Archive for April, 2016



Tonga Hut

(760) 322-4449

254 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, Ca., 92262

Open Thursday-Sunday 4pm – 2am

The entrance stairs are on the south side of the building.

There are two Tonga Hut locations. The Original Tonga Hut is located in North Hollywood.



The Tonga Hut had a change in management and turned the location around. The exotic atmosphere pulls you in as soon as you walk up the stairs. The décor takes you back to the 50’s and 60’s. Classic tunes from the likes of Sinatra and island tunes from Martin Denny are streamed through the speakers welcoming patrons.


The bar décor leaves you wondering where they were able to find such decorations that were plentiful generations ago.


Terry, the bartender was friendly and competent.


Classic menu.


Clearer and more legible menu.


If it’s not being used, ask for a sneak peak into the secret room. It’s great for private gatherings with a small group of friends. There was a group of about 10 occupying the room when I visited.


I arrived too late for dinner as the kitchen had just closed so you’ll have to judge dinner for yourself. I glanced in the dining area anyway. The Maori wood mural that is visible from every table was phenomenal.

There are six dining tables. Each has a different theme on the wall that showcased previous well known eating establishments that existed in Palm Springs.



More fantastic Modernism artwork in the dining area.


Just outside of the bar is a dining patio. It too continues the fantastic decorum from times gone by.

An atlas done by artist Kirby.

Reverse view of the retro dining patio area.




The Tonga Hut also has Tiki Mugs and a few other collectible items available for sale. The are from local celebrity artist Shag.

And of course, the Tonga Hut has it’s own collector mug. On one side is the original Hollywood location at the bottom with lower case lettering. On the other side is the newer Palm Springs name at the bottom with Tonga Hut above.

More items available for sale by Shag in the display case.



Since I hit town too late to have dinner I asked Terry the bartender to hit me with something other than a mai tai. Terry served up my first ever Zombie. It was sweet, not strong as I had expected to be walking around have out of it from the name but it was good.


If you do have one too many or plan on walking like a zombie before you even get started there is a major hotel just across the street as seen from the dining patio.



Bootlegger  Tiki

(760) 318-4154

1101  N. Palm Canyon Dr. Palm Springs Ca., 92262

Open daily at 4pm

The Bootlegger is a fairly new bar in the Palm Springs scene. For the tiki historians, this is the location of the original Don the Beachcomer in Palm Springs. Although it has tiki in it’s name in addition to two tikis at the side entrance it is known as more of a speak easy bar. The Bootlegger has two entrances. You could enter through Ernest Coffee or through a side door. Since I arrived past midnight on a Sunday night, I entered through the side. To the right of the side entrance is an outdoor patio that I noticed was full.

First impressions upon entering is that this is a very small yet popular watering hole. Seating capacity is 20-30. Instead of hearing classic 60’s or a tiki music playing, there was head boppin funky grooves from the 7o’s and hip hop setting the mood.  The crowd was eclectic and feelin the vibe as I noticed bodies movin to the music.

The Bootlegger doesn’t have a kitchen but serves snacks. The Bootlegger serves the traditional Mai Kai, Blue Hawaiian and Painkiller but is known more for their own original concoctions. Expect to find such island getaways as the Pod Thai, Poison Dart and Jasper’s Jamaican to name a few. The bartender was friendly and informative.




I decided to pay tribute to the 70’s by ordering a (straw) Barry White. It was smooth and tasty. If your looking for a collector mug to snag, don’t get too excited. The Bootlegger doesn’t have any establishment mugs. Upon opening, they asked patrons to donate mugs so that they would have a variety / eclectic group of mugs to serve there drinks in. Much like the crowd.


As the spirits from your drinks start to work it’s way into your system, the funk in your ears start groovin and the tiki ambience begins to feel cozy, you begin to realize that even though it is a different eclectic mix, everything actually works together.

Tiki Ti

4427 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, Ca. 90027

(323) 669-9381

Hours: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 4pm to 2am


I had heard about Tiki Ti due to the circles that I’m in regarding tiki.  I was dying to get to the place as it is a historical icon still kicking from when tiki was alive and well in the 60’s. Tiki Ti is a Polynesian themed tiki bar on Sunset Boulevard. Established in 1961 by Ray Bulen, the Tiki Ti’s only employees, Mike Sr. and Mike Jr. Buhen are also the sole owners.



It’s a cash only bar that is only open part of the week. Based on the sign on the door, they are closed on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. They don’t open for business until 4pm during the days that they are open and close ’em shut and 2am.


Despite the hours and very small size, this place is well known as an underground landmark.



The bartenders are well known for their generous pours. That’s Mike Jr. behind the bar on the left.


The Tiki Ti doesn’t serve typical bar cocktails like the martini, cosmopolitan or beer, their drink menu does consist of over 80 exotic drinks. Many of the are originals.



Tiki Ti also has it’s own museum of tiki mugs displayed within the establishment.



If you desire to acquire some of the collectible mug sets from Tiki Ti, some are available at the bar. I believe some very rare mug sets were available for $200 which is a steal if you’re looking for a hard to find mug(s) from Tiki Ti.



That’s Mike Sr on the right of the entrance door.

Mama’s Hawaiian Bar-B-Cue

850 E. Speedway Blvd, Tucson, Az 85719

Open 10am to 3am

(520) 792-2350

Mama’s has 3 locations in the Tucson area. The location above is the one that I visited while in town checking out the Kon Tiki off Broadway.


While in town for an event at the well known Kon Tiki, I decided to try a new eatery that I had heard about from friends that have a son going to U of A. Since the place came highly recommended I was curious to give it a try.


Being familiar with a few information on Hawaii, I recognized the Reef Triggerfish (Hawaii’s State Fish) on the outside wall as I was entering.


Mama’s is conveniently located off Speedway and adjacent  to college apartments. This place was very popular among the Arizona crowd due to being so close to campus. The place was crawling with bikinis, board shorts when I first walked in.


The place resembled a well organized fast food joint but with Hawaiian flava.


Prices were reasonable and carried out in the island theme.


The menu had a full selection of island favorites to choose from. If any Polynesian students ever got an itch for home cookin this place would scratch it.


Mama’s was clean and organized.


The island theme was carried out throughout the restaurant and not over done with painted murals on the wall.


If you’re inkling for a taste of Mama’s but for some reason can’t get to one of their locations, they deliver.

Mama’s also caters starting at $6 per person.





I ordered the Combo Plate. The portions were plentiful. I’d say enough for two, that is unless you’re a big Kahuna or a college student with a case of the munchies.

The strips of chicken were moist and had a grilled flavor to it. The beef was just as good as the chicken. It was very moist, had a grilled flavor to it and had a well balanced marinated flavor to it. Ah, the shredded pork. I’m not big on pork but not against it either. It was slow cooked, just as moist as the other two meats, was tender and came with the same grilled flavor to it. The side of mac salad was fresh and perfectly seasoned. You could taste the onion, mayo and spices. I usually order brown rice because it is healthier but went with the white rice on this occasion. Like the rest of the meal choices, this didn’t disappoint. The white rice wasn’t sticky nor dry like you get in some restaurants. The white rice in this case was very nice!