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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Omni Hut, Smyrna, TN (restaurant)
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Omni Hut, Smyrna, TN (restaurant)
MTKahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 11, 2003
Posts: 477
From: LB to LA, CA
Posted: 2003-08-01 2:46 pm   Permalink

Name:Omni Hut
Type:restaurant
Street:HWY 41 & 70
City:Smyrna
State:TN
Zip:
country:USA
Phone:(615) 459-4870
Status:operational

Description:
http://www.omnihut.com/history.html

Established 1960
Created in a MILLION MILES OF TRAVEL!!

Size: Two large dining areas
Type: Tiki restaurant (BYOB)
Staff: Friendly staff dressed in mumu's and aloha shirts
Condition: Very clean and neatly kept
Decor: Many great things to look at. (Tikies, Orchids of Hawaii resin lamps, Water fall, Maori panels, Neon flower wall, Aquariums)
Atmosphere: Family oriented
Days open: Tues-Sat. 5:30pm-10:00pm

Message from the owner:
While traveling over a million miles as an Air Force Pilot, I continuously pursued my hobby of Polyasian cookery. Good food, good chefs, and good recipes have always intrigued me. In Alaska, they say "gold is where you find it!" Good food, like gold, is where you find it! My recipes have come from many small, obscure, owner-operated restaurants...from friends...from Hong Kong to Panama...from Hawaii to Alaska. The adventure of seeking out better recipes and palatable dishes continuous.

The theme for the artistic drawings on the cover of this menu was conceived when I saw two Polynesian stone carvings--one the Goddess of Hula, the other, the God of Harvest. The Artist, Stephen Shively of Peoria, Illinois, did a magnificent job in expressing something I envisioned.


James F. Walls
Major U.S.A.F. Retired





[ This Message was edited by: MTKahuna on 2003-08-01 15:19 ]


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MTKahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 11, 2003
Posts: 477
From: LB to LA, CA
Posted: 2003-08-01 3:17 pm   Permalink

I had a great time at the Omni hut.
It's about 30 minutes South of Nashville and well worth the trip.

Polly, daughter of 86 year old owner James, was very hospitable. I told her that I had read about the restaurant in the TRT.
She was so delighted that she sat with us for a while and gave us the story behind the place. She also gave me and my friends a copy of their menus. (The artwork is very impressive).

The food was good and the drinks were super strong. (Actually, that's because I made them that way.)
If your looking for a great cocktail mixer, order the Hawaiian tea. It consist of various fruit juices and goes well with rum.

For dessert, I recommend the flamming chocolate volcano cake/sundae. It comes complete with fire. mmm... mmm... good

One of the best-est things about the place are the Orchids of Hawaii resin lamps. Polly said that they ordered the lamps from Orchids in the late 60's and actually did not receive them until the early 70's.

They consist of starfish, seahorses, and glass floats all imbedded in resin and colored glass.
Tiki faces and palm trees also adorn some of the light fixtures. They are a true pleasure to look at.
_________________
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5065
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2004-01-29 11:53 am   Permalink

Some pictures:





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[ This Message was edited by: Swanky 2009-01-31 05:22 ]


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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5065
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2004-01-29 12:02 pm   Permalink




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[ This Message was edited by: Swanky 2009-01-31 05:22 ]


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tikijackalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 823
From: KS/MO
Posted: 2004-06-27 2:27 pm   Permalink

On Memorial Day weekend we grabbed a couple of friends and drove from central Kansas to Nashville for dinner (the open road is a seductive mistress, eh?). In addition to other cool establishments (Elliston Place Soda Shop, Brown's Diner, Pancake Pantry) we dined at Omni Hut.


Great product placement from two TC authors in the front hallway; in the last few months I've also seen BoT at Bali Hai in San Diego and Kon Tiki in Tucson:

The walls of the South dining room are lit with black lights and much of the decor is florescent:


Here are a couple of those Orchids of Hawaii lamps. I'd love to know how much these things go for if they ever come up for sale:


These pics are from the North dining room:


Polly Walls, manager and daughter of owner, James Walls, told us that soon Omni Hut teriyaki sauce will be available in 40 central TN Wal-Marts.


