Posted by: Tangled Web | March 2, 2010

Tiki-Ti: Where Everyone’s a Cheap Date, Los Feliz

Tiki-Ti Tropical Drink Hut

Tiki-Ti: Where Everyone’s a Cheap Date

That title was misleading.  Kind of.  Everyone’s a cheap date at Tiki Ti because every drink is so freakin’ strong.  1930s style.   Plus, each one is a tropical wonderland in your mouth, combining so many alcohols that you will be face down on the counter before you reach the bottom.  The price of those potent potions, however, is not so super cheap.  The drinks range from about $10.00 to $30.00. But you’ll get your money’s worth.

Tiki Ti originated with Los Angeles’s own mixologist master Ray Buhen in the 1930s. Back then Tiki bars were all the rage and Ray worked at them all, creating a famous drink list.  In 1961 he turned his father-in-law’s tiny violin shop on Sunset into a Tiki Bar of his own. And it is still there today, with his son and grandson (Mike and Mike) behind the bar. That is a pretty special story. Tiki Ti still serves some of Ray’s recipes, including the powerful ZOMBIE COCKTAIL.

Tiki-Ti Interior

If you like to diversify on your bar nights, this is a fun place to throw into the mix.  You’ll be crammed so closely together with your buzzed compatriots that something entertaining is bound to happen.  If you can’t help yourself, and have to sample more than one of their concoctions, you might find yourself having a long drunken conversation with a totem pole or neon tiki.  Of which there are many.

Talk to the Tiki

The Tiki Ti website is a comedy show in itself.  The home page has a ‘survival guide’ for new visitors, a profile of the father/son bartending team, videos, and drink pics.  You can often predict the style of crowd you will encounter at an establishment, but Tiki Ti has actually ranked its types of customers by loyalty and frequency of visit, given them cute names, and posted pictures of them.  So you can scope out the usual suspects you might meet.

Ray at the Tiki-Ti in 1961

So don your Hawaiian shirt and come to Tiki-Ti to sip a Pearl Diver, Skull & Bones, or Ray’s Mistake, all garnished with a dollop of LA history.


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