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Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » Kahuna Tiki, North Hollywood, CA (restaurant)
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Kahuna Tiki, North Hollywood, CA (restaurant)
kkocka
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2013
Posts: 259
Posted: 2014-07-17 5:37 pm   Permalink

I might not jump to conclusions right away. I could be wrong of course but I know that License 41 is relatively easy, whereas I think a full on liquor license is a bit harder to get through and might come later. Hopefully the owners aren't too green regarding tiki and cocktails.
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6183
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2014-07-17 5:51 pm   Permalink

Sorry but in the words of Astronaut Gordon Cooper "No Drinky, No Tiki!"

 
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kkocka
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2013
Posts: 259
Posted: 2014-07-21 01:00 am   Permalink

Welp, I guess we can just keep on driving by. This is the response I got from Facebook:

"We are asking for Beer and Wine permit only."
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JudyLuck
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 05, 2010
Posts: 103
Posted: 2014-08-10 1:06 pm   Permalink

Okay everyone... I went to Kahuna Tiki for the friends and family event... heres my review.

Let me start off by saying that the owners are very nice. We met them at a Tiki event and they were TRYING to reach out to the scene, possibly even understand it a bit better. However, they should have done more research.... We do greatly appreciate the generous discount, making our meal inexpensive, but... sorry guys, here it goes...

I never visited the previous Jungle themed restaurant that was here before, but I did know it had a lagoon layout and was hopeful because of this. As we were walking up we noticed the first problem... a sushi bar, next to a PACKED sushi bar, this could be a difficult start. The exterior is simple with "Kahuna Tiki" painted on a black wall with three Tiki's and a few torches. When you walk in, two waterfalls are in view and the lagoon still stands, creating the perfect atmosphere. There is even a cave room where you can be seated and have more privacy. However, with a quick glance its easy to see the problems. There are only a few tables scattered around, and an inside sushi bar, with a few more tables. Not enough lighting ( people were using cellphones to see the menus, plus walking around was difficult in dark corners), and no heat lamps for this outdoor location, so bring a sweater! Hanging are tiki themed round lamps, glass ball floats, and some generic masks.

When we were greeted things seemed a little hectic (this was the opening for friends and family), and there was some confusion on where we should be seated. I noticed the female servers were in sarongs, and everyone else did not have much of a uniform. This made it confusing as to who was in charge. We even heard the owner say " you need to wear a Hawaiian shirt to be in character." That was a red flag to me, if this is a character and not your lifestyle, you will never truly understand.

Once the hostess figured out where to seat us, we were seated in a covered booth. Throughout the night it was never clear who actually was our server, because we had about six, with one that came back three times. This same guy awkwardly waited by us and needs to be trained on how to properly serve customers. One of the servers even took away one of our sushi orders because she thought it was hers, a few min. later a different server returned with the same roll.

For our meal, we ordered four different rolls, and edamame with iced tea. The tea took a very long time to get to us, and the glasses it came in were giant, more for a beer. They gave us no dishes for soy sauce, or an extra dish for the edamame peels. We asked twice for dishes and napkins, mostly because the edamame was COVERED in garlic. It was also served hot (which I liked), but was listed as a cold appetizer.

Speaking of, lets talk about the menu.... There are waaaaaay too many appetizers on the menu, cold and hot, (and why are they listed separately?). The items are a little odd ball for sushi, tiki, or any restaurant. And there are several misspellings.

At this time they did not have alcohol, but supposedly beer, wine, and sake will be served. I had hoped to try the Lobster Mac N Cheese, but when we ordered it the server told us they were out. Interesting because the table across from us ordered it, and they got it. Our sushi was okay but not the best, and with so much confusion, the amount of time we waited, and the overall letdown of decor... we wont be back.

And yes as many of you guessed, there were no actual tiki drinks or any talk of them being made in the future. Go down the street to Tonga Hut instead.












 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11192
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2014-08-10 1:49 pm   Permalink

Friends and Family openings are, from my experience, always chaotic. I am gonna give these guys some time to figure things out, and check it out next week. I like Sushi, and I like Tiki - and I aim to be patient with folks who are new at the game

 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2694
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2014-08-10 3:10 pm   Permalink

Thanks for the comprehensive review Judy Luck !!

I'll probably check it out if only to say that I've eaten a Tiki sandwich.


