Go to a Tiki Bar

During the Covid-19 lock down, Tiki Mugs and lifestyle became even more popular than ever. Driven by idle time to mix elaborate cocktails and desire to life a vacation life that wasn’t possible, Tiki culture is huge.

My experience with Tiki is somewhat limited. Like most humans, I enjoy the Tiki Lounge at Disneyland and thrill in the presentation of Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Hotel, plus I’d had drinks at Tiki Ti, the diminutive watering hole on Sunset, vague memories of visiting Tiki-like bars in SF, and a lovely dinner and drinks with a friend at Hollywood’s Lono (currently closed due to covid, cannot wait for its return!), I am far from a Tiki Head (or whatever they call themselves).

After watching the re-opening and re-closing of restaurants and bars throughout the state, it finally became a viability to make indoor reservations for some places in June 2021. I called Tonga Hut, the “oldest remaining Tiki bar in LA” and asked about indoor seating. They said that we’d need to present proof of vaccination and that we should make a reservation online, then add “indoor, please” into the comments section.

Tonga Hut Life!

I asked the waitress what I should not miss and she asked if I’d ever had a “proper” Mai-Tai. Thinking back, I don’t think I have, so I gave it a go. It was fantastic! Even better, however, was the Mojave Punch. Such great fruit flavor. The decor was slightly less thriving as the inside had been partially uses as a storeroom during quarantine. They don’t serve food at Tonga Hut, but food places come by and setup in the parking lot. Sometimes a local taco joint and sometime, like while we were there, a hot dog place. The dogs were excellent.

I’m planning to elaborate this item by visiting Palm Springs to go to the Tonga Hut (which does serve food), The Reef, and Bootlegger Tiki. Update coming…