San Diego Tiki Bars

Ruth & I just got back from California where Tiki Bars are still very popular entertainment. We went to one in San Diego and really enjoyed its ambiance and its drinks. It was called False Idol. Others in the area were the TIki Hut, Forbidden Cove, and Noble Experiment. False Idol was at 675 West Beech Street in an area called Little Italy where we had eaten earlier in the day. We were quite lucky to get into False Idol on a Saturday night, and we had to wait for seating at the bar where I enjoyed a fruit based, alcohol free drink and Ruth had a mai tai with a flower adorning it. Reservations are a great idea.

We were also in LA to see the new Academy Museum across the street from the Petersen Auto complex and near LACMA and the La Brea Tar Pits. This new museum was busy and worth seeing but also hard to get in. More about it later. There are also Tiki Bars in Escondido, Sacramento, San Gabriel, and other places in California. I suspect they are busy too. False Idol was a dark place where a line quickly formed near us to get in. I especially like the name Trailer Park after Dark to name a current tiki bar.

Tiki Bars started to gain popularity during the Trader Vic era. This global restaurant chain still maintains headquarters in Emoryville, CA, and it still operates 17 restaurants around the world. Trader Vics sold its first mai tai in a Polynesian setting in 1944. These Polynesian culture restaurants sprang from New Zealand Maori beginnings. Only the Trader Vic’s in Atlanta is still opened in the USA. We still miss the one in Portland and its food and rum drinks. The Trader Vic’s in Oregon near us at 3195 West Broadway, alas, closed in 1996. The one in St. Louis closed even earlier. We still miss its Hawaiian themed ambiance, its elaborate cocktails, and its cultural decor. Portland is still home to one of the best tiki bars in the world with Hale Pele.

For some unexplained reason, tiki bars are still accepted on the West Coast. San Diego has a relatively new one called Miss B’s Coconut Club that opened in 2016. San Diego is listed as the 8th most expensive city in the United States to visit. This is largely because of a major military presence and a big focus on medical devices. San Diego is said on another list to be the 6th most expensive city to visit. Five of the cities on this list are in California that has some surprises. The presence of San Francisco on this list is not one of them, but Oakland and San Jose are to me. Los Angeles is the 5th California city on this list and no surprise with so many new neighbors from there. Honolulu remains the #1 most expensive US city to visit.

Visiting a tiki bar is once again a hip thing to do at least on the West Coast.


About roads-rus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roads-rus

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