 
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kkocka
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2013
Posts: 259
Posted: 2014-08-10 8:23 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-08-10 15:10, JOHN-O wrote:
I'll probably check it out if only to say that I've eaten a Tiki sandwich.



Hahaha, yeah I was about to say the same - tiki sandwich, eh? I asked on their facebook (prior to my posts above) if they were going to do cocktails and the response was "We are going have tropical drinks and Sochi tiki drinks so not to worry!" which I have NO idea what that means. There was plenty of friend-tagging from others with the general response of "boo forget it."

It seems that upon first judgements that this is the sorta thing that screams "how tiki died." Thanks for the early review Judy. I'm sure the service and all will shape up, but so far it doesn't seem to have the approach that a Tonga Hut Palm Springs had when they decided to open a restaurant.
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11192
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2014-08-11 12:32 pm   Permalink

I think this raises the question of:

1.) Is it a warning sign if a business ostensibly uses the word "Tiki" in its name?

Maybe...but then again:

2.) Must ANY business that uses the term - be it a restaurant, fast food joint, or juice bar - adhere to the strict traditions of a classic Tiki bar, as in decor, cocktails, music and know-how, to be regarded as being "Tiki"?

We got two of those already in the vicinity - why do we need a third that matches ALL those requirements?



 
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lunavideogames
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: May 09, 2012
Posts: 1178
From: San Diego
Posted: 2014-08-11 1:09 pm   Permalink

I personally feel that they should at least offer cocktails. I am fine with beer and wine being served as well, but I have seen bars that have tiki in the title and offer no cocktails, no tikis, no decor and no music. It just doesn't work for me. I could overlook the rest, if I could have a decent Mai Tai I have been to too many bars that have tiki in the title or claim to be a tiki bar, that do not offer cocktails or shun anyone who asks about cocktails, with no decor or tikis and a blues band playing on their stage. I hope this place will not fall into that category.

I hope these guys do well! I think it can take a bit for a new place to "find its stride." The menu looks tasty, I will stop by and try it out before the end of the year.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11192
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2014-08-11 2:46 pm   Permalink

Jeeez!…what is it with this place: WHY is everyone harping on the damn cocktails! If you would actually read the descriptions, and look at the pics, they DO have Tiki decor:

"..When you walk in, two waterfalls are in view and the lagoon still stands, creating the perfect atmosphere....tiki themed round lamps, glass ball floats, and some generic masks…"

If I'd want cocktails, I'd go to a Tiki Cocktail Bar nearby: the Tonga Hut, or even the Tiki No - their cocktails have gotten much better, and the decor is top notch. Kahuna Tiki is obviously a FOOD establishment. Does anyone here realize how difficult and lengthy it is to change over, or get a liquor license, and how long it takes?

This is obviously a non-Tiki scenester start up, they are trying, so give them a break. As long as I don't see any garish Party City Tiki stuff, and get decent food, I am gonna give them a chance. And hope they solve the low light problem.


 
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GROG
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 21, 2006
Posts: 6910
From: Tujunga
Posted: 2014-08-11 6:32 pm   Permalink

GROG second what bigbro said. It's a Tiki themed Sushi Bar/restaurant, people. There are already two Tiki Bars in North Hollywood. Go there for your Tiki drinks after you've had your sushi/sea food.

 
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lunavideogames
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: May 09, 2012
Posts: 1178
From: San Diego
Posted: 2014-08-11 6:45 pm   Permalink

I wasn't trying to sound negative, I simply didn't want it to end up like the little "Tiki Bar" in my town. My sarcasm doesn't always come through very well over the internets.

I fully support them and what they are doing. I realize that it is a restaurant and not a tiki bar, and that the decor sounds great. I hope that they do get their liquor license, but I know how much of a hassle it can be and how much they cost.

I am excited to check it out and I hope that it will be great!


 
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hiltiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 3134
From: Reseda, calif.
Posted: 2014-08-11 6:47 pm   Permalink

I agree with Grog and Sven. Personally, after having a few tiki drinks its nice to know I can go to another tiki themed restaurant and have food. Sushi goes perfectly with tiki drinks. I will give it a try.

 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6183
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2014-08-11 9:40 pm   Permalink

Damn you all & your reasonable thinking
you're just a bunch of Nice-nicks all full of niceness!


 
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kkocka
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2013
Posts: 259
Posted: 2014-08-11 10:50 pm   Permalink

I think its because this place is screaming 'generic' and 'mediocrity' which is getting us all disappointed.
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