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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Bahooka, Rosemead, CA (restaurant)
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Bahooka, Rosemead, CA (restaurant)
MrsConsilience
Member

Joined: May 09, 2005
Posts: 3
From: San Diego
Posted: 2005-05-09 5:29 pm   Permalink

I must say I LOOOOVED Bahooka! Everyone was so nice, we took our 103 grandma and the staff let us in a hour early!!! The place is entirely decked out in Tiki. 125 fishtanks, turtles, a jail. You cannot imagine how coolthis place is. We had the Honey Bowl to share. Got totally plastered! Food was OK, prices for lunch amazingly cheap. Cannot wait to go back for a drink at the fish-tank bar! Yes, we bought the T-shirt.

 
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WooHooWahine
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 04, 2005
Posts: 3103
From: Mission (Impossible) Viejo, Ca
Posted: 2005-06-07 6:52 pm   Permalink

When you order a drink ask for a GRENADE with the PIN PULLED. You Won't be sorry! Woo Hoo!!

 
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procinema29
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 31, 2003
Posts: 474
From: los angeles
Posted: 2005-06-08 9:30 pm   Permalink

I'm so stoked that everyone seems to go bugnuts over Bahooka. It is such a for real place.
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SoccerTiki
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Feb 24, 2005
Posts: 1825
From: TheSoccerTikiGrotto, Island of LongBeach
Posted: 2005-06-09 10:18 am   Permalink

One Grenade with the pin pulled will definitely get your party started right!!! That and 3 Bazooka Bowls (Straws Up!) and things get a little crazy!!! I recommend the ribs off the rack..not the samplers!

 
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WooHooWahine
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 04, 2005
Posts: 3103
From: Mission (Impossible) Viejo, Ca
Posted: 2005-06-12 8:28 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-06-09 10:18, mysmartloan wrote:
One Grenade with the pin pulled will definitely get your party started right!!! That and 3 Bazooka Bowls (Straws Up!) and things get a little crazy!!! I recommend the ribs off the rack..not the samplers!


Mymartloan You're SO TIKI!!! Woo Hoo


 
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MTKahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 11, 2003
Posts: 477
From: LB to LA, CA
Posted: 2005-06-14 9:42 pm   Permalink

Bahookas is just what you need after a long day of tiki hunting...

When no one's looking... hop in the boat out back... RUSTY you say!!! I say FUN!!!
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ookoo lady
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2004
Posts: 779
Posted: 2005-09-07 9:31 pm   Permalink

Here is some more info about the history of the Bahooka, as told by Stacy the bartender.

The owner of the Bahooka was named Jack, who traveled around the south seas as a navy private in the early 1950's. When he left the navy he learned the restaurant business while working at Kelbo's for 10 years.

In 1967 he started the first Bahooka restaurant in West Covina with his sister and younger brother. This restaurant was in operation from 1967 to 1980, and Jack kept adding on to it as the business grew. Unfortunately the building grew three feet over the property line and he lost his lease in a legal dispute. The contents were removed, a beautiful custom-built bar was sold off, and the building was demolished.

In 1976 Jack had opened a second restaurant in Rosemead. From 1976 to 1980 there were two Bahookas in operation. This time he owned the land rather than leasing. The city officials were reluctant to issue a liquor license to an establishment across the street from a high school. Apparently their fears were well-founded, because Krustiki recalls being served alcohol there when he was under the legal age.

Stacy said that the 1980's were lean years for the Bahooka. The only way they stayed in business was to have family members do all the work - cooking, cleaning, serving, etc.

Then in 1987, a television restaurant critic named Elmer Dills did a story about the Bahooka, and business improved considerably for the next five years. Since then they've had ups and downs, but right now they're doing OK.
The Bahooka appeared briefly in the movie "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas".

Stacy told us about some of the decor that can be found around the Bahooka. Much of the authentic nautical items were sold as scrap out of a navy stockyard in Long Beach:

350 mm cannon and anchor

life boat

Air intake tube

Other ship stuff?

Jack collected many weird and wonderful things while traveling all around the southwest.

Jail doors from Lincoln Heights

At one time he had up to 20 of these old gas tanks. For a awhile they were converted into fish tanks, but they developed leaks over the years.

Lots of interesting items like this flag from a WWII warship. The Japanese flags represent boats and planes they shot down.

You can spend a whole evening exploring the Bahooka, which is cluttered with new treasures in every row.

They have over 100 fish tanks, which add to the ambiance and provide most of the light in the restaurant.

The food is tasty and inexpensive (Krustiki recommends the ribs) and the drinks are strong and sweet.



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The Sperm Whale
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 23, 2004
Posts: 1550
From: Lakewood California
Posted: 2005-09-07 10:03 pm   Permalink

Great story and cool pic's-I am ready to pay another visit to Bahooka any day now!!!

