While some of us east coast tiki folks are going through west coast envy with Tiki Oasis 12 happening (and we’re not there) never fear.
Here are a couple of Los Angeles tiki bar destinations that we visited during our last L.A. trip that you can visit – any time of year!
Tonga Hut – North Hollywood, CA
The Tonga Hut tiki lounge was established in 1958 and is considered to be one of the oldest continually running tiki lounges in Los Angeles. So since we were in the area, and it was mid-day and we were on vay-cay, we stopped by for a little drinky!
As soon as our eyes adjusted to the dimly lit decor, we knew we were in for a treat. While the Tonga Hut had turned into a regular dive bar for a number of years, the new owners have been bringing it back to its original tiki / polynesian glory, and I’m all for that. But if you read reviews about it, keep in mind this transition had some feathers ruffled.
But since Mod Betty is all about the vintage tiki / cocktail / mid-century vibe, we loved this place!
Just check out this groovy hanging lamp that was above our tufted banquette overlooking the bar:
Our tiki drinks were good and strong, the decor was spot on (though being in a low lit room it’s hard to photograph, but I tried.) and I loved the eclectic juke box choices. Everything from Herb Alpert to ZZ top, and everything inbetween.
Here’s how much we enjoyed our visit to the Tonga Hut – we went back there for another round later in the day!
Our hostess-with-the-mostess from San Francisco happened to be in Los Angeles when we were, so she joined us in some additional tiki drinks, as well as some (no lie) tacos from the little stand that set up out back in the parking lot. They put menus on the tables, and we were sold!
So if you happen to be in North Hollywood and are craving a mai-tai or a more intricately poured polynesian concoction- stop in at the Tonga Hut- as you can see…we had a good time!
12808 Victory Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91606
The Tiki-Ti is famous in Los Angeles, for having just celebrated their 51st year in existence and the fact that they’re still family owned and operated. It’s a small place – only 12 stools at the bar and a handful of tables, but the number of drinks on their tiki menu totally make up for that!
Because it’s family owned and operated it is a bit different than other places, so here are some advanced tips, so you’re “in the know” for your visit:
Smoking! It’s one of the the few establishments in LA where people can smoke inside. Just be prepared, especially if you’ve gotten used to non-smoking atmosphere.
Cash Only – No cards taken, though there is an ATM at the back of the bar.
Hours – Tiki Ti is only open Wednesday-Saturday, and they close when the owners are on vacation. Check the calendar on their website to make sure they’ll be open when you want to go.
Space – it’s Tiki-TINY! Go early to avoid the crowds (they open at 4) or you may have to wait in line to get in.
While the drink menu at Tiki Ti can be overwhelming, their website has their entire drink menu listed, so if you want to do some homework, you will be prepared. OR you can spin the wheel and drink whatever comes up!
Another insider tip – if you hear the crowd yelling “Toro Toro Toro – Ole!” It’s because they’re making a Blood & Sand cocktail.