Entries from January 2006

January 29, 2006

Beverly Hills Trader Vic’s Days May Be Numbered

Filed under: Los Angeles,News,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 2:52 am
Trader Vic's in Beverly Hills
Trader Vic’s in Beverly Hills

The Trader Vic’s in Beverly Hills is located in the Beverly Hilton Hotel, which after being owned by Merv Griffin for many years was recently sold. A few small rumors about changes have been bouncing about, and I’ve just received an anonymous tip that there are plans underway for it to be demolished and replaced with a tower. The anonymous tipster claims to have a connection to an organization involved in the project. Take it all with a grain of salt, but it doesn’t sound good. The Beverly Hills Trader Vic’s is the oldest of the remaining Trader Vic’s, having opened in 1955.

January 28, 2006

Ooga-Mooga Gets Crazy-Affordable

Filed under: News,Ooga-Mooga,Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 4:20 pm
Horned Skull from the collection of Atomicchick
Horned Skull from the collection of Atomicchick

My website for tiki mug collectors, Ooga-Mooga, is now six months old. A few days ago, when I created the mug template for the Horned Skull (designed by Stuckie of Munktiki) Ooga-Mooga reached 1,000 different mugs in its database. I’m just absolutely thrilled at how Ooga-Mooga has been embraced. There have been some great stories from people about how Ooga-Mooga has made an impact for them, but this one from Tiki-Kate, whose mug collection was badly damaged when a car crashed into her house (!), takes the cake:

Ooga-Mooga was such a tremendous help to me in getting my collection back in shape after the accident at my house. I never would have been able to figure out what was missing if I didn’t have each mug cataloged. Also, my insurance adjuster used Ooga-Mooga to verify the replacement values on my mugs.


I want more people to enjoy Ooga-Mooga, so I’ve dropped the price for it considerably — you can now get your entire mug collection online for as little as $1 a month! A full-access Trader account is only $1.50 a month. By getting your collection up in Ooga-Mooga, you can track its value, find the best mug to use for the drink you want to make, trade and sell mugs, learn more about what you have in your collection, and of course you can let others see and drool over your collection.

I’ve learned so much about mugs, and seen so many beautiful collections and mugs I’d never seen before, thanks to Ooga-Mooga. As I’m writing this, people have added 2,997 mugs into Ooga-Mooga, it’ll probably roll over to 3,000 very shortly. There are well over 3,000 photographs of mugs in Ooga-Mooga. Thank you to all the collectors who have shared their collection with the world using Ooga-Mooga!

January 26, 2006

The Disney Tiki Bowl That Almost Was

Filed under: Disney,History,Los Angeles,Ooga-Mooga,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 5:56 pm
Rongo Bowl design by Jody Daily
Rongo Bowl design by Jody Daily

In 2004, Disney artists Jody Daily and Kevin Kidney created a line of tiki mugs inspired by the Enchanted Tiki Room. These tiki mugs were hot sellers at Disneyland (one of them, Jody’s Pele mug, is in more Ooga-Mooga collections than any other mug). Amazingly, Kevin & Jody donated their time in designing these mugs, because they so wanted to see them get made.

Many are not aware that there was supposed to be one more mug, actually a bowl with a pedestal base. This bowl is based on the tiki Rongo, the God of Agriculture (“Me number one kite flyer!”) from the lanai pre-show. Using the original Rolly Crump tiki design as inspiration, the sketch at left was created by Disney artist Jody Daily in 2001. In 2003, Disney artist Kevin Kidney created the sculpt based on Jody’s sketch, seen below (click image for full-size version).

Rongo Bowl sculpt by Kevin Kidney
Rongo Bowl sculpt by Kevin Kidney

This design was the largest and most elaborate of the designs that Kevin & Jody produced, and it surely would have become a favorite among collectors. Sadly, this sculpt was accidentally destroyed at the factory, and none could be produced.

Heart breaking, isn’t it? This should help soften the blow: Kevin tells me that he and Jody have some new tiki mug designs coming soon to Disneyland! I don’t know yet what the designs will be, but Kevin and Jody are in my opinion the best artists at Disney, and they’re sure to be magnificent.