 
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freddiefreelance
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 2991
From: San Diego, Ca.
Posted: 2005-09-08 07:51 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-09-07 21:31, ookoo lady wrote:
The city officials were reluctant to issue a liquor license to an establishment across the street from a high school. Apparently their fears were well-founded, because Krustiki recalls being served alcohol there when he was under the legal age.


Unfortunately they were known for this in the '80s, but it probably peaked some kids interest in Tiki, too. There are many old Tiki/Exotica/Nautical apartment buildings along Rosemead, I wonder what the relationship is between their remaining the same & the Bahooka: Did the Bahooka influence the building owners to keep the Tikis, or did the Tikis influence the Bahooka to keep going?
Quote:


Air intake tube


You mean Krustiki Intake Tube.
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TikiGardener
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1361
From: 1st website dedicated to Tiki Gardens
Posted: 2005-09-08 08:09 am   Permalink

Just a little tweaking...

I don't believe that there are Privates in the
navy. Ensigns yes, Privates no. Privates are
Army,Marines, and Air Force.

Navy Rates
http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/ranks/rates/rates.html

And the Cannon. While I'm not sure of the exact
make and model, it is probably a 3 inch or 5 inch
anti-aircraft cannon. The largest howitzers in the
army or marines are around 155mm in bore size.
A 355mm cannon would be massive.

Just minor points as I said.

That said, I love Bahooka.

I need to go back soon.


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tikipedia
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 25, 2004
Posts: 490
From: San Diego
Posted: 2005-09-08 09:39 am   Permalink

A little tweaking of the tweaking...

Quote:

On 2005-09-08 08:09, TikiGardener wrote:
Just a little tweaking...

I don't believe that there are Privates in the
navy. Ensigns yes, Privates no. Privates are
Army,Marines, and Air Force.



He would have been a Seaman Recruit. An Ensign is an officers rate (the same as a lieutenant).

Quote:

it is probably a 3 inch or 5 inch
anti-aircraft cannon.



Yes, it is a 3 inch / 50 cal / Mark 22 dual purpose gun (for both surface and AA).

Quote:

That said, I love Bahooka.



Well said. We stopped by last weekend. The wahine had never been there before. She was a bit surprised at first, when our Bahooka Bowl was served in a wooden salad bowl. But after consuming 2/3 of it ('helping' me out, since I had to drive), she had a grand old time!!! Our daughter looked forward mostly to seeing Rufus, the carrot eating fish. She was surprised that he was much larger than the photos of him on TC.

Gotta get the recipe for that Bahooka Bowl...



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[ This Message was edited by: tikipedia 2005-09-08 11:24 ]


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ookoo lady
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2004
Posts: 779
Posted: 2005-09-08 09:56 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-09-08 07:51, freddiefreelance wrote:
it probably peaked some kids interest in Tiki, too.



It certainly influenced my taste in Tiki. This sort of dimly lit, eclectic and cluttered atmosphere is my idea of what a Tiki bar should look like. When I was a kid I imagined that it was built from things that washed up on the shore of a remote island.

I remember when the Bahooka tolerated and even encouraged graffiti inside. Every booth, wall, and table top was covered with names and dates. They stopped allowing it when "tagging" became a problem in the outside world.

The flaming drink bowls used to be served in large clam shells. As they disappeared (broken or stolen) they were replaced with wooden bowls.
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Rum Demon
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 20, 2005
Posts: 254
From: Portland, Oregon
Posted: 2005-09-08 10:19 am   Permalink

I've only been there once, but Bahooka is easily one of my favorite theme restaurants. We went during one of the torrential downpours of last winter. The parking lot was nearly flooded so we ran past all the neat outside artifacts straight into the restaurant. Parts of the roof were soaking through and one of the back dining areas was leaking so badly it was closed off. The wet carpet gave the place an appropriate soggy/musty smell. Needless to say I walked over every square inch of the joint to check it out. My party was pretty huge so we didn't get a booth, which made me sad. That place has THE COOLEST BOOTHS ever. EVER. Especially the jail ones. Well worth a long drive, even in a the middle of a monsoon.

-Joe


 
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TikiGardener
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1361
From: 1st website dedicated to Tiki Gardens
Posted: 2005-09-08 2:37 pm   Permalink

When my wife and I went there first time, we got the one booth thats is like a three foot cubby hole. Completly secluded in the bowels of Bahooka. Great first time!!!

And thanks for the tweaking of the tweaking. I knew 3" and 5" guns could be used to fire on surface ships, I'm just used to seeing them pointed skyward, blasting away, in old episodes of Victory At Sea.



 
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FreddieBallsomic
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 08, 2005
Posts: 628
Posted: 2005-09-08 6:54 pm   Permalink

Those pictures are great. Hopefully I can make it over there this year. Does anyone know if Von Franco is having his annual tiki party there this year?

 
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