 
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TNTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 15, 2004
Posts: 464
From: Knoxville, TN
Posted: 2004-06-27 4:05 pm   Permalink



[ This Message was edited by: TNTiki on 2004-11-06 18:12 ]


 
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theartcoach
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 25, 2005
Posts: 69
Posted: 2005-06-03 9:31 pm   Permalink

I went to the Omni Hut tonight...It was AWESOME!!!


 
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Gigantalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 913
From: Shinola, California
Posted: 2005-06-04 08:37 am   Permalink

Wow, that's cool.

I saw an add for the place in Tiki Magazine and wondered what it was like, and...there it is.

Thanks for posting


 
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MTKahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 11, 2003
Posts: 477
From: LB to LA, CA
Posted: 2005-06-14 9:48 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-06-04 08:37, Gigantalope wrote:
Wow, that's cool.

I saw an add for the place in Tiki Magazine and wondered what it was like, and...there it is.

Thanks for posting



It's even nicer in person... Plan a trip.
_________________
Just take your time-wave comes. Let the other guys go, catch another one.
D.Kahanamoku


 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5065
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2005-09-10 1:36 pm   Permalink

I had the most fantastic tiki nerd trip on Friday at the Omni Hut! I got to meet and interview Jim Walls, the nman who searched the world for those recipes and created the Omni Hut. Look for my other post about all that. For this I just wanted to review my experience.

This was my second trip to the Omni Hut. The first was a few years ago when I was a tiki neophyte. The place is full of Orchids of Hawaii stuff from lamps and masks to silverware (though the silverware is no longer used to serve with.)

The food is just great. The ribs on the pupu platter were tender and juicy. The staff (wait staff is all asian or polynesian if possible, wearing muumuus) was attentive and efficient. The egg rolls are great. The Hawiian Tea which is a fruit drink you are really meant to add liquor too, is good. Real fruit puree that is not over sweet. I can't recommend it enough.

The place had a kitchen fire about 5 years ago and I thought maybe everythign was replaced. Nope. They closed the doors and the staff came in without pay and worked 6 months to dismantle and clean everything and put it back. Even the fish nets! They treat their staff like family (true aloha) and they stay around for decades because of it. I can't say enough how wonderful they are. A real grassroots place that survives because they make great food, treat everyone well and they want to do it. I saw 5th generations there eating that food last night!


There used to be large tikis out front, but someone ripped them out of the ground and stole them long ago.


Wall behind the restaurant with lights on the chain.


Orchids tiki lamp.


Home made fish float lamps and Orchids.





Maori panel originally in the MahiMahi/Blue Hawaii. More on that in my other post.


Witco inspired Orchids piece.

Orchids piece

Some unknown (remembered) Floridian carved this palm tiki incorporated into the waterfall.

Orchids lamp.

I can't recommend this place enough!
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2005-09-11 10:15 am   Permalink

Thanks for the update Swanky. I'm looking forward to having dinner there on September 30th. during my Southern tiki road trip!

 
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MTKahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 11, 2003
Posts: 477
From: LB to LA, CA
Posted: 2006-05-11 5:03 pm   Permalink

I am so there in July 2006...



 
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rugbymatt
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2005
Posts: 1203
From: Sacramento
Posted: 2009-01-30 3:26 pm   Permalink

In Nashville on business and heading to the Omni Hut for dinner tonight.

 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5065
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2009-01-31 05:23 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-01-30 15:26, rugbymatt wrote:
In Nashville on business and heading to the Omni Hut for dinner tonight.



I'm sure Polly made you feel right at home.

Restored my pictures on this thread this morning.
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4431
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-01-18 6:37 pm   Permalink

I just picked up a very nice old Omni Hut menu.











Has anyone been lately?

DC

[ This Message was edited by: Dustycajun 2010-01-18 18:39 ]


 
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