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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » JOHN-O's Zombie Road Trip...
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JOHN-O's Zombie Road Trip...
JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2693
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2013-07-26 6:38 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-07-26 08:32, Joe Banks wrote:

...My apologies to both you and my friend John-O. I was just having a bit of fun. I hope there is no hard feelings!...


Joe Banks, I'm not sure why you felt it necessary to use a deceptive alias rather than post under your regular user name. This clearly is in violation of Tiki Central stated policy.

In all honesty, such seemingly creepy behavior does not bode well for one seeking a successful career in Tiki journalism. I humbly encourage you to step up your game.


Anyway let's leave that baggage behind and start off on a fresh page. Back to the Zombies (and Chop Suey)...



Well as
noted by nui' umi' umi who I was drinking with, this isn't so much a destination Tiki bar as it is a "Beach bar" with Tiki accouterments. The targeted clientele is the Hermosa Beach locals crowd, not BOT-thumping Tikiphiles. I would wager that the cocktail of choice would skew towards Red Bull & Vodka rather than a classic 1934 Zombie mixed with premium rums.

Walking up the steps I was swept with a feeling of Deju Vu, I had been to this place before. I realized this was the former location of the wildly popular California Beach Sushi, a place that I used to frequent occasionally in the 1990's. That place was GREAT for mindless drunken Hermosa Beach fun...

"Hey Bro, ya wanna 'nother round of Sake Bombs."
"Bitchin', this Rainbow Roll is most excellent."
"Domo Arigato, dude !!"

Even though the place was completely devoid of customers (the official opening being a week away), THAT beach party vibe still lingered in the air. And actually California Beach was a couple of businesses ago, the site had gone through several incarnations over the last 20 years.

The bar did have some cool bamboo weaving but for the most part the Tikis were Indonesian-carved pineapple heads, i.e. what the Bigbro would refer to as "hacked wood".

Ya know though, they did fit in perfectly with the "brotard" atmosphere that is Hermosa Beach (aka the "Jersey Shore" of the South Bay). Haha.

I don't want to appear too negative here, this place will probably be tons of FUN, you just need to lower your Poly-Pop expectations, leave the Tiki "white gloves" at home, and show up with a sense of humor.

So how was my Zombie? Well it wasn't a 1934's version, maybe more like the 1950's version. They did pour the 151, albeit Bacardi. It did have a pleasant fruity taste, but might be a little on the sweet side for those preferring a more balanced cocktail. I would however order this over a Bud Light or PBR any day.

Next we ordered some Navy Grogs. The manager said this was the first time they tried mixing them, and was honest that they didn't seem quite right. I had to agree, they were more cinnamony than grapefruity tart. They affably switched them out for a couple of Primos.

Noting our Aloha wear, the staff commented that we appeared to "know our stuff". They eagerly asked us for suggestions, we in turn named dropped Tiki Central, the BOT, and Beachbum Berry's mixology bibles.

I'll be back... (Dude !!)

Coming up next, urban archeology in Oxnard...


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mike and marie
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2008
Posts: 127
Posted: 2013-07-26 8:56 pm   Permalink

Quote:

So how was my Zombie? Well it wasn't a 1934's version, maybe more like the 1950's version.
[...]
Coming up next, urban archeology in Oxnard...



Great, you make it out there yet? We're wondering if what you uncover is going to be true to the 1929 version they started with, or more like the 1970's version. Or...?


 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2693
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2013-07-27 10:47 pm   Permalink

The field agent is working the case.

I'm like Napoleon Solo to your U.N.C.L.E Section IV (which suspiciously looks like the Bamboo Inn)...



 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6116
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2013-07-28 12:29 am   Permalink

"Open Channel D" for Cocktails & debriefing, John-O!



 
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mike and marie
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2008
Posts: 127
Posted: 2013-07-28 7:13 pm   Permalink

Spy camera intelligence photo reveals Napoleon Solo (aka JOHN-O, etc) working the field incognito by use of non-tiki drink...



Eagerly awaiting next field report!!


 
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bigtikidude
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 8904
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2013-07-30 7:34 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-07-26 18:38, JOHN-O wrote:
Quote:

On 2013-07-26 08:32, Joe Banks wrote:

...My apologies to both you and my friend John-O. I was just having a bit of fun. I hope there is no hard feelings!...


Joe Banks, I'm not sure why you felt it necessary to use a deceptive alias rather than post under your regular user name. This clearly is in violation of Tiki Central stated policy.

In all honesty, such seemingly creepy behavior does not bode well for one seeking a successful career in Tiki journalism. I humbly encourage you to step up your game.




