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JOHN-O's Zombie Road Trip...
JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2694
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2011-07-14 02:07 am   Permalink

See below...


[ This Message was edited by: JOHN-O 2011-07-14 12:10 ]


 
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Trader Tom
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Jan 26, 2006
Posts: 823
From: Hillsboro, OR
Posted: 2011-07-14 12:02 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-07-14 02:07, JOHN-O wrote:


Final stop on the Punch Crawl...

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=40586&forum=17&9

...so I can't remember what their take on the Zombie, "28 Days Later" was like.

Trader Tom, please comment.



As the final stop on the punch tour, I'm afraid my palate was a little fuzzy, however, here's what I recall:

They had their own bottle of special mix for the "28 Days Later" and added about five rums, three of which I've never had before. So, I was having no luck parsing out the individual flavors. The drink had a nice smokiness, but wasn't as spicy as I usually like my zombies to be. Plus, they threw a huge handful of mint into the bucket mug, and while it smelled delightful it sank down into my glass and all I could taste was mint for the final stages of the zombification process. I'm glad I tried it, but I think I'll drill deeper into their cocktail menu next time I'm there.


 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2694
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2011-07-18 3:43 pm   Permalink

"Twenty Eighth Day" actually (based on the Zombie movie of similar title, no doubt)...

Gosling’s 117.5, Don Q Añejo, reposado mezcal, Tuaca, Smith + Cross,
pineapple, fresh citrus, passionfruit, grenadine, bitters, Don’s Mix

Yup, Cana Rum Bar while not Tiki, did have a timeless older-school vibe (vs. too trendy) that should appeal to mid-century culture loving Tikiphiles. Good looking crowd as well. Place it in the same category as La Descarga.

Since we were short on Punch cards, I purchased a $20 membership for entry that night (it's technically a "private" club). It's good for up to 3 guests so I'd be up for a return TC excursion. I believe Boris is a member as well. Part-time Tikiphile (but full time cocktail snob ) TikiGeeki rates it in this top 3 for Downtown LA mixology so that's enough endorsement for me to focus more drinking there.


 
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Trader Tom
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Jan 26, 2006
Posts: 823
From: Hillsboro, OR
Posted: 2011-07-18 4:11 pm   Permalink

Thanks for getting the low-down on that drink, John-O. The smokiness I tasted was the mezcal probably.

 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1771
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2011-07-18 5:08 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-06-23 20:48, JOHN-O wrote:
OK, Disney (or rather the post-1960's cultural impact of the Disney corporation) has never been my cup of tea.

To this historic dive bar loving Tikiphile, the concept of "Disneyfication" is horrifying...

Dis-ney-fi-ca-tion (noun)

: the transformation (as of something real or unsettling) into carefully controlled and safe entertainment or an environment with similar qualities.


Yes, I enjoyed Disneyland as a pre-teen but as I've grown older, the nostalgia of those childhood memories has grown less and less.


JOHN-O I completely understand the sentiment. But your opinion of Disney has been poisoned (as you said) by the mega-corporation that is Disney today. The Disney that really turned me on is not the one that turns every shop in its theme parks into plush toy retail outlets or puts out garbage TV on its flagship TV channel. The Disney that really got my attention was the Disney of the early days (cue the harp and the wavy video)... Walt Disney was an innovator and risk taker (something that the Disney corp is really not at all these days). His theme park was a huge financial risk and was totally a labor of love for him. There were no focus groups to decide what to build. It was what he envisioned as the perfect environment to immerse yourself in with your family. That was a lofty and worthy goal. His co-conspirators were, quite literally, geniuses. Names like Ollie Johnston, Frank Thomas, Ward Kimball (ah, Ward is my favorite!), Harper Goff, etc... Their attention to painstaking detail, authenticity and devotion to quality are so inspirational.

We've lost a lot of that today. Corporations like Disney focus on ROI and shareholder return. But that existed back then too. I'm not naive about that. The Mad Men society was not all rosey. But Disney today still has some geniuses behind it (okay, many are at Pixar). They may not go down in history with their names in books, but they are there.

My attraction to Disney is definitely rooted in their past glories, but some of those glories are still around and still awe me as amazingly inventive. And every now and then a new creation shows that same spark of genius that was found routinely in people like Ward Kimball.

So, hey, cut 'em a little slack.

I'm sure the Nine Old Men would have loved the Molokai Bar at the Mai-Kai.

And hey, about that nostalgia of your childhood memories growing less and less... remember that we all get older, but we are only as old as we act. We should experience the world from a child's eyes more often. So go ride a rollercoaster and giggle like a little girl, damnit.


