I joined Tiki with Ray for another episode, this time talking about tiki in Honolulu and Waikiki.
I’ve done a few guest posts on the Tiki with Ray blog. Here’s the current lineup from this year. Each post also includes photos.
Aloha friends! Am so very pleased to be the latest guest on the Tiki with Ray show on YouTube. Check it out.
The video started off with a gaffe but otherwise Ray and I had a great conversation about my history with Mai Tais, the original Search for the Ultimate Mai Tai website from 1998, why tikiphiles shouldn’t look down on Island Mai Tais, and more.
Ray is really a great interviewer and it was my pleasure and honor to talk Mai Tais with him. Nice of Ray to hold this one for Mai Tai Week too.
Note that this was filmed in early July and so does not account for my recent downgrade of the Smuggler’s Cove Mai Tai. I actually bumped into Jeff “Beachbum” Berry at Mai Tai Fest last week and he said it made his day when I told him that Latitude 29 was now my number one Mai Tai.
I visited 34 tiki bars in 2018, up from 25 in 2017. It’s helpful that 14 of these are in pretty easy driving distance, and very much a blessing that there are so many great tiki bars in the greater Bay Area (there are even a few good ones, like the Tonga Room, that I didn’t visit in 2018).
The most-visited tiki bar was The Kon-Tiki in Oakland, the bar that’s most convenient to travel to (thank you 12th Street BART Station). I am not sure I’ll be able to get to 34 again in 2019 but I still enjoy visiting new tiki bars and “crossing them off the list”.
Tiki Bars 2018
Jan 19 Damon’s (1)
Feb 13 The Kon-Tiki (2)
Feb 18 Forbidden Island (3)
Feb 18 Trader Vic’s Emeryville (4)
Feb 19 Tiki Tom’s (5)
Mar 3 Devil’s Reef (6)
Mar 3 Tacoma Cabana (7)
Mar 19 Pagan Idol (8)
April 1 Tambu Lounge (9)
April 1 Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto (10)
April 4 Tiki Room Restaurant and Bar (11)
April 4 Tiki Tolteca (12)
April 5 Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29 (13)
April 21 Billy’s at the Beach (14)
April 21 Purple Orchid Tiki Lounge (15)
April 22 High Roller Tiki Lounge (16)
May 20 Hula’s Island Grill and Tiki Bar (Santa Cruz) (17)
May 20 The Reef Bar / Pono’s Hawaiian Grill (18)
May 26 Jungle Bird (19)
June 30 Smuggler’s Cove (20)
July 15 The Alibi (21)
July 15 Hale Pele (22)
July 17 Navy Strength (23)
July 22 Luau Lounge (24)
July 25 Last Rites (25)
July 28 Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar (26)
August 4 Hula Hoops (27)
August 25 Tiki Pete’s (28)
November 10 Hukilau (29)
November 17 Hula’s Island Grill and Tiki Room (Monterey) (30)
December 17 The Zombie Village (31)
December 29 Tiki-Ko (32)
December 31 Jan & Dean’s Tiki Lounge (33)
December 31 The Royal Hawaiian (34)
Here’s my annual list based on play counts from iTunes. This year I listed to 1938 different songs, with the highest totals coming from Exotica or Surf bands. I listened to the Franz Ferdinand album a lot when it was released early in the year, but this was not one of their better albums.
Pleased to see “El Atacor!” and “Mr Moai’s Mash” at the top of the list, as I thought these were the two best songs this year. Videos are shown below, and the Moai video in particular is pretty incredible.
