Entries in the 'San Diego' Category

November 6, 2006

San Diego’s Islands Restaurant Renovation?

Filed under: News,San Diego,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 3:18 am
Fountain at the Islands Restaurant in the Hanalei Hotel, San Diego
Fountain at the Islands Restaurant in the Hanalei Hotel, San Diego

Joel Reis reports on his blog that the Island Restaurant at the Hanalei Hotel in San Diego closed yesterday for some apparently drastic renovations. The Islands Restaurant has been at the Hanalei since it opened in 1966. The hotel was once a beautiful example of midcentury Polynesian Pop architecture and design, but sadly has been updated over the years to a bland cookie-cutter chain hotel (currently owned by Red Lion). The hotel has managed to keep a few wonderful pieces through these renovations, including several items that came out of the historic Luau in Beverly Hills when it closed.

Fountain at the Islands Restaurant in the Hanalei Hotel, San Diego
Fountain at the Islands Restaurant
in the Hanalei Hotel, San Diego

While the Islands Restaurant has not emerged unscathed from these renovations, it has still retained enough of its decor to be a very worthwhile stop for the travelling tikiphile; indeed, the hotel was host to the annual Tiki Oasis event last year, and is scheduled to host the event again in 2007. It is one of the very few restaurants remaining in the world that give the feeling of stepping into the golden era of Tiki. It’s not yet clear what this latest renovation has in store for the Islands, but it sounds devastating.

From Joel Reis’ blog:

The Hanalei is undergoing extensive remodel in the next 6 months and the first stage is the remodel of the hotel’s signature restaurant. This waterfall is one of the victims of the remodel. It has been there for decades along with priceless tiki artifacts as well as Monkeypod tables (which is a now endangered wood native to the South Pacific). The tables are supposed to return, since they truly are priceless at this point, but the fate of many of the artifacts is in question. Most are supposed to return, maybe not to the restaurant, but around the property. But there has been rumour that they may not return and simply be liquidated at bulk to some collector.

The waterfalls mentioned in his blog are at the entrance to the restaurant, and can be seen in the pictures above, taken in 2004. They are dramatic and beautiful, and I simply cannot fathom why the hotel would want to remove them. This news is just crushing, and surprising, considering that the hotel has become host to one of the largest annual events for tikiphiles, drawing hundreds of people. A very strange and disconcerting development.

I’ve heard nothing about this beyond this one blog post, so I wouldn’t say it’s verified. Stay tuned for information as I learn more.

October 3, 2006

2001 Bosko Documentary

Filed under: Art,People,San Diego,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 9:43 am

“Bosko,” a short documentary by Paul Desjarlais, 2001

This short film is a documentary on Bosko Hrnjak, the famed San Diego tiki carver. He shares he goes about making his creations, how his interest in tiki was sparked, how it expanded over time, and toward the end of the film, he speaks eloquently about the importance of Tiki as a cultural art form. The 7-1/2 minute film was produced in 2001 by Paul Desjarlais, with music by Bosko’s wife, Truus De Groot.

September 2, 2006

Tiki Oasis 2007 Announced

Filed under: Events,Music,San Diego,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 7:54 am

Otto and Baby Doe von Stroheim have made a save-the-date announcement for 2007′s Tiki Oasis event, “Hawaii Au Go Go,” with the Blue Hawaiians as headliners. Like last year, it will be taking place at the Red Lion Hanalei in San Diego. However, the von Stroheims have a few changes in store:

Moving to August
In years past, Tiki Oasis has been held in May, which was lovely in Palm Springs, but a bit chilly for San Diego. The 7th Tiki Oasis will be held the weekend of August 16-19, 2007. The von Stroheims have orchestrated this with Tiki Kiliki, whose Hukilau event in Ft. Lauderdale has been happening in October; she has wanted to move it to the hurricane-free spring, so the next Hukilau event will happen in spring of 2007.

Room Parties Are A-Okay
After-hours room parties have been a huge part of the fun of Tiki Oasis. Some spontaneous, some intricately planned, the room parties are explosions of masterful mixology and musical mayhem, sometimes lasting until dawn. Sadly, the room parties at last year’s Oasis were largely a bust, as the hotel shut many of them down relatively early in the evening. This year, things should be different — because the von Stroheims were able to get an advance booking, and now have an established relationship with the Hanalei, the entire hotel will be booked out solely for Tiki Oasis. This is an improvement, even over the Palm Springs years — the Hanalei is a large hotel, and the neighboring properties aren’t near enough for the noise to travel that far.

Better Handle on Mug Sales
Last year’s sales of the Tiki Oasis mug left a lot of people feeling left out — not everyone was able to get a mug, despite spending a long time in line, while some of those at the front of the line were able to load up on them (there was a limit of two per person, but a family of four could purchase eight mugs). This year, mugs will be sold as a pre-purchase only to ticket holders, and they will manufacture enough mugs to meet demand. There will still be a small number of mugs available for purchase at the event.

