Entries in the 'My Travels' Category

August 26, 2005

Which City is the Most Tiki?

Filed under: History,Los Angeles,My Travels,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 10:33 pm

An interesting discussion is taking place on Tiki Central. Christiki295 posed the question, “which city is the most tiki?”, prompting various folks to weigh in on the strengths of various Polynesian Pop hotspots, past & present. Generally, Los Angeles seems to be getting the most attention.

My own assessment…
(more…)

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!

Rethinking Leilani Lanes

Filed under: My Travels,Seattle,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:11 am

On a recent return visit to my hometown, Seattle, I happened to pop into Leilani Lanes, an old bowling alley in the north end of town. I’d spent many a tipsy early-20s evening at Leilani Lanes, and for years I’ve been steering tikiphiles away from it, saying any cool stuff must have been torn out.

Boy, was I wrong: the building itself is actually pretty impressive, not showy by Southern California standards, but considering its location and how far away from the city center it was when it was built in the ’60s, it’s not bad at all. The fountain in the lobby is still nicely tiled and working. Most amazingly, I’d totally missed the tikis on site. There is a large tiki bolted right to the front entrance, and a matching one just behind the fountain after entering. There are a couple of tiki masks mounted on the front desk where you get your shoes. There are two purple painted crapola tikis on either side of the lanes, but the bar is the real prize: the bathroom hallway on that side has three large Witco tiki pieces. Even beyond this, the bar area is pretty darned cool. The seats are in decent shape, the hammered-metal freestanding fireplace was in use, and it even had a semi-hidden water feature still operating underneath it.

It seems, though, that the bar at Leilani Lanes has been mounting some sort of World Record attempt for longest karaoke night — I think they’ve been having someone in there singing nonstop since 1994. This, combined with the wretched carpet, is the only reason I can think of that made me think it wasn’t a worthwhile tiki location. Regardless, I’ve changed my tune, and updated Critiki accordingly.


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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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