|El Atacor!||Tikiyaki 5-0||Tone Control||17|
|Mr. Moai’s Mash||Jason Lee and the R.I.P. Tides||Monsters and Mai Tais||16|
|Taboo||Tikiyaki 5-0||The Exotic Sounds of Tikiyaki 5-0 – EP||14|
|Sidewinder||Tikiyaki 5-0||Tone Control||14|
|Always Ascending||Franz Ferdinand||Always Ascending||13|
|Elenor Bigsby||Tikiyaki 5-0||Tone Control||13|
|Sit Next to Me||Foster the People||Sacred Hearts Club||12|
|Lotus Eater||Foster the People||Sacred Hearts Club||12|
|Song of Delilah||Tikiyaki 5-0||The Exotic Sounds of Tikiyaki 5-0 – EP||12|
|Leave The Gun…||Tikiyaki 5-0||Tone Control||12|
|The Ipcress Fil||Tikiyaki 5-0||Tone Control||11|
|The Quiet Surf||Tikiyaki 5-0||Tone Control||11|
|Supernova||Tikiyaki 5-0||The Exotic Sounds of Tikiyaki 5-0 – EP||9|
|Exotic in Blues||The Tikiyaki Orchestra||Idol Worship and Other Primitive Pleasures||9|
|S.H.C.||Foster the People||III – Single||8|
|Lazy Boy||Franz Ferdinand||Always Ascending||8|
|Paper Cages||Franz Ferdinand||Always Ascending||8|
|Feel the Love Go||Franz Ferdinand||Always Ascending||8|
|Slow Don’t Kill Me Slow||Franz Ferdinand||Always Ascending||8|
|Ride Or Die (feat. Foster the People)||The Knocks||Ride Or Die (feat. Foster the People) – Single||8|
|Girl From Ipanema||The Tikigraphs||Tikigraphs||8|
|Return to Orchid Isle||The Tikiyaki Orchestra||Idol Worship and Other Primitive Pleasures||8|
|Esplanade||The Tikiyaki Orchestra||Idol Worship and Other Primitive Pleasures||8|
This recent post got a lot of likes. It’s a series of shots from an episode of Three’s Company where Jack Tripper visits a tiki bar. Those drinks are pretty strong, aren’t they?
View this post on Instagram
Great find from the “Tiki” group on Facebook. Check this montage of Jack Tripper downing a couple Bangkok Bangers. I used to love Three’s Company back in the day. Thanks to Paul Matarrese for the find. You can watch the segment on YouTube. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=s8E4OuSTDiI&t=315s #tiki #tikibar #fernbar #regalbeagle
I visited 25 tiki bars in 2017, which is a mix of luck and effort. I was fortunate to visit some new cities, where I was able to visit some great tiki bars. In particular, the tiki bars in San Diego and Portland were highlights. Some bars below I was able to visit several times.
Surprises? Tiki-Ko in Bakersfield is amazing and well worth going out of your way to visit. I had suuuuuper high expectations for False Idol and Hale Pale and in both cases all the expectations were exceeded. Superb places!
- Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto (Orlando)
- Trader Vic’s Emeryville
- Smuggler’s Cove (SF)
- Forbidden Island (Alameda)
- Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar (Anaheim)
- The Jungle Bird (Sacramento)
- Longitude (Oakland, RIP)
- Kona Club (Oakland)
- Pagan Idol (SF)
- Hukilau (San Jose)
- Cat Eye Club (San Diego)
- Bali Hai Restaurant (San Diego)
- False Idol (San Diego)
- Trad’r Sam (SF)
- The Alibi (Portland)
- Hale Pele (Portland)
- The Shameful Tiki Room (Vancouver, B.C.)
- Tiki-Ko (Bakersfield)
- Bamboo Hut (SF)
- The Royal Hawaiian (Laguna Beach)
- Aku Aku (Orlando)
- Hula’s Island Grill and Tiki Room (Santa Cruz)
- The Kon-Tiki (Oakland)
- The Tonga Room (SF)
- Luau Lounge (SF)
Thanks to Julie Crossman who was my partner in crime for most of these visits.
Also thanks to Jim and Richelle for the fun SF Tiki Bar Crawl on the hottest day in San Francisco history. It was too hot but still lots of fun. We visited three bars in one night (Smuggler’s Cove, Bamboo Hut, and Pagan Idol).
Finally received personalized plates for the Civic I bought last year (the KEVDO plates I’ve had for many years are still on my old car). I wanted to do something to celebrate tiki culture that I’ve had renewed interest in. MAI TAI was already taken, so I chose this one: 44MYTAI.
This is a reference to the 1944 origin of the Trader Vic’s Mai Tai, as has been often celebrated. One of the best trends in the past few years is that bars with a craft cocktail or quality-cocktail orientation have been listing the “1944 Mai Tai” on menus to indicate to savvy customers what kind of Mai Tai they’re going to get. Not a “Mai Tai” prepared with grenadine, orange juice, and other “improper” ingredients, but a Mai Tai made the “correct” way according to the Trader Vic’s original formula. So, referencing ’44 seemed to be a good way to indicate to other tikiphiles that I’m one of them.
Now, let’s hope this doesn’t mean I get pulled over by the Police on a much more frequent basis.