Sad sad sad
:-/
Jeff btd


 
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GROG
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 21, 2006
Posts: 6902
From: Tujunga
Posted: 2013-07-31 12:52 am   Permalink

[quote]
On 2013-07-26 18:38, JOHN-O wrote:
Quote:

Coming up next, urban archeology in Oxnard...







[ This Message was edited by: grog 2013-07-31 09:13 ]


 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2693
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2013-08-13 5:45 pm   Permalink

More Pre "Pre-Tiki" research, back to Ventura County !!...

So on page 15 of this thread I documented the ancient Bamboo Inn near MacArthur Park. Here's an even more amazing Chop Suey discovery, in fact this is probably the oldest Chinese restaurant in So Ca.

It's the Golden Chicken Inn in Oxnard, opened in 1929 !!



Many thanks to Mike & Marie, my fellow urban archaeologists and chop suey-ologists, for the initial research conducted remotely from Ohio.

The Golden Chicken Inn is located in the older downtown section of Oxnard, a primarily Mexican neighborhood. This also supports my observation that Latinos are the ones keeping classic Cantonese cuisine alive. The restaurant is on the second story of a brick building...



The narrow restaurant consists of a series of 7 wooden booths with additional tables set up towards the center of the room. I would have to assume that at one point there were curtains on the booths to provide diner privacy similar to what the Far East Cafe (documented earlier in this thread) did in the early 1930's...




Here's a vintage photograph of what the interior originally looked like. Notice that the style of the chairs is the same as in the current restaurant (the originals ?)...



The menu is classic Cantonese with the requisite crispy noodles, hot mustard, and duck sauce placed on the table...



The iron grated cashier's cage looks to be part of the original restaurant...



The place is in terrific shape for its age, almost belying the vintage character that lies beneath. The current owner is the cook, who has run the restaurant for the last 33 years.


So let's continue 10 miles to the north and visit the site of the Hong Kong Inn, a place we
visited last year when it was still operational.

The parking lot is chained off but the "Foo Dogs" still stand guard outside the now gated entrance. This gives hope that interior has not been gutted.





In fact, the notice of ownership change seems to indicate that it will continue to be run as a Chinese restaurant...



Who knows, maybe they'll resurrect the former beloved Polynesian floor show, most of those performers were locals. One can only hope.


If so, here's another place we'll be able to walk to, the newly opened VenTiki...




This place is tiny. Kind of like a "revival culture" Tiki-Ti. I liked the cozy friendly vibe, just like at the Ti. The tikis were carved by TC's very own VonTiki, who also happened to be the mixologist working the bar during my visit. Here he is on the right, next to one of the co-owners "Skipper" Scott...



At what other place will the local carver be the one mixing your drink ?? That's good Mana !!

And how were the cocktails ? Well both my Jet Pilot and Zombie (shown above, albeit the 1950's version) were very tasty. Most of the classics were represented on the menu as well as some revival cocktails.

Another cool observation was the circle thingies accentuating the bar, very Tiki Modern. And the soundtrack?... vintage instrumental Surf.




And while we're still in the neighborhood, here's a classic 1950's steakhouse that SoccerTiki clued me in on, the Sportsman...



No the theme really wasn't sporty, it was classic red vinyl booth decor...



And they did have some cool topless cowgirls decorating the bar's back mirror...



And look it's a Western diorama !!...



OK, so that's 3 (potentially 4) worthwhile spots north of the LA County line.

Hmmm... Let me think about this.

[ This Message was edited by: JOHN-O 2013-08-22 17:51 ]


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mike and marie
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2008
Posts: 127
Posted: 2013-08-22 6:58 pm   Permalink

Excellent field report, JOHN-O ... four in one! Although after reading it we suddenly have a hankering for Eggs Foo Yung!

And maybe a Jet Pilot!

Those chairs do look the same and, if so, that would mean they'd been in constant restaurant use for almost 90 years. Amazing ... and think of the chewing gum!

The primary decor in the old photo appears to be fresh-cut flowers. And hanging lamps. Don't you wish the cameraman had tilted the lens up just a bit?

The wooden booths with space for curtains reminds me of what has become, for me, a legendary grail in the world of pre-tiki chop suey houses: this old time Cantonese noodle house in Wyoming that opened in cowboy days and was still going, with an old-timer waitress-owner who came out to the booths with a serving cart and had been pushing it for some ungodly amount of time, decades and decades. This is already going ten years back, probably, heard briefly on a radio that had paused on NPR. I'm afraid to Google it right now because I fear we'd have to add her name to the "Lost legends" thread. But anyway, that booth-and-curtain design is very old, prewar.

Interesting, too, that it's on the second floor of the building. First thought is the similarity with Waikiki's
pre-tiki Cantonese paradise Lau Yee Chai, built 1929, demolished 1966, and reopened on the second floor of a shopping mall.

