At the southern margins of the Arts District lies Tiki No, North Hollywood’s living ode to Tiki culture.
Tiki No opened in 2009 on the bones of a dive bar called Match. Designer “Bob the Bamboo” added a fireplace, patio and design work, including thatched-roofed cabanas, hand carved totems and other touches. The owners sourced Tiki masks, statues, illuminated blowfish and travel trunks that double as shelving behind the bar. Sound in the booth comes from vintage table radios; video from two repurposed Philco Predicta TVs flanking the bar. The bar keeps evolving: the latest additions are two giant Tiki god cutouts, castoffs abandoned at the bar, which proprietor Simon Jones is currently bedazzling for outdoor display; they’ll breathe smoke when installed on December 21.
On to the drinks: Tiki No features authentically re-created cocktails from the dawn and golden age of the Tiki movement alongside contemporary creations from Jones and mixologists Damian Windsor and Jason Bran.
Photo by Dale Dudeck
The legendary Trader Vic’s is responsible for two of the cocktails in Tiki No’s canon—the Mai Tai and the Eastern Sour—and Don the Beachcomber gave them two—The Navy Grog and the Zombie. Other drinks come from as far away from the South Pacific as Egypt (The Suffering Bastard), Malaysia (The Jungle Bird), and, well, Benihana New York City (The Happy Buddha). Tiki No’s modern signature cocktails include the Coconut Mojito (coconut run, coconut water, mint, and lime); the Lychee Luau (gold rum, silver rum, lychee liqueur, Pineapple, lemon and falernum); and the Toasted Marshmallow, (overproofed rum, “fluffed” vodka, Licor 43, falernum, apple, lemon and cinnamon).
While Tiki itself/himself is a wellspring of Polynesian faith and culture (Tiki is the Maori’s Adam and a godlike representation in other cultures), leave it to Los Angeles to distill Tiki into the colorful, kitschy, fun and booze-soaked bar concept it is today. North Hollywood claims both of the Valley’s only Tiki bars.
Tiki also loves the holidays. Musically, the swingin’ lounge musical concept (see my separate story on that) from “Christmas Island” (recorded by everyone from Bing Crosby to the Andrews Sisters) to “Baby it’s Cold Outside” by Dean Martin wears the best with Tiki.
Photo by Dale Dudeck
Tiki No has a host of holiday celebrations to see out the holidays into the new year. Here we go!
Thursday, December 21 join Tiki No for the second annual NoHo Arts District Locals Appreciation Night. The bar is offering a comp Mount Gay 2703 Barbados Rum shot with any purchase (one per customer for the night); “Selfies With Santa,” and cheesy Tiki/holiday vinyl with “DJ hoe” Henry Eshelman. The night also features free buffet from 8PM until it runs out. Throw your comp shot ticket stub in the bucket for a $50 bar tab prize at 11:00PM.
Sunday, December 24, from 7PM-2AM is a special version of the bar’s regular karaoke night with sing-alongs of your (and our) favorite songs and carols. Tiki Egg-nog is on offer all night and an ugly sweater contest with a $50 bar tab prize taking place at midnight.
Join in Christmas Day (yes, Tiki No is open Christmas Day) starting at 7:00PM for “Celebration of a Jewish Christmas,” where guests can indulge in the informal Jewish tradition of Chinese food and a movie. There will be complimentary Chinese snacks and a movie at 8PM (they haven’t picked the movie yet but it’s guaranteed to be a humdinger)!
Sunday, Dec. 31 again reprises Tiki No’s traditional Sunday karaoke night with a New Year’s Eve theme: a $50 bar tab prize for best singer at 11:45PM with party favors and a champagne toast at midnight.
The holiday program concludes Monday, January 1. Recovery day. Starting at 7PM there will be free hot soup and cookies.
4657 Lankershim Bl. North Hollywood. Insta/Twitter @Tikinobar 818.766.0116
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