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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Bahooka, Rosemead, CA (restaurant)
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Bahooka, Rosemead, CA (restaurant)
procinema29
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 31, 2003
Posts: 474
From: los angeles
Posted: 2003-08-06 5:06 pm   Permalink

Name:Bahooka
Type:restaurant
Street:4501 N Rosemad Blvd.
City:Rosemead
State:CA
Zip:91770
country:USA
Phone:(626) 285-1241
Status:Defunct

Description:
Bahooka, a combination restaurant/bar, is abundantly decorated in tiki/nautical themes, and has the distinction of being the coolest thing in Rosemead, easily.

For nearly thirty years I wondered if the place was as neat-looking on the inside as on the outside. When I finally went in the place, I was amazed to find that 90% of the walls are lined with lit fishtanks; and there is one very large fish named "Rufus" that is there to greet you when you go in.

This place is far enough away from Los Angeles that the "hip crowd" does not tend to congregate there, so Bahooka comes off as a "hidden treasure" tucked away in the rather unspectacular town of Rosemead. This is a major part of Bahooka's charm.

Moody lighting has a tendency to obscure many of the tiki figures within, but good photos (and a history of the place) can be found at the official site:

http://www.geocities.com/bahookarestaurant/

Oh yes: They serve drinks that will absolutely lay you out flat, too.


[ This Message was edited by: procinema29 on 2003-08-06 17:07 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Bora Boris 2013-03-10 15:35 ]


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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3813
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2003-08-31 02:59 am   Permalink

Bahooka's is mesmerizing for the tiki fan. An A-frame roof rises from behind a grove of palm trees and is illuminted by a 50s style sign.

Just inside the door there is a tiki which happily has remained put, despite various efforts to take it home as a souvenir. (The hostess shared various stories about foiled larcenous efforts).

Bahooka is much more of a resturant than a bar and closes accordingly.

I respectfully disagree with James Teittelbaum, I think Bahooka has a very low TIPSY rating, even if my table did have a tiki presiding.

Bahooka resembles the Warehouse in Marina Del Rey, as they both have a similar nautical theme with just a passing reference to tiki. It is not like Trader Vics, a tiki resturant which incorporates a nautical theme.

The prices are most reasonable, unlike Trader Vics.

The place is dark (I think the only lighting is from the fishtanks), so if you can't wait to get home to get busy, this is the place.

However, do arrive before dark, as the there are several other noteworthy tiki architectural places on Rosemead, such as the Kaplua Apartments.


 
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Luckydesigns
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 15, 2002
Posts: 2174
From: Costa Mesa
Posted: 2003-10-15 12:18 am   Permalink

I finally made it out to the Bahooka on Monday for lunch. I can't believe I've ignored the hype over this place for so long. The fish tanks and the continuous bubbling sound through out the restaurant were unlike anything I've ever experienced in a restaurant before. It's like eating in a sunken ship.

The drinks that I had (planter's punch and shrunken head) were very good with good presentation. Even the soft drinks are served in bamboo shaped clear glasses. The house specialty, the ribs, for 6 bucks were delicious.

Even though some people don't consider the Bahooka a straight ahead tiki bar/ restaurant, I, personally think that it falls right in line with what is considered a tiki establishment. The ambiance was amazing and there were plenty of tikis there. I have always heard that there aren't many tikis at the Bahooka but I saw at least seven. Maybe they got some new ones recently? Anyway, here are some of pics that I shot.



The majestic BAHOOKA





The first tiki that you see walking into the restaurant.





Crazy carrot eating 'parana-like' paca.





The bar. Note the plexiglass fish tank bar top. It doesn't get much cooler than that.





A dining area in the Bahooka. Check out the hanging float lights and the carved tiki poles on the back wall. This dining area is kinda atypical of the Bahooka. Most of the restaurant is a maze of booths and different room. The lighting is super low and kinda reddish too.





Bad picture but another tiki. My girlfriend pointed out the jail cell gate behind the tiki. I don't know how they decided to put that in there but it definitely adds to the eclecticism. Eating in there is probably like eating in the stockade of a ship.





I noticed this Witco in one of the booth areas. Looks like it used to be a stool and is missing the cushion that goes on top.



What a cool place. Good food, great drinks. I endorse it fully.
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[ This Message was edited by: Luckydesigns on 2003-10-15 00:25 ]


 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3813
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2003-10-15 8:02 pm   Permalink

LuckyDesigns:

Extraordinary photographs!

I revise my low TIPSY score. Tikis abound! The gods would be amused.

I don't remember even half of the tikis when I went to Bahooka's (even before I dived into the drink menu) as I asked for a tour of the tikis from the waitress.

Good analogy to dinning in a shipwreck under water based on the fish tanks, the gurgling sound of the fish tanks, the low, filtered lighting and the ubiquitous nautical decor.