 
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TropicDrinkBoy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 275
Posted: 2011-07-18 5:37 pm   Permalink

B.T.W., there is a fan letter to Trader Vic from some of those classic Disney animators on the wall of the Captain's Dining Room at the Emeryville Trader Vic's!

 
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The Blue Kahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 01, 2011
Posts: 365
From: Points East & West
Posted: 2011-07-18 5:45 pm   Permalink

Tee-hee-hee-heeeeee . . .


 
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TropicDrinkBoy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 275
Posted: 2011-07-29 10:45 pm   Permalink

Just visited Trader Vic's Emeryville tonight and photographed this Disney animator tribute to Trader Vic!



It is in "The Office" room which you can reserve for a group dinner.

http://www.tradervics.com/locations/private-rooms.html#media

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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2694
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2011-09-28 10:31 pm   Permalink

Over 50% of all U.S. Trader Vic's are in the golden state of California. It's true !!

But are all TVs here created equal? Do all the Mai Tais taste the same?

We'll see when the Zombie Road Trip takes a Mai Tai detour at 4 different TVs over 4 consecutive days. It's the...

Beverly Hills Lounge…



vs. Downtown L.A….



vs. Palo Alto…



vs. Emeryville...




 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2694
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2011-09-30 5:14 pm   Permalink

I have two major Tiki regrets in life. The first is I didn't make an immediate Tiki pilgrimage to the Kahiki when I first read about it in the Book of Tiki. I blame the Bigbro for getting BOT published so late. ( )

The second is that I didn't frequent the original Trader Vic's in Beverly Hills beyond my sole visit there in the 1990's. From Santa Monica, it really wasn't that far. Now it's too late. (And for that I have no one to blame but myself. )

Now I know that some Tikiphiles here took the closing of the restaurant personally. The way I see it, the closure of the original joint wasn't so much a slight against Tiki as it was the demise of "Old Hollywood". It's now in good company with other extinct dinosaurs like Chasen's, Perino's, and Scandia. That's life in L.A. I guess. (I am however prepared to lie in front of the bulldozers should my beloved Musso & Frank ever be threatened.)

We do however have the Trader Vic's Lounge to enjoy.



While some dismiss the place as not really being that Tiki, I see the Tiki mug as being half full. I can appreciate it for the following...

It's still housed at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, a place that carries its own mid-century historical street cred. The Beverly Hilton was Conrad Hilton's showcase hotel back in 1953 and has been the annual home for the Golden Globe awards since 1961. Although renovated, I can still get a sense of those Hollywood ghosts.

Also the lounge is located right at the pool and is surrounded by the original low-rise rooms. It's a pretty groovy environment to enjoy a Tropical cocktail on a warm summer night.



Also the Lounge contains some of the half-century old remnants from the original location.







One of those "remnants" even happens to be one of the bartenders. We're talking about an old-school Filipino Tiki bartender !! He'll mix you up one of the best Mai Tais you'll ever enjoy.

Well let me qualify that actually. One of the best Mai Tais you'll ever enjoy... at a Trader Vic's.

The biggest issue I have with TV in this New Cocktailian age is that the Trader Vic's brand well rum is not that good. The presentation of the cocktails is excellent but when you have that first sip, it's not going to change your life. What's merely a good Mai Tai (at best) should really be a great Mai Tai. And the Mai Tai at the BH Lounge ain't cheap. It was $14 !! Compare that cost to the one of the best classic Mai Tais I've had which was at Forbidden Island. FI's Mai Tai is only $9. Oh well, I guess that's the price of (brand) history.

So while the Beverly Hill Trader Vic's Lounge isn't a place I'd fly across the country to visit, it is a significant place to detour if you're in the immediate vicinity. And why not make it part of historic Beverly Hills twofer? It's less than a mile away from Nate N' Al's...



Have a corned beef on rye in a classic Jewish deli (since 1945) and then wash it down afterward with a Vic's Navy Grog inside a mid-century luxury hotel lounge. There's not many places where you can do that.


 
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Chuck Tatum is Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 12, 2011
Posts: 1674
From: Southern Cailifornia
Posted: 2011-09-30 8:30 pm   Permalink

Keep it coming John-O!

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11196
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-10-01 02:04 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-09-30 17:14, JOHN-O wrote:
I have two major Tiki regrets in life. The first is I didn't make an immediate Tiki pilgrimage to the Kahiki when I first read about it in the Book of Tiki. I blame the Bigbro for getting BOT published so late. ( )....



On that point, blame American publishers for not picking up the project for 8 years. After all, it took only a little over a year after getting the green light from Benedikt Taschen to have it come out. But still, not soon enough, as MY two major regrets are illuminated by this ironic tragedy:

When Otto planned his grand "Farewell Kahiki" event after the fate of the Kahiki had become evident, I held ONE printer's advance copy of the book in my hand, but the first batch was on its way from China. It arrived at the Taschen Cologne offices in time so that I could arrange to have 100 copies air-freighted to Columbus, Ohio, just barely on schedule for the event.

