just be reflection off of glass or glossy printing stock. I only have a low res scan, and can not figure out what that is on the plate??? If only I could tell him to step to his left until he's out of the picture!!
_________________
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http://stores.ebay.com/Taboo-Island
http://www.etsy.com/shop/Tabooisland


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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4350
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-11-24 5:59 pm   Permalink

Mo-Eye,

Cool photo and story. Love that Cannibal carving.


[quote]
On 2009-11-23 12:36, TIKIVILLE wrote:
Quote:

And here I figured it was one of those back shelf mugs! (those are my photos lol)
Mahalo for the information!
can ya send me a nice printable scan of that recipe?



Tikiville,

Thanks for the use of your photos. I can send you a scan, just PM me your email address...... of you could just buy the book, its on sale.

http://www.buy.com/prod/beachbum-berry-s-taboo-table/q/loc/106/203527509.html

DC


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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2010-01-07 12:32 am   Permalink

Buying old Hawaiian vacation photo albums on eBay paid off again.

Here are some snapshots of the Kon Tiki taken March 1973.


this one was really over-exposed. I may play with it in photoshop a bit more to improve it.







_________________


[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2010-01-07 00:44 ]


 
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