The original LYC had a giant rock garden and waterfall, the new location (recently closed) had a grate wall similar to what you found at GCI:



GCI is in the heart of what was the Nard's Chinatown, called China Alley. And GCI itself was a center for celebration in the local Chinese community. Here's a story (with pics) of Oxnard's Soo Hoo family, who also ran Chinese restaurants there, and celebrated New Year's at the CGI:

http://polyfet.com/vccahs/Bill%20Soo%20Hoo%20Excerpt%20from%20Hidden%20Voices.htm

We didn't know that HKI had a vintage jukebox with old 45s. But as of closing last November it was still there, and so was the rest of the contents: "Collectors have offered more than $3,000 for the jukebox and its contents, James said. But the brothers are delaying any decisions about selling it — or the ceramic clamshells and tiki glasses in which cocktails are served — until after they've had a taste of retirement."

http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/nov/24/cafe-society-venturas-hong-kong-inn-goes-out-in/?partner=RSS

Also, slideshow:

http://www.vcstar.com/photos/galleries/2012/nov/24/venturas-hong-kong-inn-goes-out-blaze-rum-vintage/56889/


[ This Message was edited by: mike and marie 2013-08-22 19:11 ]


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bongofury
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 1544
From: Ventura County
Posted: 2013-08-22 8:44 pm   Permalink

Bora Boris, Mrs. Fury and I saw the Polynesian dancers from The Hong Kong Inn last year at a Mexican restaurant in Oxnard. One of the dancers was our waiter. He told us the owners of the HKI were planning to lease the HKI to another party to run it and the dancers were hopeful that they would be asked to return.

Here is info on Oxnard's Crow's Nest. The building is still there (I believe it is a juice shop). Tim's info is wrong. The Quonset hut at the airport was Ted Hughes' Tiki Club.

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=34366&forum=2&hilite=crow's%20nest%20oxnard


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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2693
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2013-09-02 11:04 pm   Permalink

So we all know about the historical precedence of "Bump n' Grind" inside the Tiki bar, right?...


(Left to right - Tiki Bob's, Zamboanga, Tropics)


But what about "Tiki" inside a topless sports bar ?? That burning question was the basis of my latest urban archaeological expedition...



Despite the advertisement, the only "Hawaiian Speciality Drink" they knew how to mix was a Mai Tai (below). And based on the super coconuty taste, I'm pretty sure they were mixing with Malibu rum. Yuck. After that I switched to Bulleit Rye which at $8 per shot was pretty reasonable considering all of the décolletage on display.



And thanks to the multi-ethnic makeup of Los Angeles, these girls vibed better "Mystery Girl" exotica than anything you'll find at the Mai Kai's Molokai Bar.

And as advertised, the grass skirted cocktail waitresses were SEXY.

The bikini garbed "private dancers" were SEXY.

The one night only Hawaiian fire dance was SEXY.

Too bad the bouncers wouldn't allow me to take photographs of any of it ("But it's for Tiki Central !!").

However here's a picture of the SEXY cheeseburger that I ate...



[ This Message was edited by: JOHN-O 2013-09-02 23:30 ]


 
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bigtikidude
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 8904
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2013-09-03 12:43 am   Permalink

No pics, booooo
Guess I should have went.

Jeff btd


 
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White Devil
Deleted

Joined: Jun 26, 2009
Posts: 0
Posted: 2013-09-03 05:35 am   Permalink

"...these girls vibed better "Mystery Girl" exotica than anything you'll find at the Mai Kai's Molokai Bar."

Smilies or no smilies, I feel I must come to the honor of our Southern Mystery Girls here. You, sir, have abjectly failed to prove your assertions with easily-obtained photographic evidence. Absent such evidence, no free-thinking individual (who's ever had the pleasure of visiting the Mai-Kai) can accept your highly-subjective opinion at face value. I highly suspect that the only "mystery" at work on your coast is whether or not they're actually "girls."


    
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Hale Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 19, 2004
Posts: 1798
From: Pittsburgh
Posted: 2013-09-03 07:13 am   Permalink

You really took one for the team there, John-O. Braving that bar with all those jiggling parts. Why, you could have lost an eye were it not for your spectacles!

In relation to your search for chop suey joints, and the like, are you familiar with David R Chan?
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-chinese-eater-20130422-dto,0,6902048.htmlstory

I forget where I got that article from, I think it was BoingBoing, but if it was here, man would I have chop suey on my face.

(Get it? Cause it's eggs? Eh? Eh? Tip your waitress, I'll be here all week.)


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lunavideogames
Grand Member (2 years)  

Joined: May 09, 2012
Posts: 1146
From: San Diego
Posted: 2013-09-03 11:24 am   Permalink

Brave man eating a burger at a strip joint!

 
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