Entries in the 'Monterey & Big Sur' Category

December 27, 2006

Happy Holidays, And All That

Filed under: Monterey & Big Sur,My Travels,San Francisco,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 6:55 pm
Coco Joe's letter opener
Coco Joe’s letter opener

Greetings from not-so-wintry Monolux, where we’ve been trying to squeeze in some long winter’s naps and the occasional sugarplum into our otherwise packed schedule of holiday hecticness and server coddling. Yeah, our beloved server has been under the weather, thanks to the insidious workings of spam fiends. I came thisclose to having to shut down comments on this blog. I really, really didn’t want to have to do that, and so many hours were spent troubleshooting, monitoring, and researching, until I finally taught my server some really kick-ass ninja moves, and bought it some titanium underwear. It was not easy, it was not quick, and dammit, you better make it worth my while by commenting now & again.

While that was a major PITA, it was really the only bit of stress this season in the Lemoore household, and considering that so many folks brace themselves this time of year for hassles & grief, we really have it pretty easy. We had a wonderful time celebrating and spending time with our family. My brother gave me the very cool letter opener pictured here; it belonged to our grandmother Doris, who probably picked it up in Hawaii in either ’77 or ’80. The detail on it is nice & crisp, and the blade is wickedly sharp (Grandma must have had someone sharpen it for her). I’m very happy to have it.

Last weekend we got together with Tiki Central folks at the brand-new Hula’s in Santa Cruz, which was fun. It’s been a while since we’ve had an organized get-together here in the Bay Area; so many of us meet up every Wednesday at Forbidden Island that we forget to do anything more formal, but it’s nice to step out and explore a bit. The food in particular was a hit; we’ll likely be getting together there again in the not-too-distant future.

Today, right this instant, I’m supposed to be zipping down I-5 at Hanford’s side, talking about whatever crazy project we would have cooked up (we’re always cooking up crazy projects during that six hour drive, that’s how Ooga-Mooga was born), on our way to a spectacular evening of delicious drunkeness at Tiki-Ti. It was a beautiful plan. Instead, I’m bundled up in bed, fighting off a cold. Bah. It’s not a particularly nasty cold, but I don’t want it to turn into one, so I’m laying low. Tiki-Ti will have to wait a bit. On the plus side, Hanford is taking really wonderful care of me (but then, he does that when I’m not sick).

Now we’re looking forward to spending New Year’s Eve at Forbidden Island. Providing that my bed rest plan works, it should be a great night.

Hope your holidays have been swell!

December 11, 2006

New Hula’s Location in Santa Cruz

Filed under: Denver,Monterey & Big Sur,News,San Francisco,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:16 pm
Hula's Island Grill & Tiki Bar in Santa Cruz, photo by Citibeach
Hula’s Island Grill & Tiki Bar in Santa Cruz, photo by Citibeach

I’m absolutely tickled to see pictures of the new location of Hula’s Island Grill & Tiki Bar in Santa Cruz on this thread on Tiki Central. My visit last year to the original location, which is still pulling in the local crowds in Monterey, was a revelation. The space was a triple threat of great decor, great drinks, and even more shockingly: great food. Having grown up in the epicure’s heaven that is Seattle, my standards for food are pretty darned high, and Hula’s is the only Tiki-themed joint that has had food I considered truly wonderful.

In my trip report from last August, I passed along the news from Hula’s co-owner Chris that they were hoping to open a second location in a new city, with a stronger focus on creating an elegant tiki environment (the original location started out more generic/surf-themed). I crossed my fingers back then that they would choose a city near mine, and I got my wish — their new location is in Santa Cruz, and the drive there is the same distance as my drive to Forbidden Island, in the opposite direction.

The owners have recruited some assistance from all corners in developing the space’s decor, including help from Bosko, Oceanic Arts, ‘Onatiki, Polynesiac and Tiki Tony. They’ve consulted with Forbidden Island’s Martin Cate in developing the bar. The pictures look extraordinarily inviting, and I envision a visit in my very near future. While I’m there, I’ll get the latest scoop on the related location in the works for Denver — the latest report on Tiki Central is that it’s to be called “The Hut” and work is starting next month on a location on South Broadway.

August 31, 2005

Tiki Trader Joe’s

Filed under: Los Angeles,Monterey & Big Sur,Palm Springs,San Francisco,Tiki,Tucson — Humuhumu @ 2:30 pm

Trader Joe’s may share the “bringing you the best from around the world” M. O. with Trader Vic’s, but historically that has been the end of the connection to tiki. However, more and more Trader Joe’s are going tiki in their decor; locations that have been reported to have tikis include the Pasadena location on Rosemead Blvd, a Tucson location, San Luis Obispo on Higuera St., Cathedral City, Daly City, Santa Cruz, Irvine, Rancho Santa Margarita, Cerritos and Manhattan Beach. These locations all appear to have added their tikis within just the past couple of years, and even more exciting, they’re turning to artists local to each store, using art from their own community.

August 25, 2005

A Tiki Trip to Monterey

Filed under: Monterey & Big Sur,My Travels,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:46 pm

About a week ago, we made a short trip for a visit to Monterey to visit Stuckie & Yoko, our friends at Munktiki. It was awe-inspiring to see shelf after shelf of beautiful white unglazed tiki mugs. We got a sneak preview of some of the new design ideas in the works, and got to see Paul’s (that’s Stuckie’s dad) new CaveTiki designs, which looked incredibly difficult to make, but with beautiful results.

After visiting Munktiki, we had dinner at Hula’s Island Grill & Tiki Room, which was a first visit for me. I’d been wanting to check Hula’s out for some time, but to be honest I didn’t have high hopes — I’d figured that the locals loved it because it was all they had in terms of tiki, and what I’d seen of it in pictures led me to believe it was more of a rinky-dink Hawaiiana joint. I was beyond pleasantly surprised — this place is fantastic, and one of my new favorites! First of all, the food is amazing… and on top of that, they make a proper Mai Tai! We were surrounded by bamboo and cozy traditional tiki details, with carvings & black velvet repros all over. This restaurant is the first time I’ve encountered both food and drinks that are top-notch. I only wish it were closer. We spoke with one of the owners, Chris, who indicated that he’s a big fan of the Mai Kai, and wants to open another restaurant in a new city that is like Hula’s, only more tiki and more elegant. I’m crossing my fingers in the hopes that he’ll pick a city near me.

After dinner, the four of us ventured to the Carmel Highlands to visit with my friend Kevin (a.k.a. Unga Bunga) at his home tiki bar. Another pleasant surprise! Lots of neat water features, great music, great company, a lovely evening all around.

To top off our Monterey adventure, we picked up a San Francisco Tiki Bob mug at an antique mall the next morning on our way out of town — we paid a bunch, but less than we likely would have on eBay. Score!


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About Humuhumu
Humuhumu
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http://www.humuhumu.com
Humuhumu is the creator of several tiki websites. She is a designer and programmer based out of San Francisco.

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