February 19, 2006

San Diego: Tiki Oasis 6

Filed under: Events,News,San Diego,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 5:37 pm
Tiki Oasis 6
Tiki Oasis 6

Tickets for the sixth annual Tiki Oasis are now available for sale. This year’s event is taking place at the Hanalei Hotel in San Diego, May 4-7. Here’s the current schedule of events:
______________________________

Thursday, May 4: Tiki Oasis Pre-Party
8 pm – 10pm
Free

Thursday night will kick off with a live performance by the Maikai Gents in the bar of the Islands restaurant at the Hanalei Hotel. Meet friends, make new friends, be the first one in the jacuzzi before the weekend starts.

Friday, May 5: Bali Hai party by the Bay
Doors 6:30 pm til last call
$18 (those 17 and under are free if accompanied by an adult)

Carpool or ride the double decker bus to Shelter Island for a post-dinner party by the bay. King Kukulele, DJ Phast Phreddie (Brooklyn), The Sand Devils, Ape, and a special surprise guest.

Saturday, May 6: The Magic of Tiki
Doors 6 pm, LIVE entertainment 6:30pm – 10pm, stay for after the show movie til midnight
$25 (those 17 and under are free if accompanied by an adult)

Experience the Magic of Tiki under the big tent at the Hanalei Hotel. Expect the finest in musical sets from Maikai Gents, King Kukulele, Ape, Shag with a Twist mini show, burlesque entertianment and across the desert sands of Nevada, live from Las Vegas, the only Tiki magician – James Dimmare. Stay for the late night movie after the show.

Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and 7: Tiki Shopping Bazaar
From 10 – 5 pm (open to the public)
Wander the Tiki bazaar in search of treasures. Kids can join King Kukulele’s Tiki tour of the Hanalei or adults can grab a drink and enjoy Otto’s “Sventiki Tour of Hanalei’s Tiki Atrium” (Times T.B.A.)

Sunday, May 7
Shop while listening to DJed tunes, check out the annual Uke Jam led by Uncle Judd of The Maikai Gents at noon and join Tiki Oasis attendees for a secret Sunday happy hour at 5:30 all FREE of charge and open to the public
_____________________________

I’m very excited about the Hanalei as the new venue — this hotel houses many tikis that came from the legendary Luau in Beverly Hills when it closed, and it has the very tiki Islands Restaurant on-site. Friday’s trip to Shelter Island and the Bali Hai is sure to be a crowd-pleasing highlight as well. This year, I’m honored to be lending a hand as the vendor coordinator — if the early vendor signups for the Tiki Shopping Bazaar are any indication, there’s going to be a knockout selection of great tiki stuff to drool over. The hotel and ticket purchases are happening all together on the Tiki Oasis website, so don’t try to book through the hotel.

Man, I’ve gotta start figuring out what I’m going to wear. See you in San Diego!

December 28, 2005

Homemade Tiki Creations by ‘OnaTiki

Filed under: Art,People,San Diego,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 2:26 am
Tiki carved by 'OnaTiki
Tiki carved by ‘OnaTiki

San Diego tikiphile ‘OnaTiki shares a very impressive home tiki retreat (“bar” wouldn’t cover it) with his wife, Moki. ‘OnaTiki has applied his creative talents to a number of projects for their home, including many lamps of exactly the sort I mentioned earlier today. Tons of them — enough to stock a showroom, and all top-notch. He’s shared them, including some how-tos, in a Creating Tiki thread on Tiki Central. Other projects he has shared on his thread include trim pieces, flat panels, and palm-frond tikis. More recently he has thrown himself at carving tikis, with excellent early results. He had carved tikis before, but without proper tools, the projects were slow going; he recently invested in some new chisels, and he’s having a great time hacking away. Right now, he’s sharing progress photos on his latest carving project, an ornate log drum. Even only partway done, it’s looking like it will be a real showpiece. The drum is hollowed out, and he says it “sounds pretty good too.” Like most Creating Tiki threads, ‘OnaTiki has engaged in lots of helpful Q&A on his pieces, and there are lots of lovely and inspirational photos.

December 19, 2005

Tiki New Year’s Eve 2006 Parties

Filed under: Chicago,Events,Ft. Lauderdale & Miami,Hawaii,Los Angeles,San Diego,San Francisco,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 1:38 am
Hanford Lemoore at the Reef Bar in Palm Springs for NYE 2005
Hanford Lemoore at the Reef Bar in
Palm Springs for NYE 2005

If you’re still pondering the right place to be for New Year’s Eve 2006, you’re running out of time! You can probably still get into these great events happening around the country:

San Diego NYE Tiki Weekend: Last year’s tiki event at the Caliente Tropics was hugely successful, but the hotel has gone seriously downhill in terms of tiki-friendliness this past year. Thanks to the organizational efforts of Monkeyman, this year’s big Tiki Central New Year’s event is happening in San Diego. A home bar tour is planned for daytime Saturday, and the main event is taking place with a Polynesian spectacular at the Bali Hai restaurant. Things will also be afoot on Sunday, with possibilities including brunch, bowling and trips to downtown San Diego. It’s sure to be a special evening. The number of tickets available for the Bali Hai is dwindling, if you’re interested, read the thread on Tiki Central for details on how to make reservations.