Critiki Photo Count Crosses 1,000

Filed under: Critiki,Los Angeles,News,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 3:48 pm
Samoan Village Menu from the collection of the Los Angeles Public Library
Samoan Village Menu
from the collection of the
Los Angeles Public Library

Critiki now boasts more than 1,000 pictures, thanks to a recent influx of images. One exciting development comes courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library, which has provided images from their extensive menu collection for inclusion in Critiki. Many mahalos to the fine people at the LAPL for making it possible to share these images with tikiphiles. Another great addition has been dozens of swizzles from the collection of Andy Johnson. This, plus a smattering of contributions from other Critiki visitors, has pushed Critiki’s image count up to 1,050. If you have pictures you’ve taken or items in your collection that you’d like to share, you can submit your images to Critiki at the Critiki Photo Upload page. There are a few caveats (the image must be big enough, and it has to be yours and not someone else’s), but it’s overall a very painless Lose Weight Exercise. If you have already put your images up on a website, I can sometimes grab them from there, too (Shutterfly is a no-go — the images are too small).

If you’d like to keep up with the updates and additions to Critiki, there’s a handy-dandy RSS feed. Thanks so much to all who have contributed to the Critiki historic archive!

January 18, 2006

Online Polynesian Menu Collections

Filed under: History,Los Angeles,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 4:45 pm
Kelbo's menu
Kelbo’s menu

Mr. Bali Hai’s Eye of the Goof blog has a spotlight on online menu collections. He’s pulled out some real humdingers, including this appetizing Kelbo’s menu pictured above. The Samoan Village and Kona Inn menus also have some really great imagery and fonts. Be sure to check out the drink menu illustrations on the Kona Inn one. I could spend hours looking at menus, they’re like little 2-D time portals. And sumptuously decorated ones, at that. These are great resources, but my favorite collection remains that of my friend Mimi Payne (many of hers are on view in Critiki).

New Website for Munk-E by Stuckie

Filed under: Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 4:11 pm
Munk-E by Stuckie
Munk-E by Stuckie

Stuckie, of Munktiki, has launched a whole new website dedicated to his special line of monkey mugs, Munk-E by Stuckie. These mugs are each one-of-a-kind, with customizable details. Some are simple, some are ornate — sometimes it’s a cool paint job (like the camo Munk-E), other times there are post-mold body mods (like the Robot and Beachcomber Munk-Es). These have become hot collectible items, and are made with the same loving craft as the best Munktiki mugs. There’s a Munk-E making section, where you can dress a Munk-E up in duds, and pierce & tattoo him. Be sure to interrogate the little Munk-E on the main page about what he’s hiding behind his back — there are some fun surprises.

January 17, 2006

Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge Coming to Alameda

Filed under: News,San Francisco,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 10:10 am
Forbidden Island in Alameda
Forbidden Island in Alameda

A thrilling development: a new tiki bar is coming to the Bay Area — Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge. Forbidden Island is appropriately situated on the island of Alameda, just east of San Francisco, and is scheduled to open in April. Forbidden Island is the creation of Martiki, whose commitment to the finer points of cocktail construction has been well-documented, and Conga Mike Thanos and Manny Thanos, who own the nearby Conga Lounge. Sure enough, Forbidden Island’s focus is on serving high-quality, balanced tropical drinks, in a setting that evokes the historic tiki traditions established by folks like Don the Beachcomber (a.k.a. Donn Beach), Eli Hedley, “Tiki Bob” Bryant and Victor Bergeron.

I’ve been asked to develop the website for Forbidden Island, so I’ve gotten to hear lots of details about what’s coming, and I am beyond excited. The lounge will have an intimate and cozy feel, with lots of details including bamboo huts and waterfalls, and a lush outdoor patio in the back. The music played will all be pre-1964. The drinks — oh, the drinks — the drinks will be unbeatable, Martin will make sure of that. The words “fresh ingredients” fall from his lips frequently these days. Expect there to quickly be a spot at the bar with wear in the shape of a tiny Humu derrière.

