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Tiki Restaurants to Warm Up the Winter Blues Slideshow

Tiki Restaurants to Warm Up the Winter Blues Slideshow

Don the Beachcomber; Huntington Beach, Calif.

This newly revived version of the Don the Beachcomber tradition has very little in common with the originator of the tiki culture in the U.S. — the current owner bought the place in 2009 and licensed the name from the owners of the Don the Beachcomber brand. But the restaurant serves all of the original drinks and dishes, and the décor is marked with elaborately carved wooden embellishments and tropical floral displays.

The Hurricane Club; New York City

This tiki restaurant and bar opened its doors in 2010 and brought New Yorkers a taste of the Hawaiian islands in a trendy, cosmopolitan setting. The music is always thumping and the place is always packed, but after taking a few sips of a mai tai that's the size of your face and tasting a bite from one of the pupu platters, the atmosphere won't matter so much anymore.

Mai-Kai; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

This Fort Lauderdale landmark has been offering locals and visitors alike tastes and sips of the tiki culture, plus live entertainment, for the past 56 years. The décor is inspired by the lush landscape of Hawaii, complete with waterfalls, grottos, and exotic flowers. The menu consists mostly of Chinese dishes.

Trader Vic's; Various Locations

This international chain of tiki restaurants and bars was started in Oakland, Calif., in 1934, by Victor J. Bergeron. Since then, the brand has expanded to include 24 locations across the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The restaurants continue to serve the Chinese-inspired dishes created by Bergeron, as well as classic tiki cocktails, such as the mai tai, which was reportedly invented at Trader Vic's.

The Tonga Room; San Francisco

Since 1945, San Franciscans dreaming of the tropics and visitors to the city alike have been escaping to the South Pacific via this appropriately decorated tiki restaurant and lounge located in the Fairmont Hotel. Regulars at The Tonga Room know to save room for dessert — the indulgent offerings are meant to be shared, like the Mount Tonga ice cream sundae, which comes to the table erupting with hot fudge and caramel sauce. Diners can enjoy the sounds of tropical rainstorms and a Hawaiian band floating on a barge in a pool in the middle of the room.

Bahooka Family Restaurant; Rosemead, Calif.

It takes a single step inside the dining room at Bahooka Family Restaurant to feel like you've been transported to a time-worn seaside shack on the coast of Hawaii. The entire restaurant, furnished with wooden and bamboo fixtures, is covered with fish nets, tiki torches, and Polynesian-inspired collectibles. With regards to the food at offered Bahooka, expect a selection of appetizers, mains, and desserts crafted with traditional flavors from Hawaii and Tahiti.

Kon Tiki Restaurant; Tucson, Ariz.

Yelp/Marna K.

Kon Tiki is another restaurant that has been a mainstay of the tiki culture for quite some time. Open in 1961, this Tucson restaurant and lounge is a lush, tropical gem located in the Arizona desert. The décor is a reflection of the classic tiki genre, such as bamboo fixtures, tiki torches, and an indoor water fountain. The menu consists of various pupu platters, fresh fish and meat dishes, and of course, traditional tiki cocktails.

Mama's Fish House; Maui, HI

This seaside restaurant located on Maui's majestic north shore (the view is pictured here) serves traditional cuisine inspired by the Polynesian lifestyle, particularly when is comes to their preparation of locally caught fish. The atmosphere and setting is more reminiscent of a fine dining establishment than a classic tiki spot, but the presentation of the dishes and cocktails, adorned with exotic flowers, reflects the genre's sensibility.

Grumpa Joe's Place

It is time to reflect on the past year and to account for the precious time granted me by the Lord. I struggled with my accomplishment list as I took inventory of what I did. I recalled that during my working years, at the end of a busy day, I often told my staff, “Well, we didn’t get much done today, but we will give it hell tomorrow.” So here goes my advice to myself, “Well Joe, you didn’t get much done in 2010, so give it hell in 2011.”

My accomplishment list is short this year, but the projects were larger. Here is a short list of things I am proud of:

I posted one hundred and seventy-five pieces on my BLOG. Among these posts were fifty-six political cartoons. Some of them were genius, others mediocre.

I wrote two children’s stories and submitted them to publishers: “FLYING TO THE SUN,” and “MOON CAKES TO GO.” I rewrote a children’s story titled “FIRE FLY AIR FORCE,” for summer, and two Christmas stories, “SANTA IS MISSING, and “THE GIFT,” in time for Christmas.

Peggy and I spent twelve weeks basking in the sunny climes of Arizona while my kids stayed home to shovel snow. We visited cousins and friends in California.

Lion Joe organized and led the STRIDES: Lions Walk for Diabetes Awareness, with a team of really great Lincoln-Way High School teachers, and Lions.

In between those activities, Grumpa Jose kept the garden in order, and the lawn maintained. This is the first year, I was proud of the green grass in front of our home. While I was tending the front with loving care, the backyard lawn turned into thistle and chickweed. Jose also waged a war with the Wabbits and built barriers around his flower beds. The Wabbit wars were documented on the BLOG. Just as the fence along our southern border fails to keep out drug runners, my fences were no match for the Wabbits. It turned out that West Nile virus is a more effective deterrent. While I waited for the virus to kick in, the Wabbits consumed my prize perennials.

In order to keep my sanity during this activity called 2010, I kept calm and chilled by consuming eight cases of red wine. Of all the accomplishments, the wine tasting was my favorite.

Finally, here is some wisdom for my friends:

I know you didn’t get much done in 2010, so kick it into high gear, and give it hell in 2011.

Watch the video: winter blues (January 2022).