If the only tiki room in LA you know is the one with robot birds choral singing above Dole Whip–eating Disneyland patrons, local ‘hounds have news for you: There are still a few classic tiki bars around town, hidden lounges with an easy vibe, dim lighting, stiff drinks, and nary a kid in sight. Don’t miss these three favorites:

• North Hollywood’s Tonga Hut has been open for over 50 years, and not too much has changed: Indoor water fountains still flow, wood-carved tiki gods still oversee all the action, and the cocktails are still incredibly strong. There’s no meal service, but guests are allowed to bring food in. 12808 Victory Boulevard, North Hollywood; 818-769-0708.

• The Tiki-Ti (pictured) is a landmark in its own right, a cash-only bar in Los Feliz that dates back to 1961 and is known for potent pours and occasional whole-crowd chants. It’s open just four days a week and is tiny inside, so arrive early to snag a coveted barstool. On Wednesdays the bar’s signature drink, Ray’s Mistake, is on special for $6, and as at the Tonga Hut, outside food is welcome. 4427 W. Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles; 323-669-9381.

• If sipping a killer mai tai while eating a top sirloin steak or fresh cut of prime rib sounds like your kind of heaven, then Damon’s Steak House is the place for you. This full-service restaurant has heavy Polynesian décor, solid food, and of course serious drinks. MissBubbles recommends the Chi Chi, a drink made with light and dark rum, coconut, and pineapple juice. 317 N. Brand Boulevard, Glendale; 818-507-1510.

Discuss: What’s your favorite tiki bar out of the less than half a dozen that are still standing in LA?

Photo of Tiki-Ti by Flickr member Caro Scuro under Creative Commons

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