January 14, 2006

Change in Waitiki Lineup

Filed under: Music,New England,News,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:30 am
Bobby Bongo
Bobby Bongo

Boston-based Exotica band Waitiki has announced a change in its lineup. Drummer and pandologist Space Kadet (a.k.a. Abe Lagrimas) is moving back to his home state of Hawaii. Enter Bobby Bongo (a.k.a. Robert Schultz), an accomplished percussionist who has played with the Boston Symphony and the Boston Pops, and is principal percussionist for a number of other ensembles. He was nominated for a Grammy in 2005 for Best Small Ensemble Performance for his work on Yehudi Wyner’s The Mirror. But the real question is — will he be able to skin the goats? All indications point to yes. From the Waitiki website:

The Boston Globe has referenced his work as “subtle, with cat-like alertness,” his musicianship as “dazzling” and his performance as “spellbinding.”

Well, that’s good enough for me. Okonkulú and wishes for the best of fortune for both Space Kadet and Bobby Bongo!

January 13, 2006

Trader Vic’s News: Bar Remodel at Palo Alto, Dallas Rumor

Filed under: Dallas,News,San Francisco,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 8:30 pm
Palo Alto Trader Vic's
Palo Alto Trader Vic’s

The Palo Alto Trader Vic’s will be undergoing a remodel in the bar area this month, with a targeted soft opening on January 27. The space will be called “The Mai Tai Lounge at Trader Vic’s” and will expand into the right dining room area. More tikis are being brought in, and the lighting will be dimmed and more red. It sounds like a relatively small-scale redo, but these are welcome changes — the Palo Alto Trader Vic’s bar just feels too airy, and is often full.

Also — and this tidbit comes with absolutely no concrete information or confirmation — but a Dallas Trader Vic’s location is reportedly again “on the table” for 2006. Possibly. Maybe. Who knows.

These insider comments come courtesy of Martiki, who sadly is leaving Trader Vic’s San Francisco. His last day is this Monday — if you haven’t been served by Martin at Trader Vic’s, now’s your last chance!

I Am Cuba Documentary Airing on Sundance Channel

Filed under: Cuba,History,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 7:59 pm
I Am Cuba
I Am Cuba

The Sundance Channel is airing the film I Am Cuba (mentioned in a recent post on Humu Kon Tiki), and immediately afterward is running a 1-1/2 hour documentary on the film, I Am Cuba, the Siberian Mammoth. The pair air tomorrow (Saturday, January 14) at 2:00 p.m., and again on Wednesday, January 25 at 11:30 a.m. The film, which features decor from the Havana Trader Vic’s, is a favorite of mine. I haven’t seen the documentary and very much want to, but we don’t have the Sundance Channel — anyone able to connect me with a copy?

Suggest an Item
About Humuhumu
Humuhumu is the creator of several tiki websites. She is a designer and programmer based out of San Francisco.

- Website Design and Programming

- A Worldwide Guide to Tiki Bars & Polynesian Restaurants

- Tiki Mugs & More: Track & View Collections




Arkiva Tropika
Mimi Payne’s massive Polynesian Pop collection

Barefoot Bloggin’
A surfin’, ukein’, freewheelin’ monkey boy

Beachbum Berry
Author of Grog Log and Intoxica!, and one of my dearest drinkin’ buddies

Blog from the user interface designer extraordinaire

Worldwide Guide to Tiki Bars & Polynesian Restaurants

Dumb Angel
A look at the 1960s Los Angeles mod, pop, surf, and music scene

Eye of the Goof
Pop culture with a tiki tinge

Forbidden Island
My Wednesday hangout, the Bay Area’s best tiki bar

Humuhumu’s Life in Photos
Pictures of my adventures

I build websites

Junkyard Clubhouse
Random interesting things from Humuhumu & Hanford Lemoore

Kevin Kidney
Kevin loves tiki, I love Kevin, you will too

Tiki links galore

Mai Tai Online
Montreal-based tiki ‘zine

Tiki Mug Collection Organizer

The Jab
Follow the way of the jab

Tiki Bar TV
Public Access meets Modern Drunkard

Tiki Central
Community forums

Tiki Magazine
Periodical publication covering the wide world of Tiki

Tiki Talk
Hot Lava’s Tiki Blog