Also, particularly noteworthy is your description of the bartop.


 
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Luckydesigns
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 15, 2002
Posts: 2174
From: Costa Mesa
Posted: 2003-10-15 11:12 pm   Permalink

Thanks for the kind words, Chris. It looked like most of the tikis were new. Maybe since the 'Tiki Road Trip' came out, they got wise to the appeal of tiki.
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Humuhumu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3612
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2003-10-15 11:18 pm   Permalink

I've been to 30-some-odd tiki places this year (so far!), and Bahooka is one of my very favorites -- perhaps behind only the Mai Kai. There's nothing obviously special about it, but I really like it. I think it's the place that best brings me back to what it was like to walk into a fancy restaurant when I was a little kid (of course, when I was a little kid, Sea Galley was the Ultimate Nice Restaurant to me). I have a feeling I'll be going there pretty frequently once I'm settled in Pasadena.

Spike, I spotted that Witco when I was there, too, tucked into a corner up above a booth. That's one really cool thing about Bahooka -- you can't take in all the details all in one visit.

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[ This Message was edited by: Humuhumu on 2003-10-15 23:22 ]


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Atomicchick
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 08, 2003
Posts: 579
From: Southern California
Posted: 2003-10-23 11:27 pm   Permalink

Bahookas is a great vintage tiki restaurant. The food is so-so, but the drinks will get you tanked quick! YUMMY!!!

 
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DawnTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 01, 2002
Posts: 1675
From: next stop Hulaville!
Posted: 2003-10-24 1:25 pm   Permalink

I had my first visit to the Bahooka last June. I loved it, the atmosphere was dark and moody. It doesn't look very big from the outside. When I got inside I was surprised to see how many booths they had in there, its a pretty big building but somehow maintains a very small, intimate feeling inside. Has anyone taken a drive up the road and visited the Tiki apartments up the street? Tiki's abound!


 
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Luckydesigns
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 15, 2002
Posts: 2174
From: Costa Mesa
Posted: 2003-10-25 1:09 pm   Permalink

Check out the my posts of those apartments here:

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=5862&forum=2&0

and here:

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=5845&forum=2&3
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www.facebook.com/thehulagirls
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Humuhumu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3612
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2004-06-30 6:13 pm   Permalink

In preparation for attending the Von Franco event at Bahooka, I could use some drink assistance. Every time I'm at Bahooka I order the Jet Set Monkey Business, because, well, jeez, it's a Jet Set Monkey Business!! But it's awful.

Which drinks at Bahooka are the good(ish) ones?

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laney
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 20, 2002
Posts: 631
From: orange county CA
Posted: 2004-06-30 6:34 pm   Permalink

Humu, as you will see if you sit with us on the 10th. We always get bowls.
They'll make anything in a bowl for two. I've been going with my friend Keith for almost 10 years. He dosen't do coconut or tequila (although I did talk him into a cadillac margarita sub amaretto float in a bowl once-it's good) We do the "close your eyes and point" and get that in a bowl. They're ususally fruity but the Zombie is pretty strong! We'll get like 3-4 bowls and just see what we like. I always end up forgetting what we ordered anyway.


 
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hiltiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 3094
From: Reseda, calif.
Posted: 2004-06-30 11:17 pm   Permalink

I was there aweek ago with a friend, we ordered a few Mai tais, at the bar. The bartender made them extremely good and strong. He was a great conversationalist. It was great.

 
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hala bullhiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 26, 2002
Posts: 570
From: champaign,illinois
Posted: 2004-07-07 11:38 pm   Permalink

this place is amazing, ...glad me and the wahine made the stop there on our little cali tiki tour vacation last year....the portions on the food are unreal, and the drinks made well.....went with the hand grenade with pin pulled as suggested by sir james in tiki road trip, and was hung over the next day....definately potient.......wish i could be there for the von franco show.......

 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3813
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2005-04-25 7:49 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2003-10-15 23:12, Luckydesigns wrote:
Thanks for the kind words, Chris. It looked like most of the tikis were new. Maybe since the 'Tiki Road Trip' came out, they got wise to the appeal of tiki.




I'm a little embarassed to state that it took me all this time to get back there, but well worth the wait! Tikis are everywhere, including the magnificent 10 foot tiki in front.

The cuisine was also delicious! The teriyaki chicken and rib special was incredible. At $17.99, not a bad price either. Comes with house salad or soup and a side.

However, the tiki mug situation is appalling. There are no tiki mugs, as the waitress defiantly repeated to me.

The tiki volcano bowl is a brown salad bowel with the candle in the middle.


 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3813
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2005-04-25 7:52 pm   Permalink

Please remember, anyone dining at Bahooka's:

PRINT OUT THE $5.00 GIFT CERTIFICATE FROM THEIR WEBSITE!


 
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