I was working on a B-movie in LA at the time, and as a D.P. I could not leave the set until Friday, flying to Columbus late Fri Eve. When I got to the Kahiki, neither Michael Tsao nor Otto knew of no book shipment. I frantically traced the shipment: Turned out it was held at Columbus customs - and they were closed on Saturdays! The books were in fact IN Columbus....but there was no way to get to them!

So my big book signing was canceled, and for the rest of the weekend I proceeded to get VERY drunk, only being able to show folks the copy I had in hand, mumbling " so this izz the book I have been talking about for yearz....

The other regret is that Ray Buhen had passed away before the book became a reality, after having heard tall tales of it at his bar counter for so many years.


 
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Luckydesigns
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 15, 2002
Posts: 2191
From: Costa Mesa
Posted: 2011-10-01 09:53 am   Permalink

THIS is the Tiki Central that I enjoy so much. Not the all too common bickering or the posturing to become 'important in the scene'... Good work! I love your trip/ research posts, John-O. And great story, Sven! Takes me back to when it was all new to most of us.
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www.thehulagirlsmusic.com



 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2694
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2011-10-02 12:47 pm   Permalink

"When you're alone, and life is making you lonely, you can always go Downtown"

Downtown is the historic core of Los Angeles and one of my favorite places in all Southern California. Over the last several years, it's been really blowing up with a influx of bars, nightlife, restaurants, and foot traffic. These days you can see loft-dwelling expectant mothers walking their dogs late at night along streets that in the 1990's would have been considered dangerous.

One of the major anchors responsible for this has been Staples Center and the L.A. Live entertainment complex. They act like a giant streetlight making a once dark, scary, and deserted "parking lot" safe for the masses. Overall this is a good thing but it's not without its drawbacks.



You'd think L.A. Live would be the perfect place for a Trader Vic's, right? A central location to introduce the general public to Tiki culture? A place brimming with entertainment options to go with your Navy Grog? That was my first thought several years ago... these days I'm not so sure.

So what about the Downtown L.A. Trader Vic's? Well they did a great job in creating a physical space that does justice to the historic brand. My hats off to the owners for attempting to bring the spirit of Victor Jules Bergeron, Jr. into the 21st century.







Despite their "good fight" and my relative close proximity, I still find myself driving the 1 hour-plus rush hour traffic drive to get to places like Don the Beachcomber instead. What's up with that ??

Well for starters, despite the cool decor, the "vibe" at DTLA TV isn't as Tiki as I think it should (or could) be. Essentially L.A. Live is like a giant modern Sports Bar, the antithesis of what Tiki should represent. Rather than being a dark quiet exotic womb to escape the pre-planned consumer culture soullessness of L.A. Live, I fear Trader Vic's Tiki Mana is being diminished by it.

Also the crowds that you'll find in the DTLA TV are hit and miss. From my observation, it caters to a primarily transient drinking crowd. And by that I don't mean homeless people, but rather a clientele which for the most part aren't Trader Vic "regulars". It's a weird mix of downtown business people, Lakers fans, USC Fraternity Row, and tourists. Tikiphiles or those sympathetic to Poly-Pop, seem far and few between.

And it doesn't help matters they keep the place too darned bright for a Tiki establishment. And the music? Sorry the modern rock I usually hear on the sound system just spoils the mood. These things would be really easy to fix.

On the other hand, the food I've enjoyed there has always been good. And the Mai Tai? Well this last visit I requested my "1944" from scratch. The affable bartender smiled and replied "No problem, coming right up sir".

Downtown L.A. Trader Vic's...

You're close. You're just so very (Tiki) close.


 
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heylownine
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Oct 05, 2008
Posts: 678
From: Agoura Hills, CA
Posted: 2011-10-02 4:07 pm   Permalink

John-O, I think you're right on all accounts with respect to the Downtown LA Trader Vic's. The music is off, bar is too bright, and the televisions are too many. But being a LA Kings fan and attendee of their home games in addition to being a tiki supporter, I thank my lucky stars for having a Trader Vic's within walking distance of Staples Center. 2 Mai Tais (especially the 1944 Mai Tai) before a game is a far superior option to "arena beer". I know Trader Vic's is making compromises in this environment, but I want to help them fight the good fight. Even when it means I drop in on a Saturday night and only my wife and I are dressed in aloha garb.

kevin

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if it's not a little complicated, it's probably not worth it.
5 Minutes of Rum
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