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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tiki-Ti - Los Angeles

If you're just tuning in, we started off the night at Indo Kitchen - Alhambra, then went to Silver Lake Wine before hitting up Tiki-Ti.

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I'm not much for hitting up bars, even back in my younger days, but Tiki-Ti is seriously cute! It's also got a fascinating history. The cocktail bar was started by Ray Buhen, a Filipino immigrant who came to California in 1930. After working as a bellhop at the Beverly Hills Hotel and then attending bartending school, he started working at Don the Beachcomber's in 1934. After bouncing around several other bars (click on the above link for the detailed history), he finally opened Tiki-Ti in 1961. Today, his son Mike, and grandsons Mike Jr. and Mark, run the bar and mix the drinks.

The bar is a pretty small space with the requisite kitschy tiki decor.

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A big tub of the snack mix was on the side of the bar for us to help ourselves.

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Gourmet Pigs
' friend ordered a Ray's Mistake for $9, I got a Mai Tai, and she and Kung Food Panda both got Missionary's Downfalls.

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Mai Tai $9. I have to admit, my experience with tropical fruit drinks had been rather insipid in the past, but this mai tai was seriously good. Fruity and strong.

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The Missionary's Downfall $12 was even more potent.

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Uga Booga and Blood and Sand. Very strong drinks. Blood and Sand, made for the bullfighting movie of the same name, is an orange-flavored drink with a choice of bourbon, scotch, or tequila.

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Choose either of these drinks and the whole bar will yell for a solid 30 seconds while the bartender, in this case Ray's grandson Mark, will top your drink with tequila. A whole lot of tequila!

Lots of regulars, including celebrities, but just as fun for newbies.

The night wasn't done by a longshot. We stopped off afterward for Thai desserts at Bhan Kanom Thai - Los Angeles (Thai Town). I mentioned that I had made Greek meatballs pitas with tzatziki at home, so we trooped off for an after midnight snack before finally calling it quits.

Who else drank at Tiki-Ti?
Gourmet Pigs lists the Missionary's Downfall as one of LA's best cocktails.

4427 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Cash Only
Wednesday to Saturday 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Despite the posted hours, the owners seem to open the bar whenever they feel like it, so I suggest calling first to confirm that they're there before heading out.

1 year ago today, Free Movies: Old Pasadena Film Festival - Pasadena (Old Town).
2 years ago today, the first of many squash blossom recipes - Bong Bi Nhoi Tom Chien (Vietnamese Shrimp-Stuffed Deep-fried Squash Blossoms).


  1. I love this kind of kitschy stuff. My trip to CA was just not long enough. Must come back!

  2. Never knew he was a Filipino immigrant! See the things I learn from your blog even for places I frequent :P
    Though it's been too long since my last Missionary's Downfall.
    Wanna go? hehe

  3. hi wc - very cool to know the background on tiki ti! cool that the dude's Filipino!!!!

  4. Marie,
    Aw, too bad I hadn't blogged it yet or you could've tried it too.

    You didn't? Alas, I can't drink like a fish anymore.

    Yup! I thought of you!


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