No one in The Hula Girls really smokes all that much, but this is about principle. Tiki is all about theming and transporting the patron to another place and time. It's about the last great tiki bar creating a timewarp sensation by allowing smoking.
If you don't know what makes the Tiki Ti so special, the quick of it is this; Ray Buhen was one of the original "Don the Beachcomber" bartenders and cocktail creators in the 1930s. He worked at "The Dresden" and "Luau" in the '40s and '50s, and opened the Tiki Ti on Sunset Blvd in 1961. His son and grandsons run the place now. It is thee TRUE lineage to the proper recipes of Don the Beachcomber. You can't find a better Polynesian cocktail in southern California.
|The legendary Ray Buhen
|Regular patron, Adrian Eustaquio, enjoying a cigar outside the Tiki Ti
So what if MadMen, because of today's heightened political correctness, didn't show cigarette smoking on the show? It would have been a totally different feeling show. Not true to the era that it was representing.
That is what smoking adds to the Tiki Ti. It feels like an exotic place in Los Angeles. Damon's doesn't feel like that, either does The Tonga Hut or that poor shell of a Trader Vics at the Hilton. The smoke adds age and a different angle to the Tiki Ti. Now I know that you can rebut me about them playing music that isn't absolutley correct to the theming, or not all of the decor being 'era appropriate', but for some reason, that stuff is easier to look past. Perhaps it's because of the history and the quality of cocktails that they serve... The whole of the experience there is what makes the Tiki Ti so special. Can't there be ONE last bar in LA that allows patrons to smoke if they like?
|Spike, with one of Adrian's cigars
|The mysterious smokey fog of the Tiki Ti
Saturday is being called 'Great Smokeout' by Mike Buhen. So pack up your pipes, cigars, cigarettes, hookahs, and whatever else you can smoke out of and head to the Tiki Ti on Saturday!