San Francisco Trader Vic’s: A special dinner event is planned for NYE, with a floor show by Spirit of Polynesia dance troupe, and a full multi-course prix fixe meal. This is where Hanford & I will be spending our NYE. For reservations, call Trader Vic’s at (415) 775-6300.

Forbidden World of Don Tiki in Waikiki: A special performance by Don Tiki in Hawaii, at the Pacific Beach Hotel Grand Ballroom. Tickets to the show are $80 and include two drinks; in addition a bar & buffet are available. Visit the Pacific Beach Hotel website (link below) for details.

Dave’s Birthday at the Purple Orchid in El Segundo: I haven’t seen an official announcement, but New Year’s Eve is the birthday of Dave, owner of the Purple Orchid in El Segundo (near Los Angeles). In years past, there’s been a great band booked, and birthday cake & appetizers for all. Contact the Purple Orchid for details at (310) 322-5829.

Mai Kai in Ft. Lauderdale: A group is getting together to celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Mai Kai — if I lived in southern Florida, this would be a no-brainer. To make reservations, contact the Mai Kai at (954) 563-3272, if you’d like to be included in the Tiki Central group, read the thread on TC for details.

Chicago area, Trader Vic’s: New Year’s Eve is the last night that the Chicago Trader Vic’s will be open. It has the potential to be rather depressing, and not for the faint of heart, but it also might be special to be there for the final night.

Chicago area, Chef Shangri-La: Performances by the Windy City Islanders, a roast pig buffet for $18, full regular menu available, drink specials, and no cover — an unsually affordable tiki NYE event, and the bar and drinks at Chef Shangri-La are above par. Call (708) 442-7080 for reservations.

Chicago area, Tiki Terrace: This new bar & restaurant is having a New Year’s Eve event with a performance by the Cocktail Preachers, and a raffle featuring a tiki by Lake Surfer. Contact Tiki Terrace for details at (630) 788-0395.

If your part of the country isn’t listed here, don’t fret — simply look for a bar near you in Critiki, and give them a call. Many places will have something planned for the evening.

December 16, 2005

Tiki Oasis 6 Heads to San Diego

Filed under: Events,News,Palm Springs,San Diego,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 4:55 pm
Postcard from Bali Hai, from the collection of Mimi Payne
Postcard from Bali Hai, from the collection of Mimi Payne

As previously reported on Humu Kon Tiki, Tiki Oasis 6 will not be held in Palm Springs, as the management at the once-tiki-friendly Caliente Tropics has gone sour. Today, Otto von Stroheim announced that Tiki Oasis 6 will be held in San Diego, from May 4-7, 2006.

San Diego has Palm Springs beat on a few counts, most notably in the amount of tiki destinations. San Diego has the Bali Hai restaurant (pictured above in a vintage postcard from the collection of Mimi Payne), Humphrey’s Half-Moon Inn and Trader Mort’s all on Shelter Island, and the Hanalei Hotel with its Islands Restaurants, one of my favorites. Last year saw the opening of the new Mr. Tiki’s in the Gaslamp district, and some home tours are part of the plans, as well. Otto did not mention the specific hotel, pending final confirmation from them, but he did say that Tiki Oasis will be taking place on Shelter Island, home to Humphrey’s and several other hotels. I’ve stayed at Humphrey’s before, and it has much in common with the Caliente Tropics — rooms on two stories facing a central pool/grass lawn area, upscale resort feel with a similar price point to the Caliente — but it also has a built-in stage area, where a summer concert series is held. It would be a great venue, though there are probably several hotels on Shelter Island that can also fit the bill nicely.

It will be exciting to see what the new Tiki Oasis will be like, I imagine the new setting has got Otto thinking of some fresh ideas for the event. But the best news of all is that it’s going to be more tiki, if only because of the host city.

September 12, 2005

La Vida Tiki: Southern California’s Polynesian Apartments

Filed under: History,Los Angeles,San Diego,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 11:12 pm
Tiki Apartments in Redondo Beach
Tiki Apartments in Redondo Beach

In the mid- to late-1960s, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego had literally dozens of apartment complexes with a Polynesian design, and a marketing message to prospective tenants that their complex was an oasis, and escape from big city living into a personal tropical hideaway. Tikis, gas-powered flaming torches, tropical foliage, and water features abounded. Not many have survived intact, but it’s not difficult to see hints of them remaining: a lava rock wall here, outrigger beams there, spindly palm trees poking up… the tikis may be gone, but their shadow remains.

ZuluMagoo is a man possessed… by a love for Polynesian apartment complexes. He recently paid a visit to the L.A. County Library in downtown Los Angeles, and pored through the old Yellow Pages looking for suspect names; he’s posted a list of them for local tikiphiles to explore. ZuluMagoo, Sabu the Coconut Boy and others have recently posted a spate of reports from site visits to tiki apartments on Tiki Central, with many lovely pictures, and a few people have been able to dig up original promotional brochures. I won’t link to all the apartment threads in TC here, there are simply too many, but do look for them in Locating Tiki!


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

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